Frequently, those suffering from addiction also suffer from an anxiety disorder. Unfortunately, that anxiety can exacerbate (or even cause) addiction, and manifest in feelings of shame, fear, or unworthiness. At Northbound Treatment Services, we help treat co-occurring anxiety disorders, putting the sufferer on the path to a full and lasting recovery.
The first step in treating an anxiety disorder is to understand it. Individuals suffering from a generalized anxiety disorder need not be ashamed. Frequently, anxiety is caused a preexisting biological condition that has been made worse by drugs and/or alcohol. For example, the person who takes a Xanax every time he or she feels uncomfortable is on the path to develop severe anxiety alongside an addiction. Some other disorders that are actually branches of the anxiety tree are:
Whatever the cause, social anxiety disorders are very common. Unfortunately, there are many people who never receive proper treatment for their individual circumstances. Many struggle with the disorder and the treatment they do receive (if any) is not effective.
At Northbound, our message is that those suffering from anxiety can live vastly more engaged and fulfilling lives. Therapy and medication are the two important components of our effective treatment program. This is not to say that we see medication as the answer. Rather, taking medication for anxiety, under the direction of a psychiatrist, is like taking cholesterol meds that prevent heart attack; diet and exercise habits also need to change. Medication simply compensates for chemical malfunctions in the brain; the real “cure” comes through therapy. Medication is usually just a stabilization tool to make therapy more effective, helping the person whose anxiety inhibits their ability to talk about their fears and problems to get the full benefit of psychotherapy or counseling. At Northbound Treatment Services, we utilize a comprehensive approach to treating anxiety disorders, combining proper psychiatrist-directed medication monitoring with intensive individual therapy, proper nutrition and physical exercise.
12-Steps and CBT
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a traditional method of treatment for mental illness that is proven to be effective. In addition, our experience (backed by substantial scientific research) has also demonstrated the long-term effectiveness of a good 12 step program. At Northbound, our skilled and experienced therapists assess every client individually to determine which type of therapy will be most beneficial.
Clients at Northbound benefit from the experience and education of a diverse clinical team which includes licensed marriage and family therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists. We recognize that every person who arrives at our treatment program does so with a different background and set of experiences. After the creation of an individualized treatment plan, each client works through their unique challenges and issues in individual and group therapy, giving them countless opportunities to learn and grow.
Nor is the individual treatment plan static and inflexible. Our clinical team constantly re-assesses progress and makes the appropriate changes to that plan as necessary. We realize that there are a wide variety of factors that have led each of our clients to Northbound. Only a progressive, compassionate and responsive facility like Northbound is able to effectively address the individual needs of all of our participants.
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is a type of therapy in which the participant becomes aware of internal thought patterns and sequences. After obtaining this awareness, the participant learns to retrain their own thoughts and in turn impact their mood. Because our thoughts and thought patterns ultimately shape our external experience and perception, this process of retraining the participant’s thoughts, allows the individual to make a real and positive change to how they experience their life and the world. REBT represents a significant advance in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Prior to its creation, many who struggled with such disorders were not cognizant as to why they behaved in a certain manner and were unable to correct their tendency to overreact to certain scenarios.
REBT helps clients learn and practice new ways of thinking, feeling, and acting.
Here are the basic steps that an individual using REBT works through:
- Describe the situation that is upsetting you. Include only facts.
- Describe your opinion, judgment, and interpretation of the event. What are you thinking when you are upset?
- Describe your feelings. Pinpointing your feelings and exploring them increase your self-awareness.
- Dispute your thinking. Develop positive thoughts.
- Set reasonable, reachable goals. Take action.
Another type of therapy used in treating anxiety disorders includes Interpersonal Therapy (IPT). A hyper-focused method that zeros in on a particular issue, IPT helps the client set goals and specific time frames that he or she can work to achieve. Especially effective with young adult participants, short-term goals set achievable benchmarks to work towards, increasing one’s sense of accomplishment and letting them see that success is possible.
Finally, many of those who struggle with mental illnesses also struggle to relate to peers and significant others at times, increasing their sense of isolation and setting the stage for a slide into addictive behaviors. Treatment and therapy at Northbound teaches individuals how to re-engage in relationships and relate interpersonally, increasing self-worth and helping create the social ties that can create a critical support system.
The treatment experience at Northbound is filled with opportunities to develop and maintain relationships with the important persons in one’s life. An important part of recovery comes when one works to repair damaged relationships and make amends. There are many people entering treatment who desire to immediately clean up the wreckage of their past. At Northbound, we help develop a framework in which they can take these steps in a healthy, nurturing and supportive environment.
The clinical team at Northbound will develop an anxiety disorder treatment plan specific to familial relations. We incorporate a holistic approach, seeking to address issues and triggers in all aspect of the client’s life. Therefore, our staff will touch on everything from employment relations to working through difficult situations at home. Developing the proper communication skills and the ability to relate to everyone from family members and peers to employers and coworkers is important for lasting recovery. In this way, we can treat both the addiction and the underlying anxiety, preventing the possibility that anxiety surrounding the workplace and re-entry into the workforce is exacerbated when substances are removed from the picture.
At Northbound Treatment Services, we understand that a lasting recovery means treating more than the addiction—it can mean helping the individual deal with the anxiety disorder that has caused or exacerbated that addiction. Our compassionate and comprehensive individualized treatment plan will help you or your loved one get back on the path to a healthy and sober life.