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24 hours rehab
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24 hours rehab

Call Now for Immediate Confidential Help and Advice 02038 115 619

24 hours rehab
Immediate Access for help and advice

Anxiety Explained

Drug or alcohol withdrawal is the process of detoxifying the body from a particular substance through cutting back on the amount of the substance an individual takes until their body can cope without it.

The process of detoxification is usually not abrupt; rather, the dose of the substance is slowly lowered over time. This is because once someone has developed a physical or psychological dependence on a drug or alcohol, their body or mind will react adversely when the substance is no longer present.

The reactions an individual’s body or mind has to detoxification are referred to as withdrawal symptoms. One withdrawal symptom that is extremely common during detox from most substances is anxiety. Anxiety as a symptom of withdrawal can be both a psychological and a physical reaction.

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is the feeling of unease, fear and worry. This feeling is common for everyone under certain circumstances; however, those who suffer from anxiety experience this feeling at a higher intensity, to the point that it impacts their day-to-day lives.

Anxiety can range from mild to severe and during drug withdrawal, feelings of anxiety are usually heightened. Those who take drugs or consume alcohol to feel more relaxed may be more likely to experience anxiety as a symptom of withdrawal as their mind adjusts to feeling tense.

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Types of Anxiety

There are many types of anxiety disorders. The most common form of anxiety is generalised anxiety disorder (GAD). Those with GAD do not have one particular source of worry; rather, they are anxious about many, if not all, facets of life.

Social anxiety disorder is another type of anxiety. Unlike GAD, social anxiety has a specific focus, and those with the condition feel anxious when dealing with social situations but do not experience excessive anxiety in relation to other parts of their lives.

Anxiety induced by drug or alcohol intake or withdrawal often mimics the symptoms of GAD, and those who experience withdrawal-induced or substance-induced anxiety can feel a general sense of unease in relation to all parts of their lives. However, the symptoms of this manifestation of anxiety are unlikely to last as long as the symptoms that people with GAD experience.

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Causes of Anxiety

Anxiety can be caused by a variety of external and internal factors. Many conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, thyroid conditions and certain tumours that produce fight-or-flight hormones can cause anxiety. Additionally, some medications cause anxiety as a side effect.

Trauma and heightened stress are also common causes of anxiety, as individuals utilise anxiety as a coping mechanism to deal with traumatic or stressful events. Particular personality traits, genetic predispositions and pre-existing mental health conditions are also very common causes of anxiety.

Alcohol or drug addiction and withdrawal also frequently cause anxiety. This is particularly common for substances that are psychoactive as they impact brain function, resulting in changes in mood and cognition.

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Symptoms of Anxiety

The most regularly experienced symptoms of anxiety are feeling nervous, restless or tense. Many patients also experience a feeling of impending doom or danger. These feelings of uncertainty and fear also often trigger responses such as rapid heart rate, hyperventilation, sweating and trembling.

It is also common for those experiencing anxiety to have trouble falling or staying asleep as they are unable to contain their worry or stop thinking about their anxiety.

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