Finding Effective Panic Disorder and Addiction Treatment in Orange County

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What many people may not realize is that panic disorders and addiction commonly go hand in hand. They are both forms of mental illness and one often feeds into the other.

It is normal to experience anxiety in random cases. This is a natural response to stress that helps people to be alerted to the dangers of their actions or surroundings. But when it becomes excessive or persists for long periods of time, it can become disruptive, requiring treatment.

Anxiety and Substance Use Disorders

There has been a link established between addiction and anxiety. When one is present, there is a drastic increase in the likelihood of developing the other. There have been past studies that show that substance abusers have had a co-occurring anxiety disorder 18% of the time.

It has also been estimated that as many as half of the people who have undergone treatment for substance use have a minimum of one anxiety disorder. Those who have generalized anxiety disorder and SUDs are also far more likely to become heavy drinkers.

Risk Factors for Anxiety and Addiction

The most common question is whether anxiety causes addiction. That said, there is research that suggests that there is a combination of factors at play; one does not necessarily lead to the other every time.

That said, there are overlapping factors within substance abuse disorder and anxiety that increase the likelihood of developing these co-occurring conditions. It also may increase the risk of potentially struggling with other issues.

Some of the risk factors include a family history of anxiety disorders, exposure to abuse or trauma, and environmental factors that include stressful or difficult events.

Overuse of stimulants such as caffeine can play a role, as can medical conditions that impact things such as heart rhythm or the thyroid. There are also certain personality characteristics that can contribute: things such as distress or shyness in unfamiliar situations, in particular.

These factors are not necessarily difficult to spot, but they may not necessarily be associated with an anxiety or substance use disorder. Recognizing the early signs of either can be crucial to receiving proper treatment, especially if the two happen to coincide with one another. When in doubt, speaking to a therapist is a good idea.

Treating Anxiety and Addiction

The goal when identifying anxiety (or panic disorders) in conjunction with addiction is to provide treatment. Finding effective panic disorder and addiction treatment in Orange County can depend on where you look.

There are different approaches that can be taken to treat these co-occurring conditions. These treatment plans can involve any number of behavioral therapies; it all depends on the individual needs of the patient.

There are three methods of treating these co-occurring disorders. Let’s look into them at a further level.


The first is to enter into detox. This is a safe place in which patients can enter into withdrawal and get the substances out of their system. Detox is just one step and does not address any of the underlying factors.

Inpatient addiction treatment

This is a two-layer treatment method. On one hand, it means staying in a medical treatment facility for the addiction while also attending both individual and group therapy sessions. Medical staff will be there around the clock to provide support and encouragement.

Outpatient addiction treatment

Depending on the severity of the addiction, as well as the actions of the patient, it is possible to receive treatment outside of the facility. Much the same as inpatient treatment, it involves attending regular counseling appointments.

Helping Someone You Know with Panic Disorders and Substance Use

Should someone in your life be dealing with these co-occurring disorders, your first thought is to find panic disorder and addiction treatment in Orange County. But that is just one step in the process to come later down the line.

First comes confronting that person and helping them to see that they need treatment for their issues. This can be a delicate situation to handle for any number of reasons.

Start out by planning what you want to say. Don’t use stigmatizing words such as “addict” or “drunk”. Try to avoid blaming or shaming as it will only push them away. Find a neutral time and place to have this conversation, most importantly when they are sober.

Try to remain open to what they say, offering help where you can. This might mean helping them go to doctor’s appointments or doing some research on treatment facilities. Reach out to trusted family or friends to help get them into therapy.

Finally, encourage them to practice self-care. This can be difficult, especially with the feeling of urgency about getting them into therapy. This can mean journaling, talking to friends, or anything that can be done in a healthy manner.


Living with addiction and panic disorders is difficult for anyone to handle. There are a variety of treatment methods available that can address both in tandem. It takes time and persistence, but anyone can move forward with their life.

Whether you or someone you know has been struggling with co-occurring disorders, it is time to make a change. It starts by finding a facility in your area that can help.


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