Defining Depression And Anxiety
Traditional textbook definitions of depression and anxiety describe symptoms, not causes.
If you Google depression, youll get this: A mental health disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood. If you search for anxiety, youll find this: A mental health disorder characterized by feelings of worry, anxiety, or fear. These definitions are accurate, but theyre not exactly illuminating. They dont reveal the root causes.
We like to define depression as anger turned inward. This definition is just three words long, but it gets straight to the heart of the matter. Depression is anger you havent allowed yourself to feel or express. While depression manifests as sadness or numb apathy, it starts off as anger.
Likewise, we define anxiety as emotional energy bouncing back and forth, trapped between internal walls. Anxiety is the sensation you get when you refuse to feel your off-limits emotions, such as hurt and anger.
We teach a framework that clarifies the relationship between depression, anxiety, and addiction. Its called the Anger-Hurt-Loving model, and it points the way forward to healing.
Treating Generalized Anxiety Disorder And Addiction
Depending on the severity of ones generalized anxiety disorder, psychotherapy and/or medication may be recommended. While medications do not cure a persons anxiety disorder, they can help relieve symptoms. When medication is combined with psychotherapy, results can be significant in helping those with anxiety live a better life.
Only 43.2% of those living with generalized anxiety disorder receive treatment.
Psychotherapy For Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Psychotherapy entails meeting with a mental health professional on an as-needed basis to find behavioral solutions that reduce anxiety. Over time, this form of treatment teaches people how to identify the signs of anxiety and improve their reactions to different situations that may arise.
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Medications For Generalized Anxiety Disorder
There are several medications that doctors may prescribe to treat anxiety. Its important to speak with your physician or mental health professional about the benefits, risks and side effects associated with the drug before taking it.
For people struggling with co-occurring addiction and anxiety, its crucial to know the addictive potential of medications before starting on any new treatment plan. Make sure your doctor knows about any substance abuse in your past so they can help you find a non-addictive treatment solution for anxiety.
Some of the most common medications that may be prescribed include:
Depression And Anxiety By The Numbers
According to a 2017 study published in the journal Psychiatric Services, more than 8.3 million American adults have depression and anxiety. Plus, the 2016 Surgeon Generals report on addiction notes that over 27 million people were abusing drugs and over 66 million were abusing alcohol in 2015.
Depression, anxiety, and addiction are on the rise, and theyre all interconnected. But before we talk about why depression and anxiety contribute to drug addiction, lets define these terms.
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When Worrying Feels Good And Bad
If youre like many people, you might feel like theres something strangely compelling about worrying. So that even though you hate being constantly anxious and worried, it might be hard to imagine living without the ongoing sense of stress and brain-whirl of what-if thoughts.
You might almost feel as if worrying functions as a parachute strapped to your back, ready to be used in the case of emergency .
Perhaps you experience a hint of a hollow, fearful shudder when you try to imagine going through your days without engaging in compulsive worrying. And yet youd love to escape from this endless anxiety-treadmill that you seem to be locked onto.
How can we understand this? And how can you release yourself from the shackles of the constant worrying? Well, it starts with your brains inbuilt fight-or-flight emergency system.
Associations Between Internet Addiction And Gender Anxiety Coping Styles And Acceptance In University Freshmen In South China
- 1Department of Psychiatry, National Clinical Research Center for Mental Disorders, The Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Changsha, China
- 2Department of Psychiatry, The Third People’s Hospital of Foshan, Foshan, China
Objective: Internet addiction has become a global public health issue. Although previous studies revealed several risk factors related to IA, most of them focused on the western societies. The present study assesses the relationships between gender and other factors with IA in university freshmen in the South China.
Methods: A total of 3,380 first-year college students participated in an evaluation of their experiences surfing on the Internet. We investigated the severity of IA in the participants by considering their psychological characteristics, such as acceptance, anxiety levels, and coping styles. Then, we compared the results between males and females and between those in addiction group and non-addiction group . We also conducted a logistic regression analysis to detect the relationships between severity of IA and psychological characteristics and gender differences.
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How Common Is Porn Addiction
Exact numbers for pornography addiction arent available, but it’s well known that the use of pornography is extremely common. There is almost no man who has never used porn, says Michael McGee, MD, staff psychiatrist at Atascadero State Hospital in San Luis Obispo, California. Overall, it is estimated that 50 to 99 percent of men and 30 to 86 percent of women consume porn. And the Internet makes adult content easier than ever to accessand become addicted tosince the Web offers affordability, anonymity, and accessibility.1,2
What Are The Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of Internet Addiction Disorder may present themselves in both physical and emotional manifestations. Some of the emotional symptoms of Internet Addiction Disorder may include:
- Feelings of Euphoria when using the Computer
- Inability to Prioritize or Keep Schedules
- Dry Eyes and other Vision Problems
- Weight Gain or Loss
What are the effects of Internet Addiction Disorder? If you are suffering from this disorder, it might be affecting your personal relationships, work life, finances, or school life. Individuals suffering from this condition may be isolating themselves from others, spending a long time in social isolation and negatively impacting their personal relationships. Distrust and dishonesty issues may also arise due to Internet addicts trying to hide or deny the amount of time they spend online. In addition, these individuals may create alternate personas online in an attempt to mask their online behaviors. Serious financial troubles may also result from avoidance of work, bankruptcy due to continued online shopping, online gaming, or online gambling. Internet addicts may also have trouble developing new relationships and socially withdraw as they feel more at ease in an online environment than a physical one.
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Symptoms Of Masturbation Addiction
Because masturbation addiction is not a formally recognized diagnosable disorder, it is important to note that the term symptoms in this case more so refers to a classifying set of criteria for said condition. Symptoms will vary in number and intensity depending on the individual and severity of the addiction. Generally, the more severe the addiction, the more severe the symptoms. Such symptoms do impact the individual among all domains including physical, cognitive, emotional, and social.
Common symptoms of masturbation addiction include the following:
- Loss of sensitivity
- Overstimulation from excess masturbation
- Sexual dysfunction1
If any of these symptoms are experienced, it is important to take pause and speak to someone.
The Connection Between Anxiety And Addiction
Anxiety and addiction have several connections with each other. For some people, their anxiety can cause them to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol.
People may use drugs in order to cope with their anxiety. When they drink alcohol or ingest an opiate, it relaxes them and gives them a sense of calm. They then become dependent on the substance in order to treat their fear.
For others, addiction can cause anxiety. Cocaine impacts the parts of the brain that correspond to stress. It increases stress hormones, encouraging dependency while facilitating anxiety disorders.
People with a history of trauma are more likely to develop anxiety and addiction. Genetics and chemical imbalances in the brain may cause both disorders.
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Types Of Anxiety Disorders
Most people experience short episodes of anxiety on and off throughout their life, but those who suffer from clinically diagnosed anxiety feel its consequences on a daily basis.
There are four different categories of anxiety disorders: panic disorders, generalised anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, social phobia or social anxiety disorder, phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The most commonly diagnosed category is generalised anxiety disorder . This affects about 6% of the population, twice as many women as it does men. GAD often co-occurs with other disorders such as depression or substance abuse.
For people who suffer from GAD, anxiety becomes chronic: their life is filled with worry and tension, anticipating the worst outcome for any situation they cannot stop worrying even when they know their subject of worry does not warrant it their triggers of anxiety and worry are often hard to define.
People with GAD are functioning individuals, they go on about their day seemingly normal, but their interior life and thought patterns are chaotic inside. They find it very hard to relax, to focus and they often feel frustrated all the time.
Benzodiazepines Effects And Abuse
Benzodiazepines bind with special neurons called GABA receptors in a process that slows overactive brain function and relieves severe mental stress. Those abusing Benzodiazepines can experience a euphoric high or alcohol-like buzz depending on the brand abused. This is followed by a prolonged sedation.
Any use of Benzodiazepines outside of a doctors recommendation constitutes abuse. Some Benzodiazepine users crush and snort their tablets or pills to amplify the potency. This increases the likelihood of overdose. Seizures and coma are common symptoms of a Benzo overdose.
Benzodiazepine overdose can slow breathing and heart rate until they stop completely, resulting in death.
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What Causes Sex Addiction
The cause of sex addiction is currently unknown. Some people within the psychiatric community contest the idea that sex addiction exists at all. Those who support the idea that sex addiction exists believe potential causes may include an imbalance of natural brain chemicals, changes in the brains pathways, and/or certain health problems that cause damage to the parts of the brain affecting sexual behavior.
Masturbation Addiction Tests Quizzes And Self
To assess whether one presents with masturbation addiction and to what severity, masturbation addiction tests, quizzes, and self-diagnosis tools are useful. Such assessments should be evidence-based in research and built upon the conditions signs and symptoms. In the case of this condition, assessments related to masturbation addiction and/or compulsive masturbation or other sexual addictions may prove useful.
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How Do You Manage A Porn Addiction
The biggest thing to do is limit access, says Michael McGee, MD, staff psychiatrist at Atascadero State Hospital in San Luis Obispo, California. Just as if there were someone in your house with an alcohol problem, you would get rid of the alcohol. This can be challenging to do in the case of pornography, however it is so easily accessible and anonymous, says Dr. McGee, that it is hard to limit your access to it.
Talking with a mental health professional can also help. If you are feeling insecure and dont know how to have a lasting relationship, getting help in therapy and dealing with the underlying issues is critical, Dr. McGee says.
Other Psychosocial Treatments To Consider
Another psychosocial intervention with potential for treatment of co-occurring SUD and anxiety is mindfulness. Mindbody interventions such as meditation used to gain better control over emotions are increasingly being investigated for efficacy in reducing substance use. Mindfulness meditation involves an intentional suspended awareness of the present moment experience that excludes judgement, evaluation, and reaction. Mindfulness meditation was explored in a population of incarcerated individuals with PTSD and SUD. Participation in the mindfulness course predicted lower 3-month drinking and illicit drug use consumption regardless of PTSD symptom severity .
Mindfulness-based relapse prevention , developed as an aftercare treatment for individuals with SUD, has shown promising preliminary results in reducing cravings and drug use . MBRP integrates coping skills from cognitive-behavioral relapse prevention therapy with mindfulness practices with the goal of increasing awareness of substance use triggers without emotional and behavioral reactivity. Future studies of mindfulness based interventions for persons with SUD and anxiety disorders are needed to determine efficacy for co-occurring anxiety and SUD.
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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
A number of epidemiological surveys conducted over the past decade have demonstrated the high co-occurrence of PTSD and SUDs. The National Comorbidity Survey assessed the prevalence and co-occurrence of a range of psychiatric disorders in the general U.S. population using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 3rd edition, revised criteria . The NCS found a 7.8% lifetime prevalence of PTSD and a 26.6% lifetime prevalence of SUD and that individuals with PTSD were 2 to 4 times more likely to meet criteria for a SUD than those without PTSD. The NCS Replication study , conducted approximately 10 years later using DSM-IV diagnostic criteria found similar estimates of lifetime PTSD and SUDs . The 2010 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions estimated a lifetime PTSD prevalence of 6.4% . Nearly one half of individuals with PTSD also met criteria for a SUD, and 22.3% met criteria for substance dependence. International data indicates that 34.4% of individuals with PTSD also had at least one SUD, most commonly AUDs .
Detection and treatment of comorbid PTSD/SUD is critical because the comorbidity is associated with a more complex and costly clinical course. Compared with either disorder alone, individuals with co-occurring PTSD/SUD have poorer social functioning, more suicide attempts and legal problems, greater physical illness, increased risk of violence, and poorer treatment adherence and outcomes .
Nicotine And Anxiety Disorders
In NESARC, 28% of participants used tobacco products, and 25% were current cigarette smokers . The 12-month prevalence rate of nicotine dependence was 13% in the general population and 25% among individuals with anxiety disorders. The risk of anxiety disorder in individuals with nicotine dependence was more than twice that of any other psychiatric disorder. Conversely, the prevalence rates of nicotine dependence were also increased in individuals with anxiety disorders . Despite the strong associations between smoking, nicotine dependence and anxiety disorders, there has been relatively little investigation of causal connections or treatment. A recent review suggested that smoking, and nicotine in particular, can alleviate anxiety, but other studies indicate that nicotine use and withdrawal can cause anxiety . The Development and Assessment of Nicotine Dependence in Youth study followed a cohort of seventh-graders for 3.5 years and found a strong association between trait anxiety and all measures of tobacco use and nicotine dependence. A relaxing effect from initial exposure to nicotine, distinct from relief of withdrawal symptoms, was predictive of a sixfold increase in risk for nicotine dependence . Smokers with a history of panic attacks have significantly more anxiety-related withdrawal symptoms and shorter quit attempts compared to those without panic attacks .
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Are There Agreed Upon Criteria For Clinical Diagnosis Of Sex Addiction
Sex addiction is not currently a formally recognized diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and so there are no agreed-upon criteria for a clinical diagnosis. Although sex addiction is not a diagnostic category in the DSM-5, it may be diagnosed as a subcategory of another mental health condition, such as an impulse control disorder or a behavioral addiction.
The Role Of Medications In Healing
While self-medication with illegal substances is fraught with danger, taking legally prescribed medications such as SSRIs for depression and anxiety can do a world of good. Prescription medications can improve and stabilize people with mood disorders up to a point.
In the short-term, medication for depression may well be the perfect fit. But for the long term, its important to address the root causes, not just alleviate symptoms.
Of course we want to help people feel better. Of course we want to provide crisis care. But we also want to give people the tools they need to recover from depression and anxiety.
We typically suggest that people maintain their current medications and dosages as they begin addressing the underlying core issues. Once theyve had some time to work with a therapist, they can discern if a lower dose is warranted. We often find that chronic mental health issues diminish in intensity or even disappear altogether! as people learn to apply love to the parts of themselves that hurt.
So Are You Addicted To Weed
Just like any addiction, marijuana can start to control your life and often becoming the focal point of social situations. Many of your decisions can start to rely on whether youll be able to smoke weed, and this can be very harmful to your personal relationships, as well as your career.
Smoking weed can also affect the way your brain works, making it harder to concentrate or learn new things.
The good news is that with the help of friends, family and professional organizations, you can overcome your weed addiction.
We are one of the top addiction treatment centres. If youre located in Canada, give us a call. International visitors are responsible for their own visa applications should you decide to come to us.
There Are Other Options
According the National Institute of Mental Health , anxiety disorders may often occur with other physical or mental illnesses, making a firm diagnosis tricky. With the information doctors now have about the brain and anxiety issues, medical treatment is often effective, and the person suffering from the disorder will often go on to lead a happy, healthy, and productive life. If you or someone you love is suffering from an anxiety disorder, whether mild or severe, the best course of action is to seek the help of a mental health professional. Self-medicating the condition is never recommended and will often make the anxiety worse over time. Although admitting to anxiety is often the hardest part of treatment, it can also be the most important part and the first step toward recovery.
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