Our overall well-being starts with mental health, and feelings of fear and anxiety can have a negative impact on the mind and body. Trusted Advisors George Mavrookas and Stephanie Robilio of Agape Treatment Center, joined Inside South Florida to share how fear and anxiety affect a person recovering from substance abuse.
“There's an underlying issue with substance abuse when it comes to people who are dealing with mental health,” says Mavrookas. “They're using it as a coping mechanism, crutch or band-aid to make themselves feel good in the moment instead of identifying the true underlying core issues.”
Dealing with mental health issues can take a toll on anyone.
“It's difficult work because sometimes there are underlying traumas, family issues, and personal dynamics,” says Mavrookas. “People use substances as a coping mechanism to escape reality.”
Fear and anxiety are sometimes used as an interchangeable term, but Robilio says there is a distinct difference.
“Fear is a threat, whether it's a real threat or a perceived threat. Every time a person feels fear, the body is designed to produce a fear response so that we can survive,” says Robilio. “Anxiety is when the mind misreads the body's response to fear. If my mind starts to focus on my fast heartbeat and creates some narrative such as, ‘Am I going to pass out right now, or am I dying?’ That's anxiety.”
Fear and anxiety can affect our perspectives but practicing healthy coping techniques may help.
“I think that we have to find ourselves in different situations and know who we are, what we are, what triggers us, what doesn't trigger us, and understand how to react differently in those situations,” says Mavrookas. “If I reacted one way by using a substance to cope with this, what is a healthy coping mechanism for me now?”
For more information, visit AgapeTC.com
This Inside South Florida segment is paid for by Agape Treatment Center.