Menu Close

Panic Disorder and Addiction

man struggles with panic disorder symptoms

Panic disorder is characterized by a sudden onset of panic and anxiety that induces extreme fear in a seemingly safe environment.  Individuals who experience panic attacks may live in constant fear of an attack occurring unexpectedly, and begin to isolate themselves as a result.  Though ill-advised, many people with panic disorder choose to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol, temporarily numbing themselves in social situations or stressful circumstances.  Unfortunately, substance abuse can exacerbate the symptoms of panic disorder and make treatment nearly impossible. Those who suffer from panic attacks and addiction must find the treatment that can address both issues simultaneously.   If someone struggling with anxiety and panic chooses to seek mental health treatment while continuing to abuse substances, they may inadvertently sabotage their own progress and give up on treatment as a result.  Drugs and alcohol may lessen symptoms temporarily, but attacks are likely to return with increased force once the individual becomes sober. Over time, the development of addiction can lead to withdrawal symptoms and cravings that feel very similar to anxiety and panic.  Additionally, if someone with panic disorder chooses to use stimulants such as cocaine, they are likely to experience symptoms very similar to a panic attack, prompting an actual panic attack as a result.   The key to treating those with anxiety and panic disorder who also suffer from addiction is finding a treatment program qualified to diagnose and treat co-occurring disorders.  Anxiety and panic attacks may begin as early as childhood, and without proper treatment can become debilitating and unmanageable. With the right therapy and, in some cases, medications, patients can free themselves from extreme anxiety while fostering a sober lifestyle.  Mental health professionals and addiction experts offer a wide array of treatment options that can assist those struggling with anxiety and addiction to find lifelong peace of mind.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, now is the time to seek help.  At Arbor Behavioral Healthcare, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  The Arbor uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, and at The Arbor, you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 844-413-2690.