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High Functioning Anxiety & Addiction: How To Get Help

Alexa Iocco Addiction , Addiction Treatment October 13, 2022

Addiction Treatment Center for residents of Shelbyville Resurgence Behavioral Health

What is High Functioning Anxiety?

Anxiety can be a debilitating disorder that affects a person’s ability to function properly in society in some cases, but there are people who have a condition known as high-functioning anxiety, in which they feel very anxious but are still able to effectively manage the demands of daily life. People with this form of anxiety may not experience the typical “anxiety attack” or panic attacks that cause hyperventilating and other physical symptoms, instead suffering from “silent anxiety attacks” that cause a feeling of loss of control.

Because anxiety causes the “fight or flight” response, a person who responds to feeling anxious by “fighting” through an anxiety-provoking situation may not be perceived on the outside as anxious, but they are in truth still suffering from the same symptoms but are able to struggle against them to continue going to work, making friends, etc. They may avoid things that make them uncomfortable in life, or they may live a life full of nervous habits and fear that drives them to work exceptionally hard, sometimes resulting in big achievements and success in their professional lives, but without the energy left to maintain meaningful relationships or to take care of their own emotional and physical health.

Addiction Treatment that
Just Works

Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.

Symptoms of High-Functioning Anxiety

It can be difficult to diagnose high-functioning anxiety as it lacks the key symptoms of other anxiety disorders. Some of the signs that a person may be dealing with this type of anxiety disorder include:

  • Being a high achiever or a perfectionist to a fault, fear of failure
  • Overthinking, worrying, and overanalyzing everything, excessive worry
  • Insomnia and fatigue
  • Needing reassurance from external sources (i.e. praise from your boss), having difficulty saying no
  • Nervous habits like nail biting, leg shaking, etc.
  • Being highly organized and detail-oriented
  • Often dwelling on past mistakes and worrying about the future
  • Chronic stress manifests as physical symptoms like high blood pressure, heart issues, digestive problems, weight loss or weight gain, or sustained muscle tension
  • Being overly proactive, taking care of potential problems before they occur, and always expecting the worst outcome

Risks of Abusing Drugs and Alcohol to Cope with Anxiety

It is not uncommon for people with chronic anxiety to turn to substance abuse to help cope with these unpleasant symptoms, like drinking in a social environment to “calm the nerves” or taking a sedative drug to counteract the constant mental chatter so you can fall asleep at night. The issue is that these substances can cause chemical dependence leading to addiction, or you may develop a psychological addiction, believing you cannot function without drugs and alcohol. People with anxiety may also have chemical imbalances in the brain (like low levels of serotonin) that make it easier to develop a substance use disorder, and there could also be a genetic predisposition to addiction in those with anxiety disorders. People with a history of trauma are also more likely to develop substance use disorders and anxiety.

Treatment for High-Functioning Anxiety and Addiction

Common treatments for a person dealing with high-functioning anxiety and addiction include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) – learning to change thoughts and behaviors
  • Solutions-focused brief therapy (SFBT) – working with coping tools a person already has
  • Deep breathing exercises – breathwork can make a difference in a person’s overall well-being, slowing the heart rate and calming the body by activating the parasympathetic nervous system
  • Medication – psychiatric medications like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), when used alongside therapy, can ease anxiety disorders and help you get back on track
  • Stress reduction and relapse prevention techniques – overall life stress reduction, like maintaining a work-life balance, learning to live with discomfort, and knowing what to do when triggers occur can all help ease anxiety

Resurgence Dual Diagnosis Addiction Treatment

Dual-diagnosis treatment for a co-occurring disorder (mental health conditions alongside substance use disorder) is available at all Resurgence Behavioral Health locations. Because these issues impact one another and are likely related, they are treated at the same time.

We not only treat anxiety disorders (generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, etc.) but also other mental health issues including:

  • Mood disorder – this can include depression, bipolar disorder, etc.
  • Psychotic disorders – schizophrenia, delusional disorder, schizoaffective disorder, etc.
  • Personality disorder – borderline personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, etc.
  • Eating disorder – binge eating disorder, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, etc.

Through individualized treatment programs that are delivered from within a relaxed and welcoming setting, at Resurgence, we can help you overcome your addiction as you get your mental health condition under control through treatments and programs like:

  • Behavioral health treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT), and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) treatments
  • Trauma-informed treatment in all levels of care
  • Experiential therapy
  • Individual therapy and counseling, group therapy, couples therapy, and family therapy
  • Connections to SMART recovery and 12-step programs including Alcoholics Anonymous and/or Narcotics Anonymous

Our levels of care include:

Detoxmost treatments for co-occurring disorders begin with a detox period to help you rid your body of the toxins left by drugs and alcohol, so you can start fresh with a clear head as you move into rehab. We offer medical detox programs, with 24-hour supervision and medications that relieve discomfort, anxiety, and cravings, and we also have medication-assisted treatment (MAT) options for patients who require a slow taper off drugs like opioids or benzodiazepines to stay safe as they detox.

Inpatient (residential) rehab in inpatient rehab, you move inside our safe, sober, and serene campus, with 24-hour care, healthy food, comfort and amenities, and structured daily living designed to help you build wholesome routines, learn relapse prevention and recovery tools, and overcome underlying mental and physical disorders through therapy, exercise, counseling, new experiences, and other treatments.

Partial hospitalization program (PHP) is an outpatient treatment program that helps people transition between inpatient detox/rehab programs and back into the world. In the PHP you move back home or into a sober living home, returning for full days of treatment up to seven days a week. It is a customized treatment program that will help you try out your new sobriety skills in the world, be accountable and responsible for your own actions, and work on coping skills with daily solid support.

Intensive outpatient program (IOP) this is a flexible program in which you can keep a normal daily routine that includes childcare, work, school, and other responsibilities, scheduling your therapy, groups, and counseling outside of those hours, usually attending rehab programs 3+ days or evenings a week. Some Resurgence locations also offer a virtual version of the IOP, with meetings and therapy taking place on an online telehealth platform, an excellent option for those who traveled from out of town for residential treatment and want to continue speaking with the same care providers when they return home.

Outpatient rehab and aftercareonce you have completed your inpatient, PHP, and/or IOP rehab programs, you are not left on your own. If you wish, you may continue with a customized outpatient treatment plan, coming for therapy and other care a few times a week. Along with 12-step programs and other peer and alumni support groups, you will never be alone in your rehab treatment with Resurgence.

Please call us today to verify insurance coverage and to learn more about our robust dual diagnosis treatment plan and our integrated programs that include treatments that will get to the root of your underlying issues so that you can take back control of your life after rehab. We can work with you to figure out the best way to get the help you need.

Addiction Treatment that
Just Works

Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.

Does your Insurance Cover Rehab?

At Resurgence, we accept most PPO insurance. Verify your insurance now.