One aspect of alcohol therapy in New York and Princeton that Dr. Washton will discuss with you in detail is stress management. Stress plays a huge role in the addiction and recovery process. Poor coping mechanisms can lead to the development of poor habits and can even play a role in the onset of addiction.
Stress is often an integral aspect of the addiction, as stressors often compound while addiction takes its toll on your professional life, personal relationships and health. Unfortunately, stress doesn’t disappear at the beginning of your addiction recovery program. Stress is deeply connected to addiction and can arise at any given time, making it essential that you have coping mechanisms in place to help you manage your stress and overcome temptations associated with it.
Stress affects the entire body. While certain levels of stress are necessary for survival, too much stress can break down your health and wreak havoc on your overall wellness. Stress influences the central nervous system, adrenal system and cardiovascular system. This response can physically and mentally impact you in a large number of ways.
Here are just a few ways that stress manifests itself mentally and physically:
- Mood changes
- Inability to concentrate
- Chest pain
- Change in appetite
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Sexual dysfunction
- Headaches or migraines
Stress and Alcohol Consumption
Animal studies have confirmed that there is a strong connection between the hormonal stress response and alcohol consumption. While the exact reason for the connection between alcohol and stress is debated, many researchers have speculated that chronic stress often leads to the development of a learned helplessness state, which is associated with passive behavior such as alcohol consumption. As a depressant, alcohol consumption is also known to offer relief from the heightened state of anxiety that stress creates.
During alcohol therapy in New York and Princeton Dr. Washton will work with you to develop strong stress management techniques so you can cope with stressors as they emerge. Alcohol consumption may be highly associated with stress, but having a strong support system and good coping strategies in place can help you overcome the temptation to turn to alcohol in stressful moments.