Overcoming Anxiety in Recovery Addiction

It takes some time to process mental health concerns such as anxiety if you are still going through recovery. You may feel nervous or uncomfortable around new people or about talking in support groups, even though the environment is supportive and respectful. There are times when you still feel judged.

Your anxiety might be characterized by persistent sweating, restlessness, trouble concentrating, tiredness, trouble sleeping, headaches, tension, and feeling edgy. A number of people are diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. This is especially true for people in recovery from addiction.

Recovery is about learning how to live a satisfying life and processing feelings you may have hidden for years. It teaches you how to work through the range of emotions treatment uncovers, as well as understanding how to process issues such as anxiety. Working through these issues is another step on your road to recovery.

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress. Anxiety alerts us to danger and helps us prepare and focus on specific circumstances. Anxiety disorders differ from normal physical worries or apprehension and involve excessive fear or anxiety.

Anxiety and fear often work hand in hand, feeding off each other. Anxiety is a reaction to the anticipation of a future threat, and it’s associated with increased muscle tension and avoidance behavior. Fear is an emotional reaction to a current threat, and is more associated with a fight or flight reaction.

People struggling with anxiety disorders are frequently motivated to avoid anything that can trigger or worsen their symptoms. Their work or school performance and personal relationships can be negatively impacted.

Understanding what you’re dealing with often requires a discussion with your therapist or physician, especially if the situation has become overwhelming. It’s key to maintaining open communication with your treatment team about any signs of emotional or mental health distress is key. The following tips might also help you deal with your anxiety.

The Only Way Out Is Through

You will most likely hear this phrase or something similar in therapy and in support groups. It sounds simple, but going “through” can be one of the hardest things you do. It requires processing emotions that you may have forgotten or never realized you had. The best way to get “through” is to have a solid support system helping you. At Liberty House Recovery, we continue our support with a recovery and aftercare program designed for your needs.

Remaining sober when your treatment is concluded is a number one goal. This requires a reset of your life in many instances, which is more difficult than anyone might imagine. It can be done, though, and the treatment team at Liberty is here to help.

Don’t Forget Your Self-Care

Whatever your self-care routine is, it is vital to keep anxiety at bay. You might have connected to journaling while in recovery. Continuing once you leave care is essential to maintaining your success. Other self-care options may include reading, meditating, or yoga. Self-care looks different for everyone.

There is no wrong way to do it as long as your choices are healthy and you practice consistently. You may find that your self-care routine changes over time, or you may have more time to spend on it one day than another. Give yourself some grace and patience if you falter, picking it up again as soon as you can.

If you are stuck wondering what the best self-care options are for you, consult your treatment team for ideas.

Continued Therapy

Therapy is beneficial for many individuals, and it can help you process your anxiety as well. With so many options for therapy, including online tools, it truly is just finding the best method for you. The Liberty House team provides follow-up services, helping you maneuver what life looks like post-addiction. This may mean continuing to work with the team there or working with a new team closer to you.

Talk With Your Physician

As mentioned above, if your anxiety becomes too difficult to handle, you may need to talk to your physician about medication. This is also true if you’ve not been diagnosed with anxiety but are concerned it might be an issue. In most cases, your physician will be aware of your history of addiction. If not, be sure to discuss this with them when assessing medication options.

Get Moving

Exercise not only keeps our bodies fit, but it also engages our minds as well. When you exercise, feel-good neurotransmitters and other molecules in your brain promote a feeling of well-being. These elements enable you to get away from your brain’s cycle of pessimistic assumptions and establish a pattern of positive thinking.

Exercise also helps you gain confidence, get used to social situations if you’re utilizing a gym or exercise class, and add one more coping skill to your arsenal.

Consider Aromatherapy

Essential oils, including lavender, help the body’s response to stress, alleviate anxiety, lower heart rate, and encourage relaxation. Many people diffuse lavender or add a couple of drops to their hands and breathe deeply for 30 seconds.

Take The Time To Volunteer

This might seem like the last thing you want to do if you’re having difficulty in social situations but consider volunteering at your local animal shelter. This provides you with the ability to work with animals, which can be healing all by itself. Most of the time, there is limited social interaction in this situation. You may also inquire about fostering animals or adopting one of your own. Consult with your treatment team about this step to assess if it is best for you.


Anxiety and addiction are more connected than many people realize. For some people, their anxiety may prompt them to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. People may use drugs in order to manage anxiety. When they drink alcohol or ingest an opiate, it gives them a sense of relaxation and makes them feel calm. They become dependent on the substance in order to soothe their anxiety.

Addiction can aggravate anxiety for others, particularly for users with brain chemistry that results in mood changes. Cocaine induces stress-generating brain areas of the brain, which subsequently encourage habit via psychological dependency. Those with a previous history of trauma are more likely to have anxiousness and addiction problems. Genetic and chemical differences in the brain typically link both disorders.

Whatever the reason, if you are dealing with anxiety in your recovery, consult your treatment team. Liberty House Recovery is dedicated to your ongoing treatment needs and your success. Contact them today.