Anxiety can affect many college students, especially considering the rising pressure to find a job right after graduation. In addition, college tuition is more expensive than ever and debt can start piling up if you can’t afford to pay it off quickly. On top of this, the stress of exams and good grades can be too much for a lot of students.
Having to deal with these pressures can cause a lot of anxiety issues which young adults are not used to handling. Being away from home, having to fend for yourself and dealing with external factors such as acceptance from your peer groups can become overwhelming.
Having to deal with anxiety issues can be a tough task and some college students may turn to substance abuse to ease the stress. Alcohol or drugs may temporarily relieve the distress of a panic disorder, but ultimately these substances only intensify the symptoms of anxiety.
The different types of anxiety disorders
Anxiety can rear its head in many different forms, and it can affect the individual psychologically as well as physically. Anxiety is a diagnosable medical condition, but when doctors are trying to make such an evaluation, they try to pinpoint a certain type of anxiety disorder. In order to meet the criteria for being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, a person must display symptoms of the condition at least most days of the week or continuously for six months or more.
The different types of anxiety disorders are:
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): This is having a sense of fear at all times no matter the situation.
- Panic disorder: These are panic attacks that can last up to 10 minutes long. The person experiencing these attacks could feel them so intensely to the point where they may have a heart attack.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): This is characterized by having flashbacks or thoughts about an event that occurred in the past. These thoughts or feelings cannot be subsided even when the individual tries to subdue them
- Social anxiety disorder (SAD): This is where a person has a fear of being in large crowds of people or even interacting with people.
If you have been diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) it was once considered an anxiety disorder. However, it is now regarded as its own unique condition.
If you think a loved one or somebody you know has turned to substance abuse as a result of self-medicating their anxiety, you will want to be proactive in looking for a solution. Maryland Recovery helps people struggling with these disorders by devising specific treatment plans tailored to each individual.
An anxiety disorder can be tough to diagnose, especially if the person has a pre-existing history of drug or alcohol abuse. Substance abuse can mask these types of disorders, which is why a licensed professional can help correctly diagnose your friend or loved one.
The importance of treating an anxiety disorder early
Someone with an anxiety disorder is at a higher risk to turn to substance abuse in order to solve their problems. Some people may be embarrassed by their fears or even confused about them and just want numb them. Substances such as drugs and alcohol can help them escape these feelings of distress for a short period.
However, in the long term, these addictive behaviors and habits are much worse for them. There are many dangers of mixing a drug and alcohol addiction with an anxiety disorder.
If you know someone with this problem, please start looking for ways to treat it right away! It can be a fatal combination and no one wants that outcome.