It’s hard to escape stress — especially in today’s fast-paced, uncertain world. The economy is changing too fast. We’re dealing with the effects of a global pandemic. Our children face the challenges of growing up. We must cope with health challenges. It’s enough to make someone wonder if stress is affecting their health.
Without healthy ways of dealing with stress, it can build up in your body and cause significant health problems. Some of these are short-term in nature; others are more profound and long-lasting. And because stress makes you prone to substance abuse, it’s important to deal with it early before problems accelerate.
Is Stress Affecting My Health?
If you haven’t learned healthy coping skills and practiced them, stress can cause significant discomfort through many different mechanisms.
You can almost think of stress as water against a compromised dam. The pressure rises and must find someplace to go. Some signs that stress is affecting your health:
- Nausea, diarrhea, other gastrointestinal problems
- Muscle tension or pain
- Higher blood pressure
- Heart palpitations
- Self-medicating with drugs or alcohol
Over time, these effects also build up and lead to longer-term illnesses or diseases, such as cancer. For reasons that we’ll discuss next, stress can also dramatically increase your risk of substance abuse.
Stress and Substance Abuse
Evidence is growing that stress is a significant risk factor for substance abuse. When stressed builds up we look for a way to cope with it. Other times something traumatic may happen in your life, and you’re not sure how to process the feelings of anxiety.
Without the right coping skills, you can easily turn to drugs or alcohol to ease the pain. And then, the cycle of addiction begins. If you are struggling with stress and self-medicating, the dual diagnosis treatment center in California can help.
What we’re referring to here is not the typical stress that someone might feel under normal circumstances — just before an interview or a test, for instance. That’s normal and actually helpful in how we live because it helps identify moments of action.
It’s exposure to chronic stress that becomes problematic. It might be coming from a lengthy period of unemployment, a series of financial difficulties, a health scare, or a relationship problem. Facing that stress day in and day out, without good ways to deal with it, it’s understandable why someone would turn to drugs or alcohol. And once a substance is misused, the chronic disease of addiction clouds our judgment.
Substance abuse is a serious matter with long-term implications for your health. If you think stress affecting your health, then you may need professional assistance.
Getting the Help You Deserve
It’s important to understand stress can affect your health — especially if it has led to problems with substance abuse. If you worry that you or a loved one have reached this point, it may be time to seek treatment.
The prospect of rehab may sound a little frightening, but the process has helped millions get their lives back in order. Knowing what to expect helps. The steps of treatment generally include:
- Assessment – doctors need to figure out your history with substance abuse
- Treatment plan – the details needed to guide your recovery
- Drug and alcohol detox – you can’t move forward until you stop using
- Counseling – therapy sessions to help you get to the root of your problems
- Aftercare – support groups and other resources designed to help curb the risk of relapse
Knowing what to do when stress begins to affect your health can lead you to a better day.
Wellness Counseling Vida Entera
If you feel like stress is affecting your health to the point of substance abuse, there is a way to change. The experienced team at Wellness Counseling Vida Entera is ready to stand by your side. Our team dedicates themselves to helping those with addiction and mental health issues.
We provide a full range of treatment services, including:
- Residential treatment
- Partial hospitalization program
- Intensive outpatient program
- Trauma therapy
- Anxiety treatment program
Contact us today at 951.400.0082 to speak with our team confidentially.