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How to Address a Panic Disorder and Co-Occurring Addiction

Anxiety and panic disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States. 18% of the population in a given year is diagnosed with anxiety and panic attacks. Panic disorder specifically affects almost three percent of the population, and women are twice as likely as men to suffer from it.

Panic disorder can be terrifying for those experiencing it. For a complex set of reasons, less than half of people suffering from panic disorder and anxiety seek any medical treatment. Instead, many self-medicate.

In the (understandable) hopes of preventing more panic attacks and anxiety, sufferers will look for ways to treat the problem on their own with alcohol, illegal drugs, and sometimes through the off-label use of prescription drugs.

The dual diagnosis of drug addiction and abuse stemming from panic disorder is a complicated thing to treat. Patients need highly-individualized, customizable care to treat the addiction, and then the disorder from which it stemmed.

What are the symptoms of a panic disorder?

Panic disorder symptoms can be scary for the sufferer. Sufferers often describe feeling like they are about to die or suffer cardiac arrest when in the grip of a panic attack. Below are the common symptoms of panic disorder and panic attack:

  • Tremors or shaking
  • Hot and cold flashes
  • Perspiration
  • Fast and sometimes difficult breathing
  • Rapid pulse
  • A crushing feeling of dread or danger
  • Fear of no escape
  • Nausea
  • Stomach cramping
  • Dizziness
  • A feeling of disorientation of unreality
  • Headache
  • Muscle tightness and tension
  • Numbness or tingling

What are the signs of co-occurring substance abuse?

Signs of a co-occurring substance abuse disorder is the same as with any signs of drug use.

Signs of substance abuse include the following:

  • Disorientation
  • Slurred speech
  • Rapid speech
  • Sudden weight loss or gain
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Personality changes
  • Secretive behaviors
  • Legal Troubles
  • Financial troubles
  • Neglecting responsibility
  • A sudden change in appearance or grooming habits
  • Different and strange energy habits
  • Strange odors on clothing
  • A ‘spaced-out’ demeanor

Who is at-risk of having a panic disorder?

While the complete risk profile is unclear, there are several factors which can increase the risk of developing a panic disorder.

  • Genetics
  • Mood and emotional disposition
  • Major stress
  • Structural brain changes
  • A traumatic event or abuse
  • Close family members with the illness
  • Smoking or excessive caffeine intake

More women than men suffer from panic disorders, and the onset typically starts in late teens or early adulthood.

How are panic and drug addiction treated?Panic disorder and Drug use

Panic disorder, by itself, is a horrible condition to live with. Adding substance abuse and addiction further entrenches the initial problem of panic and anxiety. Effectively treating both disorders takes a highly individualized treatment plan.

Depending on the type of addiction and the severity will determine exactly what kind of treatment is needed. Usually, a period of detoxification is required, and the patient needs to be monitored in a safe and supportive, medical environment such as a rehabilitation treatment center.

While panic disorder can make the sufferer feel like they are dying, there is no risk of death with a panic disorder. With drug addiction, however, there is. Even quitting and experiencing withdrawals can be deadly. The drug addiction is treated as more of a crisis, and therefore must be addressed first.

Afterward, the origin of the addiction, the panic disorder, must be tackled. Depending on the patient’s addiction and medical history, it is possible for prescription, legal drugs to be administered to deal with the panic disorder.

Anxiety is best treated with a comprehensive therapy plan. Individual, group and family therapy are recommended, and on-going maintenance plans must be established for the individual to experience a life-long recovery from panic disorder and addiction.

Casa Capri is a safe, supportive environment for those experiencing the pain of treating a panic disorder with drugs. Understanding and nurture are given to the individuals at Casa Capri, and personalized treatment plans are formulated and executed by highly trained and dedicated staff.

Panic disorder is isolating for the victim, and drug dependence and abuse doubly so. Casa

Capri’s therapists and doctors are compassionate and experienced with helping people overcome their panic disorders and addiction. Treatment is cutting-edge and customized to the individual.

Suffering doesn’t have to happen in isolation. Fellowship, friendship, and support in a treatment rehabilitation center are accessible to all wishing for a life free of panic, pain, and drug addiction. Please contact Casa Capri today and begin recovery in safety and support.

Find True Peace of Mind as You Heal from Panic Disorder and Substance Abuse

So many young women struggling with addiction also struggle with one or more co-occurring mental health conditions, such as panic disorder. At Casa Capri’s dually accredited drug rehab and alcohol rehab, our knowledgeable and nurturing staff is here to support your healing on all levels—in body, mind, and spirit. We have the tools to successfully treat your addiction and heal panic disorder causes, so you can live the life you love and deserve.

Our expert all-female team of doctors, counselors, and psychologists have helped hundreds of women, just like you, move beyond fear to find freedom, happiness and real peace of mind. If you or a loved one suffers from panic attacks, panic disorder or anxiety in addition to an addiction problem, we can help you stop the fear and start living again. Give us a call to find out how at 855-816-8826.

Give Yourself a Chance at Wholehearted Recovery 

You are one-of-a-kind. At Casa Capri, we treat you that way. Our customizable addiction treatment programs are designed to meet your unique needs. With over 28 cutting-edge treatment modalities to choose from, including trauma therapy, equine therapy, brain mapping, acupuncture, yoga and more, we have just what you’ll need to heal, grow and soar in sobriety.

Join us in our loving, nurturing community of women dedicated to supporting each other in recovery. You can get help for substance abuse with panic disorder and you don’t have to do it alone. Please call at 855-816-8826. Our friendly intake team is here for you 24 hours a day to chat, answer questions and guide you on your journey to happy, balanced sober life.

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