What is Anxiety?
The respected mental health organisation, beyondblue defines anxiety as follows:
“Anxiety is more than just feeling stressed or worried. While stress and anxious feelings are a common response to a situation where a person feels under pressure, it usually passes once the stressful situation has passed, or ‘stressor’ is removed.
Anxiety is when these anxious feelings don’t subside. Anxiety is when they are ongoing and exist without any particular reason or cause. It’s a serious condition that makes it hard for a person to cope with daily life. We all feel anxious from time to time, but for a person experiencing anxiety; these feelings cannot be easily controlled.”
Research shows that a high proportion of problem alcohol or drug users self-medicate for anxiety, depression and or post traumatic stress disorder by misusing alcohol and/or drugs. (Source: Anxiety and Depression Association of America).
There are many theories about why people use substances. One of the most widely accepted is the self-medication hypothesis. This suggests that alcohol and other drug use is an attempt to relieve symptoms of an underlying disorder or condition, such as stress, depression, or anxiety.
One of those primarily credited for developing the self-medication hypothesis is Dr Edward J. Khantzian, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard University. Dr Khantzian believes that an underlying disorder or condition combined with poor coping skills leads to substance misuse. In this case, substance use becomes a coping skill. This avoidant behaviour promotes escapism, acting out on the brain’s biological wiring to avoid pain and seek pleasure.
The Buttery Private program helps people develop an understanding of what drives them to misuse alcohol and other drugs. The program helps people resolve underlying issues behind their alcohol and/or drug abuse and equips people to live more fulfilling lives without the need for alcohol and other drugs. Participants are given techniques to recognise the triggers that can lead to a resumption of unsafe drinking and drug misuse and how to minimise these negative effects.
The Buttery Private’s program directly addresses the root causes of anxiety and acknowledges the tendency of people suffering from forms of anxiety to self medicate.
The program helps people address and manage anxiety by helping individuals recognise the triggers for anxiety. People are helped developing their own strategies, such as practising relaxation techniques or mindfulness, to minimise the negative effects of anxiety.