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Co-occurring anxiety treatment in Southampton

Anxiety disorders are serious and debilitating mental health conditions that can take a variety of forms and ultimately reduce an individual’s ability to cope and function effectively on a day-to-day basis. Although it is normal for everyone to feel anxious and worried from time-to-time, experiencing heightened anxiety for a prolonged period of time can lead to the development of a severe anxiety disorder, and may also lead to substance addiction if individuals attempt to self-medicate using alcohol or drugs.

At Manor Clinic, we recognise that anxiety causes individuals to experience chronic and persistent feelings of apprehension, fear and worry that will require professional help & support to overcome. We are able to offer specialist anxiety treatment at Manor Clinic, when this co-exists alongside a primary addiction diagnosis. Our specialists are dedicated to addressing the source of your problems, enabling you to regain control of your life.

I think I need treatment for co-occurring anxiety. How can Manor Clinic help me?

At Manor Clinic, we understand that an anxiety disorder can have a profoundly negative impact on the quality of an individual’s life, and when this condition co-occurs alongside an addiction, it can cause a wide range of problems.

Our highly qualified experts are able to deliver specialist treatment for your co-occurring anxiety, empowering you to overcome your symptoms, identify the triggers for your anxious thoughts, and learn healthy coping mechanisms for the future.

Ultimately, our aim is to help you to tackle both your anxiety and your addiction, and take steps towards the healthy, happy and fulfilling life that you deserve.

Treatment for co-occurring anxiety at Manor Clinic in Southampton

Treatment for co-occurring anxiety at Manor Clinic takes place alongside addiction treatment, as part of our residential Addiction Treatment Programme. This usually lasts for 28 days and consists of:

  • Group therapy for anxiety – as its name suggests, group therapy takes place in a group setting with other Manor Clinic patients. All individuals within our group therapy sessions will have a primary addiction diagnosis, and some may also be struggling with co-occurring mental health problems including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Group therapy provides you with the opportunity to discuss your thoughts and feelings with other people who are experiencing similar issues to you, all within a safe and compassionate space. Research has demonstrated that this therapy format is highly effective in the treatment of addictions and co-existing anxiety, and it is used in treatment programmes all over the world
  • Medication for anxiety – medication may also be prescribed alongside group therapy in order to act as an additional buffer against your anxiety and complement the therapeutic element of treatment. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a form of antidepressant medication, are commonly used in the treatment of anxiety. Your suitability to take SSRIs will be thoroughly assessed in conjunction with your addiction diagnosis

What are the most common signs and symptoms of anxiety?

Anxiety can result in a wide range of symptoms, which can vary according to the type of anxiety that you are struggling with, as well as being unique to each individual. However, the most common signs and symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Experiencing persistent and overwhelming feelings of worry and dread
  • Anger, impatience and irritability
  • Physical symptoms, including nausea, palpitations, shaking, breathing difficulties and tightness of the chest

For more detailed information on the signs and symptoms of anxiety, please visit our anxiety symptoms page.

What are the different types of anxiety?

There are a number of different anxiety disorders, each with their own set of characteristics and symptoms. The following are among the most common types of anxiety disorders:

  • Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) – individuals with generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) typically find that they worry constantly and find it extremely hard to relax, to the extent that this has a detrimental impact on their wellbeing, quality of life, and their ability to function effectively. GAD often causes people to have a disproportionate fear that something bad is about to happen, even when there is no evidence to suggest that this is the case. Their worry can focus on anything, ranging from worrying that they have hurt or offended other people, worrying about events or situations that they have no control over, worrying that they are perceived as being inept at work or when doing particular activities, and worrying about their own physical health
  • Panic disorder – an individual who struggles with panic disorder may repeatedly experience episodes of intense fear and unpleasant physical and psychological symptoms, with no apparent external cause or trigger; otherwise known as a panic attack. During a panic attack, individuals can often feel incapable of catching their breath, can sweat excessively, and have the sensation that they are choking, all of which can lead them to believe that they are dying or having a heart attack. Over time, panic attacks can become increasingly frequent and the fear of having a panic attack becomes embedded, which can therefore act as a ‘vicious circle’ and cause individuals to experience even more anxiety
  • Social anxiety disorder – sometimes referred to as ‘social phobia’, social anxiety disorder involves distressing symptoms that are related to fears of being judged or scrutinised. People who have social anxiety disorder may experience intense and excessive worry prior to meeting new people, giving a presentation in front of a group of people, or even eating in public. The type and intensity of social anxiety disorder symptoms may vary from person to person, but the common thread among individuals who struggle with this type of anxiety is that their distress is related to being embarrassed, criticised and/or rejected because of how they behave in certain situations
  • Specific phobias – a person who struggles with a specific phobia will usually experience intense anxiety, fear, worry and related symptoms because of a specific object, situation or event. For example, people who are afraid of heights, insects or flying, may all be dealing with a specific phobia. While it is normal to feel minimal apprehension about potentially unpleasant or upsetting situations or objects, the symptoms associated with specific phobias are often excessive and disproportionate to the actual threat posed, and can disrupt a person’s ability to live a healthy and satisfying life
  • Agoraphobia - a person who has agoraphobia typically experiences excessive fears or worries related to the spaces in which they find themselves. Experiences that precipitate the onset of these symptoms can include being in or thinking about being in open spaces, being in a crowd of people, standing in a queue, using public transportation, or even simply being outside of one’s own home. At the most severe, symptoms of agoraphobia can simulate those of a panic attack, with accelerated heart rate, perspiration, sensation of choking and other highly distressing experiences

In addition, both OCD and PTSD, whilst treated as mental health conditions in their own right, are widely considered to be distinct forms of anxiety.

Causes of anxiety

In a similar way to other mental health conditions, research suggests that there are a variety of potential causes and risk factors that may increase the likelihood of an individual developing some form of anxiety disorder. Causes of anxiety disorders may include:

  • Genetic makeup – experts have found that genetic makeup is a powerful predictor of anxiety. Having a close relative such as a sibling or parent who suffers from anxiety, increases the risk of you developing anxiety yourself. This may be due to hereditary factors, but may also be the result of experiencing early exposure to the behaviours that are associated with an anxiety disorder, which has served to ‘normalise’ these behaviours for you. In addition, experts have found that certain inherited personality traits such as behavioural inhibition, neuroticism and fear of criticism, may also increase the risk of you developing an anxiety disorder
  • Experiencing instability or trauma – exposure to an unstable environment or experiencing trauma, especially within the early life of life, has also been found to increase an individual’s risk for developing an anxiety disorder in later life. Research suggests that this may be because individuals who have experienced early trauma or instability, may not have learned how to effectively regulate their emotions or deal with stress
  • Environmental factors – there are also a number of environmental factors which have been linked to anxiety. These include:
  • Negative experiences with drugs, disease, and death in your family
  • Bereavement
  • Feeling lonely or isolated
  • Stress
  • Exhaustion
  • Pressurised work environment
  • Unemployment
  • Financial difficulties
  • Homelessness or housing problems
  • Other physical or mental health conditions – struggling with an existing physical or mental health complaint has also been found to contribute to the development of an anxiety disorder. Examples include:
  • Physical health conditions – anxiety can be triggered or exacerbated by the presence of chronic, serious or life threatening physical illnesses such as cancer
  • Other mental health conditions – suffering from an existing mental health problem such as depression, increases your chances of developing other mental health conditions in the future, including anxiety
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