In a perfect world, your son will develop social skills that empower him to become a positive, contributing member of society. We take for granted that this is an essential aspect of personal growth. But our world isn’t always so “perfect.” If your son is particularly anxious, gloomy, or impulsive, it could be cause for concern. Moreover, if your child’s tendency toward anxiety, feelings of gloom and doom, or impulsive behaviors could put them at risk for substance use, we can help. At Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center, we’re here to help. Preventive measures and early intervention can equip adolescents with cognitive-behavioral tools before substance use takes hold. To learn more about our teen anxiety treatment programs, please call Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center today at 662.373.2828.
The Connection Between Anxiety and Substance Use
Teens with anxiety disorders may find that alcohol or other substances can make their anxiety symptoms worse. Furthermore, they are two to three times more likely to have an alcohol or other substance abuse disorder at some point in their lives than the general population. One disorder’s symptoms can make the symptoms another worse. For instance, an anxiety disorder may lead to using alcohol or other substances to self-medicate or alleviate anxiety symptoms. When self-medication and experimentation spiral into addiction, the help of a teen substance abuse treatment center is often needed
The co-occurrence of substance abuse, particularly alcohol abuse, is common among people with a social anxiety disorder. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse also commonly occur together. Many mental health professionals treat PTSD and substance abuse together because symptoms of PTSD (intrusive thoughts and sleep disturbance) can cause a substance abuse relapse. Alcohol or drugs can also often cause panic attacks, and having a panic disorder is a risk factor for relapse among people with a substance abuse disorder.
Symptoms That May Indicate Your Son Suffers from Anxiety
One of the most important things that parents can do is be aware of their son’s mental health condition. Signs that your son may suffer from anxiety include:
- Extreme, and sometimes sudden, emotional changes
- Uncontrollable panic attacks
- A fear or phobia of people, places, objects, or events
- Avoiding social interaction or extracurricular activities
- Headaches, rapid heartbeat, excessive fatigue, changes in eating habits
- Difficulty falling asleep due to uncontrollable worry
If your son is displaying these symptoms, it’s vital to contact a mental health treatment center as soon as possible.
Causes of Anxiety Disorders
Doctors classify anxiety as a mental illness and further as a psychological or biological condition. There are several external contributing factors to anxiety. Some of the causes of anxiety disorder may include:
- Childhood trauma that causes post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Worries about school and academic performance
- Peer pressure
- Family problems at home (divorce, physical abuse, neglect, etc.)
Regardless of the cause, finding treatment is vital for your son’s mental health.
Treatment and Therapy Options
Treating substance abuse will not eliminate an anxiety disorder, and vice versa, so it’s necessary to treat both conditions together, mainly to lessen the chance of relapse. A boys’ dual diagnosis treatment program can help your son manage both his anxiety and substance use or abuse. A team of professionals will work with your teen to understand their conditions so that healing can begin. Your son will have the opportunity to participate in shaping an individual plan for his treatment. At Stonewater, therapies include:
People with anxiety and substance abuse disorders are at an increased risk for abuse as well as potentially dangerous interactions when they use prescription medication. Doctors prescribe medications with low abuse potential that are considered safe should a relapse occur. The choice of medication always depends on a person’s individual circumstances.
Another therapy option at Stonewater is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which focuses on identifying, understanding, and changing thinking and behavior patterns. Benefits are usually seen in 12 to 16 weeks, depending on the individual and their needs.
Contact Stonewater to Learn More About Treatment
At Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center, we believe in individualized recovery plans to help our residents overcome a dual diagnosis. More than anything, children yearn to belong. At our boys’ dual diagnosis treatment center, we also use group therapy to help your son — peer input and counseling help with finding solutions. Contact the caring professional team at Stonewater today at 662.373.2828 to learn more today.