Home » Managing Panic Disorder While Treating for Drug Addiction » Panic Disorder & Drinking Problems | How to Address & Treat a Dual Diagnosis
Panic disorder and drinking problems are common conditions that can trigger problems in many areas of life.
If panic disorder and alcoholism co-occur, though, the conditions can feed into each other.
This guide explores panic disorders and alcoholism, and also outlines how you can engage with the most effective dual-diagnosis treatment at a treatment facility like Gratitude Lodge.
Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder that is characterized by disturbing panic attacks.
There are five major types of anxiety disorder:
Panic disorders can disrupt daily functioning unless treated. Fortunately, evidence-based treatment can allow you to live without the continual fear of a panic attack manifesting.
According to data from ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America), 6 million adults in the United States are affected by panic disorder in any given year. Women are twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with a panic disorder.
The presentation of unexpected and frequent panic attacks is central to panic disorder. A panic attack involves sudden feelings of discomfort and fear, as well as these physical symptoms:
Beyond this, panic attacks can induce a sense of losing control, even when there is no apparent danger.
When panic disorder develops, it typically occurs in the teenage or early adult years.
Like all mental health conditions, panic disorder is diagnosed based on the criteria set out in DSM-5-TR. This is the most recent edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
The DSM criteria for panic disorder are as follows:
Panic disorders are categorized as follows:
Type IV panic disorders can be sub-categorized as follows:
Panic attacks typically present without warning, with the frequency varying from person to person.
Most of the symptoms associated with a panic attack will peak within a few minutes, leaving you feeling drained and disoriented. The most common symptoms include:
While panic attacks can be extremely distressing, almost all panic disorders respond positively to personalized and evidence-based treatment.
For a panic disorder to be treated effectively, an accurate diagnosis is essential.
You should first consult your physician and voice your concerns about panic disorder. They may provide a referral to a mental health professional, a psychologist, or a psychiatrist.
The following medications are commonly prescribed to treat panic disorders:
Medications may be beneficial in isolation or delivered in combination with psychotherapy (talk therapy).
CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) is the most common type of psychotherapy used for the treatment of panic disorders. During sessions of CBT, you will work closely with a therapist to explore the closely interrelated nature of your thoughts, feelings, and behavior, both during and after the manifestation of a panic attack.
If you have been avoiding potentially triggering situations in an attempt to prevent panic attacks from occurring, you may benefit from engaging with a course of exposure therapy.
Alcoholism is a non-clinical term for AUD (alcohol use disorder).
A chronic and relapsing brain condition, alcohol use disorder is characterized by compulsive alcohol consumption in spite of adverse outcomes.
The most recent data from SAMHSA indicates that over 28 million U.S. adults were diagnosed with alcohol use disorder in 2020. Among those, less than one in ten engaged with any form of alcohol addiction treatment.
According to CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), any form of alcohol consumption that impacts health, interpersonal relationships, and professional performance is classified as alcohol abuse.
Binge drinking and heavy drinking are classified as alcohol abuse. The same applies to underaged drinking and alcohol consumption by pregnant women.
NIAAA (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism) reports that 25% of U.S. over-18s engaged in an episode of binge during any given month. 6% of adults in the United States also exceed the guidelines for moderate drinking.
Alcohol abuse can be remarkably destructive whatever form it takes, frequently leading to the following complications:
Alcoholism is diagnosed according to the diagnostic criteria in DSM-5-TR, the fifth edition of APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
You will be asked the following eleven questions relating to your alcohol consumption the previous year:
Alcohol use disorder is classified as mild, moderate, or severe depending on the number of criteria that present:
The ideal pathway to recovery from alcohol use disorder typically involves a supervised medical detox followed by ongoing treatment in an inpatient or outpatient setting.
A supervised medical detox allows you to withdraw from alcohol with the benefit of FDA-approved medications and continuous clinical care to streamline the process. After a week or so, you will be ready to engage with a personalized treatment program that may include:
Choosing to engage with a treatment plan suitable for the severity of your alcohol use disorder and your personal circumstances can strengthen your chances of initiating a sustained recovery without relapsing.
Alcoholism frequently co-occurs with panic disorders and other mental health disorders. Research shows that a coordinated and integrated approach to treatment delivers the most positive outcomes.
NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) data for 2020 indicate that 17 million adults in the United States were diagnosed with co-occurring disorders associated with AMI (any mental illness). 5.7 million U.S. adults were diagnosed with a dual diagnosis of addiction and an SMI (serious mental illness).
If panic disorder and alcohol use disorder co-occur, either condition may present first.
Every case of dual diagnosis is unique. Treatment should be personalized accordingly.
In most cases of co-occurring disorder, residential treatment provides the most secure and structured environment for recovery.
Treatment for panic disorders co-occurring with alcoholism may include:
We can help you tackle dual diagnosis at Gratitude Lodge in Southern California.
At Gratitude Lodge, we offer luxury impatient rehab at three Southern Californian locations.
If you are diagnosed with co-occurring panic disorder and alcohol use disorder, take advantage of our licensed medical detox center to withdraw from alcohol as comfortably as possible. Around-the-clock clinical care will minimize the likelihood of complications during your detox. You can also access emotional care and counseling to help you tackle cravings for alcohol.
After a week or so, you can transition directly into one of our dual diagnosis treatment programs, enabling you to unpack both aggravating conditions at the same during an intensive 30-day inpatient program.
For those who require a more flexible pathway to recovery, we also provide intensive outpatient treatment programs.
Regardless of the level of treatment intensity that is most appropriate for your needs, the treatment team will personalize your treatment plan drawing from the evidence-based interventions described above.
All Gratitude Lodge rehabs are pet-friendly environments free of triggers and distractions. To initiate your recovery from panic disorder and alcoholism, call 888-861-1658 today.