Occasional anxiety is a normal part of life – you might feel anxious when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test, or making an important decision – but anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry or fear. For a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time. These feelings can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and/or relationships.
Anxiety disorders are treatable, and since anxiety disorders can also lead to substance abuse (and vice versa), the two problems often need to be managed and treated together, usually with psychotherapy and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This multi-part approach provides the best outcome for freeing you from the two related problems.
Mood disorders is a category of illness that describes serious changes in mood. The category includes major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder (euphoric, hyperactive, over-inflated ego, unrealistic optimism), persistent depressive disorder (long-lasting low grade depression), cyclothymia (a mild form of bipolar disorder), and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Statistics point to a strong relationship between mood disorders and substance abuse. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the prevalence of co-occurring disorders is disturbing.
Self-harm (SH) or deliberate self-harm (DSH) includes self-injury (SI) and is defined as the intentional, direct injuring of body tissue, usually without suicidal intentions.
Most people who mutilate themselves do it as a way to regulate mood. People who hurt themselves in this way may be motivated by a need to distract themselves from inner turmoil, or to quickly release anxiety that builds due to an inability to express intense emotions.
There are both general and specific psychological treatments for SH. General treatment includes treatments not specifically focused on the self-harming behavior. Psychotherapy, for example, explores many aspects of a person’s life in an attempt to curb or stop self-injurious behavior. Other treatments include Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT).