Anxiety Disorder as a Co-occurring Illness

Anxiety Disorder can be a chronic and debilitating condition that impacts on every area of the sufferer’s life. Most of us will experience anxiety at some point and this is perfectly natural. Those with Anxiety Disorder can experience it at crippling levels and on more or less a continual basis.

For those with an addiction problem, Anxiety Disorder is a common co-occurring illness. By continually altering the way that they feel through the means of substances or compulsive activities, they are causing chemical imbalances and alterations to the brain’s chemistry. This can lead to a worsening of any pre-existing condition and underlying mental health illness. It can also trigger the disorder as a direct result of the addiction. The only time they feel relief from their condition is when they reach oblivion through their addiction to a particular drug or alcohol. Anxiety can perpetuate addiction and addiction can perpetuate anxiety. We therefore feel that it is vital to treat both conditions simultaneously in order to prevent a recurrence of either illness in the future.

Treating Anxiety Disorder Successfully

At Bradford Oasis, we are experienced in treating anxiety disorder as a common co-occurring condition that accompanies addiction. We treat anxiety disorder and its common manifestations alongside a full medical detox for the substance dependency accompanying it. We offer a number of relaxing holistic therapies that help with the symptoms of Anxiety Disorder, such as auricular acupuncture and massage. We also have a Jacuzzi spa bath that our patients particularly enjoy using. Once the medical detox is completed, we can then transfer the patient to one of our specialist rehab clinics for a for a personalised and comprehensive rehabilitation treatment programme to address both their addiction and anxiety disorder fully. Using a combination of medication, counselling, holistic and psychotherapy, we unearth the root causes of the client’s illnesses and treat them accordingly using a number of proven, evidence based techniques. For those with an alcohol or drug dependency, once a medical detox has been completed, for some, the symptoms of anxiety will diminish considerably or vanish altogether. Our clinical and medical team are very experienced and skilled in treating a variety of co-occurring illnesses, including anxiety disorder. We feel that it is imperative that all presenting conditions are treated simultaneously or back to back for the best chance of a full and permanent recovery. Medication is only used in the most severe cases, or on a short-term basis; our aim is to equip the individual with coping techniques and strategies so that they do not have to rely on medications or substances to alter the way that they feel.

Therapeutically, our rehab clinics treat Anxiety Disorder using a variety of holistic therapies. This would include CBT, DBT, Mindfulness, Psychotherapy, Meditation, Counselling, and a Fitness programme. Like all illnesses it is important to treat the individual as a whole, and not just one singular aspect. Detoxing from a physical dependency is only the start of treating the illness of addiction, for a full and lasting recovery to be achieved and maintained, it is essential that the psychological aspect of addiction is comprehensively treated professionally, alongside any co-occurring illness.

What Are the Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder?

For an individual that suffers with an anxiety disorder the symptoms can be so debilitating that they interfere with them completing the simplest of everyday tasks, such as going shopping, attending appointments or even basic self-care. It can impact to such an extent that they rarely leave the comfort zone of their own home, becoming increasingly isolated from family, friends and life in general.

Anxiety Disorder is a progressive illness if left untreated. If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of Anxiety Disorder on a regular basis for 6 months or more, it could be that you require professional treatment to help you get well and recover. If you are suffering from an addiction as well, we can help by treating both illnesses within our professional and exemplary CQC regulated rehab clinics, situated throughout the UK. We offer a number of rehab clinics from luxury rehab to affordable rehab. Wherever you undergo treatment with us, you can be assured of the highest quality of care and treatment.

Below are some of the common signs and symptoms of an Anxiety Disorder:

  • A constant feeling of dread
  • Rapid shallow breathing
  • Feeling numb
  • Disassociation
  • Pins and needles
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Hot flushes
  • Sweating
  • Poor concentration and attention span
  • Restlessness
  • Weight loss
  • Nervousness
  • Rapid heart beat
  • High blood pressure
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Panic attacks
  • Racing thoughts
  • A feeling of calamity and impending doom
  • Feeling on edge
  • Constant worrying
  • Unable to deal with life and people in general
  • Substance abuse to self-medicate

Anxiety Disorder can also be linked to another disorder such as Depression or PTSD; in cases such as this, treatment will be required for all co-occurring illnesses presenting. Our rehab clinics are able to treat all co-occurring illnesses alongside an addiction, simultaneously for optimum results. We are experts in treating dual diagnosis and those with co-occurring illnesses and can assure you that a full and lasting recovery is possible from addiction and all types of anxiety disorder that can accompany it.

Types of Anxiety Disorder We Treat

Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Generalised Anxiety Disorder is the name given to the condition whereby individuals suffer from chronic feelings of anxiety without any particular cause or trigger. Individuals suffering with GAD constantly worry about various issues; when one issue is resolved, they will transfer their worry to the next. It is common for them to be plagued by obsessive and racing thought patterns that feel overwhelming and out of their control. The quality of their life is affected as they struggle to be present in the here and now and complete simple everyday tasks. Those with GAD worry excessively about things that others would not. They are constantly on edge and struggle to relax and sleep.

Panic Disorder

Panic Disorder is an extremely distressing condition that causes the sufferer to experience regular panic attacks. Panic attacks can be triggered by an event or for no apparent reason. Panic attacks are very intense and usually build to a peak over a period of time. During a panic attack the individual may fear they are going to die, something seriously bad is going to happen, or that they have something seriously wrong with them. They are likely to experience physical symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, breathing difficulties or holding their breath, shaking, nausea, upset stomach, dizziness and sweating. These physical symptoms are accompanied by intense feelings of fear, terror and nervousness. Panic attacks are so frightening that the individual may find themselves avoiding situations or events that they feel would trigger an attack. This can lead to them becoming extremely isolated and depressed. Those with Panic Disorder can experience the illness in varying degrees of severity; some may only experience a panic attack a couple of times a month, for others it can be a daily occurrence. Every aspect of their life is affected and they can resort to self-medicating with alcohol and drugs or abusing prescribed medication to temporarily relieve the symptoms.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a recognised mental health illness; it causes the individual to suffer from compulsive thought patterns and ritualistic activities. Those with OCD may become obsessed with a particular thought that compels them to carry out a certain activity. The obsessive thoughts can cause feelings of fear and anxiety of which the individual has no control over. OCD sufferers often carry out specific activities that they feel compelled to do; they believe that by doing so it will relieve the uncomfortable feelings and obsessive thoughts. For example: a person with OCD may obsessively think that they are carrying germs on their hands; this causes them to compulsively wash. They believe that by washing, the obsessive thoughts will be lifted, sometimes it is but only on a very temporary basis. To not carry out the ritualistic activity causes them to suffer extreme discomfort and distress. Another example is an individual who obsessively thinks something bad is about to happen and that only by carrying out a specific ritual this will be prevented, such as repeatedly checking a lock or switching on and off a light switch a certain number of times. OCD is characterised by obsessive thought patterns and ritualistic behaviours.


A phobia is an irrational fear of something that poses absolutely no danger. Phobias cause feelings of fear and anxiety and even if there is no logic to the fear; the person affected has no control over their thoughts or emotions. Even just a picture of the object may bring up feelings of panic and anxiety. Common examples of phobias are heights, spiders, snakes and choking. Like all anxiety related illnesses the symptoms can vary in frequency and severity. Those suffering from a severe phobia may try to organise their life around avoiding the object of their fear. Sufferers can develop a phobia towards almost anything including social phobia, vomit, cotton wool and items of clothing. Individuals with a social phobia or fear of open spaces are likely to severely limit their life as they struggle to leave the house. This can have a devastating effect, as they become a recluse in their own home. Phobias are completely curable through CBT, DBT and gradual gentle exposure therapy.

Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)

As previously touched on, SAD can be a very self-limiting and debilitating condition. The sufferer fears interaction with others and experiences intense anxiety around what others may think of them. This is more than just shyness; they tend to avoid situations or events where they are required to be sociable and present themselves or speak with other people.

Those suffering, experience feelings of panic, discomfort and anxiety in social situations. They usually have very low self-confidence and obsess over what they have said or done and how others may perceive it. They will compulsively replay conversations over and over in their head, causing further distress and anxiousness.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

This anxiety related disorder is very serious and usually triggered by a particular traumatic event or series of traumatic events; such as sexual abuse, violence, threat to life, seeing someone else being abused or killed, bereavement, mental abuse or serious illness. PTSD when acute is extremely debilitating, affecting the sufferer’s appetite, concentration, sleep pattern and ability to interact with others. Left untreated PTSD can result in disordered and self-destructive behaviours, alcohol and drug abuse and constant hypervigilance. Events that remind the individual of the trauma are likely to trigger PTSD repeatedly, even if the event is completely non-threatening. War veterans are particularly vulnerable to developing PTSD. This illness requires comprehensive therapy to overcome and deal with the root cause or causes of the illness.

Understanding Anxiety

The body has a natural response to anything that it perceives as life threatening, it is referred to as the “fight or flight” response. In a genuine life threatening situation this response can be lifesaving. Medically it is referred to as “hyper-arousal” or “acute stress response”. An example of where this response would be rational is when an individual is being attacked by another person or by an animal.

Fight or flight is not just a psychological state, as it also manifests physically by flooding the individual’s body with naturally occurring chemicals and hormones. The individual becomes hyper vigilant and alert as their body prepares for physical exertion in the form of either a flight or a fight from the particular situation.

For someone that suffers with an Anxiety Disorder, the fight or flight response is triggered by thought processes, which they are unable to control. Physically there is usually no danger present, but the sufferer perceives that there is, or that there is going to be. Their heart rate will elevate and their breathing becomes rapid and shallow in anticipation. They may also tremble, sweat, and feel nauseous and dizzy. Self-calming will feel an impossible task as they struggle to apply logic to the way that they are feeling.

Anxiety Disorder can interfere with daily life; the sufferer may feel that they are continually on a roller coaster of emotions and that each day is a battle of survival. They are also at high risk of self-medicating in order to try and reduce their symptoms. Self-medicating through alcohol and drugs only propels the condition; they may find temporary relief for a short period of time but inevitably the symptoms return and usually worsen.

Those that have an anxiety disorder may struggle to lead a normal and fulfilling life – their sleep, appetite, and social life can be seriously affected. When the condition is so severe that it is impacting on a daily basis, it is strongly recommended that professional help be sought immediately.

Causes of Anxiety Disorder

There is no one singular cause of Anxiety Disorder and it is important to remember that it is an illness and that the sufferer is not at fault for having it. There are a number of reasons as to why an individual might be more predisposed to developing a form of this condition, including:

  • A family history of Anxiety Disorder
  • A traumatic experience
  • Everyday habits and lifestyle (working long hours, stress at home or work and not resting enough)
  • Relationship break up
  • Poor diet (too much sugar or caffeine)
  • Overall physical and mental health
  • Side effects of medication being taken.
  • Abuse of alcohol and drugs

For more information on the specific treatments we offer for anxiety disorder, as well as advice on whether you could benefit from a treatment programme with us, please contact us today for immediate and confidential help.

Why choose us?

  • Open 24hrs
  • Immediate admission
  • 24/7 nursing and medical care
  • Transfer to one of our other clinics for full rehabilitation following medical detox
  • We arrange everything, seamlessly, to relieve your stress.
  • 1 year complimentary aftercare
  • Experienced and highly qualified staff
  • Personalised treatment programmes
Don’t waste another day on addiction
Call Now 0203 733 5467
Call Now 0203 733 5467

Call Now 0203 733 5467

Find us
  • Oasis Bradford
    21A Bolling Road
    Bradford, West Yorkshire
    BD4 7BG
    United Kingdom
  • Tel. 0203 733 5467
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