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Anxiety and Anxiety Disorders

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Rated PG: Interactions Between Anxiety, Alcohol Dependence, and Parental Support

People with an anxiety disorder, for example, may turn to alcohol in order to feel better, thus establishing a coping strategy for their mental illness based on avoiding their anxiety disorder (Gorka et al., 2014).  Research concerning the internalizing pathway to developing an AUD has been conflicting: some studies have suggested that having an anxiety disorder puts an individual at a higher risk for AUD onset, while others have found that having an anxiety disorder reduces an individual’s risk (Gorka et al., 2014).  Because of these disagreeable findings we can conclude that there are other factors at work that have an influence over the relationship between anxiety disorders and the onset of an alcohol use disorder.

An Overview of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety is a natural response that our bodies use when confronted with stressful situations. Everyone has experienced nervousness or apprehension before a big event at some point in their life, but for people with an anxiety disorder, that worry and uneasiness can hit them sporadically and start to negatively impact the way they live. Even though anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the United States, only “about one-third of those suffering receive treatment” (“Facts and Statistics”).