Monday, November 26, 2012
Anxiety: Save Me From Myself
Essentially, this phrase is a call for help, begging someone to save them. The interesting part of the sentence is, "from myself." This is quite telling, as the addict is admitting responsibility for the problems of addiction, and admitting that they do need help. But how do you help someone who has uttered this phrase?
Addicts that are in this state of awareness of their disease often say that even though they know that use of the drugs or alcohol will not bring any long-term positive effects, but they simply do not know what else to do with themselves. This could be the evidence of a dual diagnosis, in-which the addict has a subliminal condition that is driving them to continue the use of chemicals. Most often, the diagnosis for the underlying condition is anxiety, panic attacks, and/or anxiety attacks.
Even in patients who have never used drugs or alcohol -- but suffer from anxiety and panic attacks -- this feeling of "save me from myself" is present. For anyone who has ever suffered through the misery of a panic attack, you know that this is a terrible feeling.
During a panic attack, those afflicted often feel like the world is constricting down on them. They can feel a tightening in their chest and do not know where to turn for relief. If left untreated, individuals may take it upon themselves to begin self-medicating with drugs and alcohol. In the short-term, these substance can stop the effects of a panic attack quite quickly; but, as time passes on, the anxiety and panic attacks will build up and become more fierce. Finally, when an addict has the will to attempt to quit, they can be quickly deterred by a panic attack that forces them to medicate in order to stop the attack. For the addict, continuing the use of the drugs is much more bearable than going through the sheer terror of a panic attack.
Anxiety is a strange condition, in-that drugs and alcohol can be both the cause of, and the temporary cure for panic. Anxiety works alongside the addiction, forcing an addict into a dark corner where they may finally scream, "Somebody, save me from myself"