Anxiety can be overwhelming in early sobriety. Many people in recovery are faced with increased anxiety and other mental health concerns after detox when their brains are beginning to heal. Many of us relied on psychoactive medications and other drugs as a way of self-medicating our anxiety problems, and are unfamiliar with healthy coping strategies and natural treatments for our anxiety. As we are healing, we may benefit from a variety of possible alternative anxiety treatments including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Self-medication with drugs and alcohol used to be our only way to cope with the overwhelming feelings of anxiety. We lacked healthy coping strategies and felt that there were no alternatives that would work as well as medications and other drugs. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective tools to help us manage our problems with stress and anxiety. CBT is a form of psychotherapy that “treats problems and boosts happiness by modifying dysfunctional emotions, behaviors, and thoughts. Unlike traditional Freudian psychoanalysis, which probes childhood wounds to get at the root causes of conflict, CBT focuses on solutions, encouraging patients to challenge distorted cognitions and change destructive patterns of behavior,” according to Psychology Today. By working with a therapist, a client will be able to gain a deeper understanding of their anxiety by identification of negative thought patterns and learning to change the patterns of thinking that lead to stress and anxiety. For example, according to Dr. Antonia N. Kaczurkin in a 2015 Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience article entitled, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety Disorders: an update on the empirical evidence, “patients learn that social anxiety is maintained in part by holding negative perceptions about oneself, overestimating the cost of a social mishap, perceiving that one has little control over one’s emotional responses, and believing that one’s social skills are inadequate.” By gaining an understanding of the causes of one’s anxiety, it is possible to make changes in one’s perception of anxiety-inducing situations to minimize the possibility of panic or catastrophic thinking. Alternative therapies, such as yoga and meditation, are also very beneficial in relieving anxiety, but are most effective when combines with traditional anxiety treatments such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Your story can be one of peace and serenity in sobriety. You can begin building a brighter future by making the decision to seek help today. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment center in beautiful Laguna Beach, offers a variety of treatment techniques, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, as part of the Residential Addiction Treatment Program. For more information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777