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Social Anxiety and Alcoholism

Social anxiety and alcoholism can go hand in hand. Someone struggling with social anxiety could turn to alcohol as a means of coping, and not realize there is a problem until it is too late. Struggling with social anxiety doesn’t necessarily mean someone will struggle with alcoholism.

However, there are a number of people who have begun struggling with alcohol as a result of social anxiety. There is help available, and understanding what social anxiety is as well as the signs and symptoms of alcoholism can help someone to better their life. Fortunately, Enlightened Recovery can help.

What is Social Anxiety?

Social anxiety is a disorder characterized by continuous fear of being watched and judged by others. It can cause interruptions to school, work, and home life. It can make it extremely uncomfortable to go about daily life without interruption from persistent intrusive thoughts and anxious feelings. Struggling with social anxiety can be difficult. Despite this, the condition is manageable if properly treated and supported. 

Anxiety and Alcohol Abuse

Anxiety makes it extremely difficult to go about daily life. Someone may feel on edge or constantly stressed. The inner turmoil can make it difficult to leave the house, much less engage in any social situations. Oftentimes, people feel like they need a drink in order to go out and be in a group of people.

This is often due to fear of judgment from others, or feeling overwhelmed in large crowds. Alcohol is a CNS depressant and can seemingly reduce the feelings of fear and anxiousness resulting in a relaxing sensation. This makes it easier for those struggling with anxiety to complete daily tasks. Fortunately, Enlightened Recovery offers inpatient care to help.

Social Anxiety and Self Medicating With Alcohol

Because alcohol can seem to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety, many people turn to it in order to lessen the symptoms. In a sense, these symptoms are extremely uncomfortable and many people feel like alcohol makes it better. When this happens, people tend to drink in order to self-medicate the symptoms of anxiety when they feel these symptoms arising.

Using alcohol to cover up, or mask the fear and nervousness can lead to drinking alcohol whenever anxiousness arises. Drinking daily can build tolerance. When tolerance occurs, the single drink that could reduce the symptoms previously no longer works. The person then drinks higher and higher levels of consumption which can result in dependence.

Consuming alcohol on a daily basis can build a dependence, or addiction, to the substance. Social anxiety and alcoholism coexisting can be a dangerous combination. Alcoholism can be fatal. Struggling with social anxiety and alcoholism does not have to continue. These conditions are manageable. 

Social Anxiety Signs

Social anxiety and alcoholism can both be identified by loved ones who are concerned about someone. Signs of someone struggling with alcohol can include an overwhelming urge to drink, and not being able to avoid drinking, drinking at inappropriate times, and risky behavior while drinking. 

Signs to look out for in a loved one who may be struggling with social anxiety can include:

  • Trouble interacting with others
  • Fear of judgment
  • Abnormal sleep patterns
  • Worrying about social events
  • Trouble with concentration
  • Avoiding social situations

These symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable and life-changing. Using alcohol as a means of coping can be dangerous. Social anxiety and alcoholism are manageable. With proper support and treatment, a person can live life normally once again. 

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

When a mental health condition coexists with substance use disorders in an individual, this is known as a dual diagnosis. Because these two conditions exist simultaneously in the same individual, it is believed the two should be treated simultaneously in order to achieve long-term recovery. Addressing the substance use alone, and leaving the mental health condition untreated will more than likely lead to a relapse.

Because these symptoms lead to using alcohol as a means of self-medication, leaving social anxiety untreated will most likely lead to the same thing occurring. This is why it is crucial to receive proper care and support for both physical addiction and mental health conditions. 

Treatment for social anxiety and alcoholism can begin with a detox program, and once the substances are removed from the system, healing can begin. Treating social anxiety and alcoholism continues with partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and outpatient programs.

Rehab for social anxiety and alcoholism is available. Getting help as soon as possible can ensure that life doesn’t become too out of control. It can lead to healing and gaining control of life back. Getting help for social anxiety and alcoholism is one of the best gifts that someone can give themselves. Learning new coping skills to combat social anxiety and addiction to alcohol can help someone to return to normal day-to-day living. 

Enlightened Recovery Can Help

Social anxiety can make daily life extremely difficult for those who are struggling. Social situations can lead to uneasy and uncomfortable feelings, making it hard to engage without a physical response. Those who are struggling with social anxiety and alcoholism can begin healing. The struggles can end. At Enlightened Recovery, we offer comprehensive and proven treatment methods to help those who are struggling to heal.

Call us today and begin your journey of recovery.

Begin Your Recovery at Enlightened Recovery

Enlightened Recovery is here to help you or your loved one overcome drug and alcohol addiction as well as co-occurring mental health disorders. Our holistic treatment programs treat the whole person in recovery. We have locations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.

Get the help that you deserve now with Enlightened Recovery.