Anxiety is a common mental health disorder and a symptom of many medical conditions. Millions of people struggle with anxiety and co-occurring substance use disorder (SUD) every year. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), “An estimated 31.1% of U.S. adults experience any anxiety disorder at some time in their lives.”

Avery Lane uses a whole-being approach to treatment to address anxiety-related mental health disorders. Clients are given the tools they need to successfully manage anxiety and other underlying issues during treatment and ongoing recovery.


The Impact of Chronic Anxiety on Overall Health

Undiagnosed or unmanaged chronic anxiety significantly affects mental and physical health. According to Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, “Anxiety disorders often co-occur with other anxiety disorders, major depression, somatic symptom disorders, personality disorders, and substance abuse disorders.” Many mental health issues involve symptoms of anxiety. Individuals with multiple co-occurring disorders may be misdiagnosed or unaware of an underlying anxiety disorder.

Untreated anxiety has the potential to affect moods and behaviors. Some common side effects include the following:

  • Difficulty remaining focused
  • Feeling constantly on high alert
  • Catastrophizing everyday situations
  • Panic attacks
  • Muscle aches, headaches, and nausea
  • Irritable bowel and other digestion issues

Anxiety often interferes with appetite, sleep, exercise routines, and social interactions. Sustained anxiety can cause isolation, lack of sleep, malnutrition, and other health issues. Early diagnosis, intervention, and treatment allow people to manage their anxiety and reduce the risk of developing additional mental health disorders.

Common Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety is incredibly common. Most people are unaware of the line between everyday anxiety and anxiety being the symptom of a mental health disorder. Often, people go for months or years without seeking treatment for their anxiety because they do not realize it indicates they may have developed a mental health issue. In many cases, clinical teams diagnose untreated anxiety for the first time during assessments for substance use disorder (SUD).

Many mental health disorders feature anxiety as a primary symptom, including:

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Specific phobias, including arachnophobia or agoraphobia

People react differently to anxiety and stressors. Some women may only feel a mild emotional upset when encountering specific phobias, while others may be unable to function when faced with their fears.

Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety

Anxiety manifests differently for everyone. Some people have difficulty leaving their houses due to anxiety, while others may only have minor functioning issues. Every case is unique. People living with chronic anxiety often develop maladaptive behaviors to cope with their untreated disorder. Substance misuse is sometimes an attempt to self-medicate and manage anxiety or other related conditions.

Avery Lane offers personalized care to ensure clients have the tools to manage their condition effectively. Recognizing the signs of chronic anxiety makes it easier to know when to reach out for help.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Feeling restless, agitated, or on edge
  • Getting tired easily
  • Having trouble concentrating
  • Feeling irritable
  • Experiencing muscle tension or knots
  • Trouble sleeping, including falling or staying asleep.”

Experiencing some or all of the symptoms listed above for prolonged periods may indicate the presence of anxiety-related mental health disorders. Symptoms must cause emotional distress and last for at least two weeks to meet the criteria for most anxiety disorders.

Long-Term Recovery and Managing Mental Health

Women recovering from SUD may experience unexpected complications unless they treat co-occurring disorders simultaneously. According to Psychiatric Annals, “Anxiety disorders are a risk factor for the development of SUDs and may modify the presentation and course of illness for SUDs. Similarly, SUDs may modify the presentation and course of anxiety disorders.” Treatment programs provide clients with life skills, coping techniques, and other tools to successfully manage anxiety and maintain sobriety.

Managing anxiety during recovery usually involves the following:

  • Identifying and processing anxiety triggers
  • Psychoeducation
  • Building a solid support system for coping with everyday stressors
  • Creating healthy routines to reduce stress and anxiety

Physical and mental health are connected. People in treatment benefit from establishing healthy lifestyle changes to ensure positive mental health during long-term recovery. Eating nutritional meals, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep each night reduce stress. Women in recovery generally find it easier to manage anxiety when they feel healthy and less stressed. Treatment programs at Avery Lane guide clients through creating healthier routines and habits to support a sober life.

Avery Lane Helps Clients Heal and Gain Self-Confidence

Women with anxiety and SUD often struggle with low self-esteem and self-confidence. Therapy and other forms of treatment help them accept their circumstances and build confidence in their ability to maintain sobriety. Women also use their time in treatment to gain greater self-awareness and improve their life skills, reducing anxiety.

Anxiety is often a chronic condition, and in many cases, even after treatment, people require additional support to maintain positive mental health. Case managers at Avery Lane ensure all clients have access to other resources to help them transition smoothly from structured care to ongoing recovery. In instances where long-term treatment for anxiety is necessary, people generally benefit from a combination of individual psychotherapy and prescription medications. The clinical team provides clients with alumni services, referrals, and extended support to ensure they thrive during recovery.

Women in treatment rely on their care team to help them move forward and heal from the effects of anxiety and SUD. To learn more about how Avery Lane can help you recover from the effects of anxiety and substance misuse, call our office today at (800) 270-2406

Contact Avery Lane Admissions Today

Summer Lan Franco
MA, MFT-t, Primary Therapist

Summer Lan Franco loves working with people to facilitate recovery from substance use disorders, disordered eating, mental health issues and complex trauma. She earned her BS in Nutrition and Food Science from California State University Chico and MS in Counseling Psychology from Dominican University of California. She has worked in community-based and private practice settings. Her approach is personable and sincere. Summer believes in helping people rediscover their true selves by uncovering barriers that stand in the way. Her warmth and earnest interest in others’ wellbeing are always present in the work she does with people seeking help. She has experience with trauma recovery, substance abuse recovery, codependency, family issues, disordered eating, treatment for anxiety and depression, and working with personality disorders.

Alaina Dunér
Office Manager, Sound Healing Group Facilitator, Reiki Master

Alaina Dunér is a Sonoma County native. She studied sociology and outdoor adventure programming for two years at Loyola University of New Orleans and Warren Wilson College. In 2016 Alaina was on a recreational skydive and had a crash landing that resulted in her fracturing multiple vertebrae in her spine. Since her accident, Alaina has emersed herself in understanding the nuances and complexities of health and spirituality. She is passionate about supporting clients through Reiki and Sound. Since taking a pause from university, Alaina has become a certified Reiki Master Teacher in the Tibetan Usui system, an Ayurvedic yoga instructor, a health coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, and a trauma informed sound facilitator. At the end of 2022 Alaina will attend Southern Utah University to complete her bachelor’s in aerospace and aviation with an emphasis on rotary flight.

Sunnie Skillman
Energy Worker

Sunnie has worked within the field of Energy Psychology for over 20 years and has been trained in a number of healing modalities, including EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and Access Consciousness. She has been using the tools of Access Consciousness for 23 years, teaching classes and working with clients using various hands-on energy body work techniques. She specializes working with clients who have symptoms of PTSD and assisting in clearing where trauma is stored in the body.
Sunnie brings her personal experience with trauma healing as well as her kind and
caring energy to support the ladies interested in working with other healing modalities
at Avery Lane.

Nicole Collins,
AMFT, Primary Therapist

Nicole Collins entered the field of healing after receiving her BA from Colorado State University
in Human Services, which led her to work in domestic violence. Following her beliefs and
passion in the body-mind-spirit connection and the Intelligence of the Self-healing power, she
got her MS from Touro University in Vallejo. She believes that addiction, alcoholism,
depression, the things that push against your joy, calm, serenity, and sense of security, are
powerful and baffling. Still, there is something unique inside of you that is ready to push back
against it all. The fear, anxiety, depression, and trauma that press against your head and chest
are real, but they should not define you. She feels her role is to help you find the resources
within to overcome the challenges and suffering that life may bring. She specializes in trauma,
substance abuse, LGBTQIA+ community, matters of belonging, helping individuals heal in their
relationships within themselves. In your work together, she will meet you where you are and
support you in reacquainting you, with all parts of yourself, including your inherent wisdom.

Erin Miller, RADT
Recovery Counselor

Erin is a Registered Alcohol Drug Technician, Certified Recovery Coach, and Certified Clinical
Trauma Specialist-A (Trauma and Addiction). She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in
Psychology and Addiction Studies at Aspen University. Through her personal experience with
alcohol addiction and recovery, Erin was inspired to support others on their recovery journeys.
She brings kindness, compassion, and encouragement to her work at Avery Lane. Erin lives in
Sonoma County with her husband and their two adventurous children.

Laurel LeMohn
Recovery Counselor

is a Mendocino County native. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Sonoma State University in 2014 and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Dominican University. She has been a Recovery Counselor at Avery Lane since October, 2021, and works from a trauma-informed, psychodynamic, and humanistic lens. She has had a desire towards helping others since she was young and looks forward to working with you as you transition your life into one where you are thriving and proud to be living.