General Question

glenjamin's avatar

If one has self-medicated for social anxiety their whole life, then stops and the anxiety returns, will it eventually subside?

Asked by glenjamin (2481 points ) March 9th, 2011

It becomes evident to me that I have been doing this most of my teenage-adult life. It is the reason I became a chronic binge drinker, cigarette smoker, you name it. When stripped of all these addictions one can feel like a fish out of water, how long does that last for? Has anyone else here experienced this?

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10 Answers

theninth's avatar

I’ll leave out the TMI/personal experience.

It won’t subside without some sort of professional help. It doesn’t have to be therapy—just a visit to a primary care doctor to get some sort of medication can be a huge help.

JustJessica's avatar

I wish I could tell you how long it lasts, or that it will stop tomorrow. Truth be known I’m still trying to figure it out myself. I am/have been in therapy for years now and still suffer from severe anxiety and depression. Sometimes I think self medicating was so much easier and cheaper.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Anxiety is best over come with a professional to guide you.

My question would be: Have you solved why you turned to addiction in the first place? What is the underlying issue? Has that been properly dealt with?

tedibear's avatar

I’m still working through this, but can tell you that it does get better slowly. I would say over about a year, those feelings have begun to subside. Can I say that every day is great? Nope. But things are getting better.

And I agree with the others. It’s easier with some professional guidance.

marinelife's avatar

You can replace self-medicating with something that will actually ease the anxiety. Either prescription medication or herbal.

See your doctor.

nicobanks's avatar

It won’t go away on its own, that’s for sure. You have to be proactive – there’s a bunch of good suggestions here so far.

perspicacious's avatar

Just stop doing those things. I think in most cases the anxiety will subside. If it were me I would work really hard on this problem. Also, since you are so young, I would suggest ceasing all texting and email communication. Learn to talk to people and be around people.

Marchofthefox's avatar

I can honestly say that I’m in the same boat as you.
What helps me is to clear my head and focus on other things.
I find it helps me to watch movies, read books and sight see.
I’ve heard cigarettes do calm nerves but do cause terrible damage.
We only have one life; so have as much as fun as you can, don’t live it scared!
I wish you the best of luck.

jessifer1212's avatar

I think it really depends on the person. For a lot of people, anxiety disorders just last for a short period of their lives. However, for some people, an anxiety disorder is a lifelong battle.
However, it’s really important to continue seeing a therapist as you wean yourself whatever you are self medicating with and possibly for a long time after just to keep talking about how to deal with your anxiety. The therapist can also help you decide if prescription medication would be necessary.

SeanB's avatar

As a former heavy boozer, I can tell you that booze is a very short-term remedy for anxiety. If you can go dry for a 2–3 weeks, I guarantee you’ll notice a difference in your overall mental well-being. You’ll be more focused, more alert and most importantly, more confident. If you have a true anxiety disorder (and only a clinical/medical professional can determine this) then I would suggest considering abstaining from booze and trying anti-anxiety medication such as Xanax. If you choose this route, USE IN MODERATION or only as needed. Good luck to you.

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