There are many reasons why the thought of going into rehab for your cocaine addiction might fill you with anxiety. You will, of course, have to give up substances, which is not easy. There’re also the fear of what people will think of you when they find out, the self-doubt that you can complete the program, being away from your family and friends if you opt for inpatient drug rehab in WV, and talking through your experiences in therapy. All of this can make addiction treatment quite stressful and anxiety-inducing. If you know what you’re getting yourself into, you can learn how to control anxiety during cocaine rehab in WV before you start the process. This will make your road to sobriety easier and may even give you some useful skills to employ after treatment too.
What is anxiety?
At its core, anxiety is simply a feeling of unease, worry, or fear. Everyone experiences it at some point in their lives – when preparing for an exam, going to a job interview, or worrying about a loved one. You may even experience anxiety when researching rehabs in WV and the treatments they offer because you’re not sure you’re ready to start the program. In such cases, anxiety is perfectly normal and expected.
However, some people experience irrational feelings of anxiety at things that should not cause fear or worry. Sometimes, these anxieties can even arise with no rational reason at all. If this happens to you regularly, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder. Having an anxiety disorder is different from simply experiencing anxiety. People who suffer from anxiety will often feel anxious in otherwise completely innocuous situations – when meeting with friends or going to a store. Left untreated, this type of anxiety can lead to panic attacks, phobias, OCD, and other mental health issues, which can greatly impact your daily life.
Anxiety and addiction
People with substance use disorders are no strangers to anxiety. In addiction, anxiety can occur in different ways, as:
- a rational and logical reaction when you, for example, worry about overdose or arrest
- a side-effect of the drug, especially when using stimulants which will sometimes cause physical symptoms similar to those of an anxiety attack
- an underlying cause of drug use for people who suffer from severe anxiety and use drugs or alcohol to cope
- a symptom of withdrawal from many drugs including cocaine and heroin
- a co-occurring disorder that is very common in people with substance use problems and may appear before addiction starts or be triggered by the addiction
Because anxiety can be but is not necessarily a sign of mental illness, it is always best to be assessed by a professional. If you do suffer from an anxiety disorder, you’ll benefit from treatment for addiction and anxiety as co-occurring disorders more than just standard rehab. This will address your overall mental health rather than just substance use issues and give you a better chance at living a happy and sober life in the future.
Control anxiety during cocaine rehab in WV with professional help
If you have an anxiety disorder in addition to a cocaine addiction, dual diagnosis treatment WV can help you learn how to control your symptoms. Several different forms of therapy have been proven effective in managing anxiety disorders – your case manager at the rehab center will discuss these with you.
There are currently no medications that the FDA approves for use in cocaine addiction treatment. However, that doesn’t mean your partial hospitalization program in West Virginia will be entirely drug-free. You may be prescribed medications that treat certain symptoms of cocaine withdrawal (like pain, insomnia or hallucinations, for example) or you can receive medical treatment for a co-occurring disorders like anxiety.
If you suffer from an anxiety disorder or even if you simply experience so much anxiety that it interferes with your recovery, a doctor may prescribe you anti-anxiety medication during your rehab. Benzodiazepines can manage symptoms of anxiety short-term but you are most likely to get a prescription for SSRIs or SNRIs. These are the most commonly used medication for anxiety and related disorders like depression, phobias, and OCD. You may recognize some of their brand names – Lexapro, Zoloft, or Effexor.
SSRIs and SNRIs regulate the way the brain processes serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain, to help with mood stabilization. If you are familiar with how cocaine produces its effects, this may give you pause. Cocaine targets dopamine reuptake, not serotonin. SSRIs and SNRIs will, therefore, not produce the same high on their own and are generally not considered addictive. However, there is potential for abuse. If you are concerned, discuss this with your case manager.
Therapy for anxiety disorders
If you are not comfortable taking medication during an intensive outpatient program West Virginia, you can rely on therapy instead. With the help of a therapist, you will be able to identify what triggers your anxiety, recognize when the symptoms are starting, and learn to cope with them without using substances. Cognitive behavioral therapy is the most effective way to do this. As a part of CBT, you will participate in exposure therapy where you experience your triggers in a controlled environment to unlearn the fear they cause. The goal is to train your brain out of irrational feelings of anxiety so that you can go back to a normal life. If you were previously dealing with the anxiety through the use of cocaine, feeling less anxious should also lead to feeling less of a need for drugs.
Control anxiety during cocaine rehab in WV with physical activity
Anxiety may be a mental health issue, but it does have physical symptoms. During an anxiety attack, you may experience heart palpitations, shallow breaths, excessive sweating, stomach pains, and more. If you are in stimulant addiction rehab WV, you may already be familiar with some of these symptoms as side effects of cocaine and other drugs. Since these are simply physical responses to your mental state, they cannot be treated separately from the anxiety itself. Exercise can be a great natural remedy for those who struggle with anxiety disorder. Regular physical activity will also release endorphins which can help stabilize your mood during cocaine rehab. This is especially useful if you experience mood swings as a consequence of withdrawal.
Using cocaine over an extended period of time can have devastating effects on your body, making you malnourished and weak. If you are still physically able, you should consider some high-energy workouts like running, cardio, HIIT, and weight-lifting. This type of physical activity will help you get rid of the nervous energy that often accompanies anxiety. Furthermore, it can help tire you out and make it easier to relax and sleep. Sleep issues as well as vivid nightmares are common issues during cocaine withdrawal and anxiety surrounding night terrors can make it even harder to fall asleep so anything that exhausts you enough to give you a restful night is usually a good idea!
Just like high-intensity workouts, martial arts can be a good way to deal with nervous energy. Boxing and kick-boxing are especially helpful if you’re working through anger issues on top of anxiety. On the other hand, karate, taekwondo, and other Eastern martial arts can work wonders if you’re more of a meditative type. Not only will you get a full-body work out but you’ll also learn a useful skill which can easily turn into a hobby that you can continue even after you complete cocaine addiction treatment.
If you’re looking to ease into physical activity after addiction, then you may want to consider yoga. It’s suitable for all ages and fitness levels, making it the perfect type of exercise for someone dealing with the physical effects of cocaine use. It also pairs well with meditation, which can also help calm your nerves when you’re feeling anxious. Finally, yoga will teach you how to control your breathing. Breathing exercises can, in turn, be a good way to combat anxiety attacks.
Control anxiety during cocaine rehab in WV through mindfulness
Despite its physical symptoms, anxiety is ultimately a state of mind. If your goal is to address not only addiction but also anxiety long-term, then you should focus on improving your overall mental health. In cognitive behavioral therapy for addiction, you will learn different ways of dealing with anxiety that you can use already in the early stages of rehab without any previous knowledge or practice.
Many people think of meditation as a way to turn off the thoughts that are plaguing you. But that’s not quite what meditation is about – it’s about focusing your attention in order to clear your mind of unnecessary noise. Anxiety often causes your thoughts to wander, especially toward the worst possible scenarios, and you will almost certainly struggle to control them during an anxiety attack. Meditation techniques like mindfulness, grounding, and breathing exercises can help you pick out a thought and focus on it instead of spiraling. The more you practice these techniques through meditation, the better you will get at them.
One of the things meditation teaches you is how to control your breathing as a way of calming down. Deep and steady breaths signal to your brain that your body is calm and under no duress. Most breathing exercises are about breathing in, holding your breath, and breathing out for equal amounts of time. It can take a couple of repetitions for this to work. Once it does, you should feel your head clearing and the grip anxiety has on you weakening. By addressing the physical symptoms of an anxiety attack, you can therefore ease the sense of anxiety itself.
You are likely to learn some breathing exercises in Individual therapy for addiction. They are an easy and effective way to keep calm that you can practice no matter where you are or what you are doing. This is why many therapists teach them as a way for individuals to control anxiety during and after cocaine rehab in WV by themselves.
Grounding is a meditative technique that helps you stay in the moment instead of letting your brain run toward fear based thoughts. You can do this by focusing on where you are and what you are experiencing. The most common technique for this is known as the 54321 method. In it, you name:
- five things that you can see around you,
- four things that you can touch or feel,
- three things that you can hear,
- two things that you can smell, and
- one thing that you can taste.
Not only does this help you focus on the present but it also distracts your brain with identifying sensations around you instead of panicking. Other things you can try are naming the US states, recalling all the cities you’ve been to, reciting the alphabet (preferably backwards), practicing simple math, or singing your favorite song.
Even if you’ve never kept a journal before, you should consider starting now. Taking a couple of minutes every evening to reflect on your day can be a form of self-care as well as a way to process your emotions. By putting your thoughts on paper, you can release them; they will be less likely to cause you anxiety and panic when you’ve already given them voice. You don’t even have to write if you don’t feel like it – you can draw, doodle, create collages, or something else you enjoy. It’s the ritual of having time to yourself and doing something productive that really matters.
You may, however, find it useful to keep a diary for therapy. Then, you can bring up thoughts and feelings you were experiencing during the week at your sessions or show your family members how far you’ve come during family therapy for addiction. You may, in fact, find it useful yourself to go through old diary entries. They’ll remind you where you’ve come from and keep you going.
Turning to nature
Spending time in nature can have a very calming effect on the psyche. While you can go hiking or fishing if you want, even just sitting outside and taking in the beauty around you can help you feel less stressed and anxious.
Here att Harmony Ridge, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to do just that. Our facilities are surrounded by more than 50 acres of forest that you can explore in your free time. If you find that being amidst all that nature makes you less anxious during recovery, you should consider transitioning into sober living in WV after rehab. It is the perfect middle step between rehab and everyday life – you will stay at our facility with others who are learning to manage their sobriety, relearn how to share responsibilities, and live in a controlled environment without access to substances but you will have a lot more free time to enjoy your surroundings.
Control anxiety during cocaine rehab in WV with a healthy diet
There’s a reason why people say that you are what you eat: our diet has a huge impact on our overall health. This includes both physical and mental health. That’s why truly holistic therapy for addiction will include changes to your diet, habits, and physical activity as well as addressing your mental state.
Reducing caffeine intake
Caffeine cannot directly cause anxiety. In fact, some people find caffeine helps with anxiety because it allows them to maintain focus. However, for some, caffeine will produce similar effects on the body as an anxiety attack. Alertness, nervous energy, shakes – you may experience these during your medical detox in WV, during an anxiety or panic attack, and after too much caffeine. Your brain may, therefore, confuse too much coffee for a signal that it’s time to panic. Even if you don’t drink too much coffee, caffeine in your bloodstream can exacerbate your symptoms when you experience anxiety.
Although caffeine intake doesn’t necessarily make your anxiety worse, it is worth reducing it just in case. Consuming less caffeine can make controlling your anxiety during cocaine rehab easier. If it’s the ritual of having a warm drink for comfort every morning that you like, try substituting coffee for tea or hot chocolate.
Eating healthier overall
Cocaine is an appetite dampener. Frequent use of cocaine can, therefore, make you completely lose your appetite. This often leads to malnourishment. Once you decide to get sober, you’ll also want to get back to a healthy weight but that doesn’t mean you can just eat whatever you want. You’ll need to put on weight gradually with a protein-rich diet. Healthy meals will also give you more energy. More energy means more opportunities for physical activities and hobbies, both of which can help lower your anxiety levels and keep you calm during addiction treatment.
Control anxiety during cocaine rehab in WV by sticking to a schedule
Anxiety is often triggered by the fear of the unknown. If you’re not sure how your day is going to go or what to expect from a new place, for example, you may start to feel anxious. An easy way to combat anxiety-inducing uncertainty in everyday life is with a schedule. When you adhere to a schedule, you can avoid unpleasant surprises. Instead, every day will follow more-or-less the same pattern.
If you join an inpatient addiction rehab in WV, your days will largely be structured as a part of your treatment. If you opt for outpatient cocaine rehab, however, you will need to structure your own time outside of therapy. Start with the basics – getting up and going to bed at the same time every day. Make time for three daily meals, any work or school you need to go to, a few social activities a week, and some time to yourself. Following a routine will take some anxiety out of your everyday life.
Control anxiety during cocaine rehab in WV with distractions
Long-term, your goal should be to live without anxiety – as much as that is possible. This requires you to address the root causes of your anxiety. When you’re just starting rehab, managing anxiety may be the best you can do. At such a time, distractions can be a good stop-gap solutions. When you feel anxious, focus on something you enjoy instead. This can help you manage anxiety attack as they happen as well as improve your overall mental health.
Art and media
Many people find comfort in creating or consuming art. Art is meant to express and evoke emotion; so when you’re feeling anxious, it can help you express those emotions. Try listening to music that fits your mood or maybe playing a song or two if you’re musically inclined yourself. Or you can draw and paint in instead. These activities can even serve as art therapy for addiction as they are a way to heal through art.
If you find that you prefer to just have a bit of fun, then turning to your favorite shows or movies can be a better alternative. All you need is a screen and an internet connection; then, you can escape into a world where there’s nothing to cause you anxiety. However, be careful when choosing the media you consume early on in recovery. Some of it may be triggering for people with serious cocaine use problems.
Picking up a new hobby is a great idea for anyone struggling with their mental health. When you’re dealing with both addiction and anxiety, a fun activity to enjoy on the daily may be just what you need. Choose one of the many hobbies that help with anxiety like gardening, coloring, or baking. This gives you the opportunity to do something fun and relaxing just for the sake of it. Research has shown that taking the time to enjoy yourself for a bit like that can boost your serotonin levels, making you calmer and happier.
Cocaine addiction frequently has negative effects on interpersonal relationships. You may become estranged from your family or lose some friends. Isolating yourself is not good for your mental health and actively avoiding social activities can ultimately lead to social anxiety. This is why it’s important to establish new connections and maintain the ones you already have. While group therapy for addiction will provide you with some socialization and a support system, you should also spend time with the people who love you. If you live with your family, try having family dinners on the weekends or make it a point to hang out with your friends at least once a week. Just make sure these activities and the people you are surrounded by support your recovery.
Why is it important to control anxiety during cocaine rehab in WV?
Aside from being unpleasant, anxiety can also be detrimental to your recovery. Stress and anxiety can cause cocaine cravings and ultimately lead to relapse. Furthermore, they distract from your recovery. When you’re too anxious to focus on your sobriety, you cannot achieve it. So it’s important to learn how to control anxiety during cocaine rehab in WV in order to make the treatment as effective as possible. Of course, treating anxiety will also be good for you long-term as you will get to live a happier and freer life after rehab as well.