Recovering from an addiction usually means facing plenty of challenges, especially in the early days of sobriety. The individual needs to once again face reality, and this can involve having to put up with a great deal of stress. Sometimes, people become so overwhelmed by the situation that they start to experience panic.
For some individuals these attacks seem to come out of nowhere. Panic itself is not a bad thing. It helps keep people safe as part of the fight or flight response. It is only when panic begins to interfere with the ability to live life that it becomes more of a problem. People who are coming off alcohol can experience panic attacks as part of the withdrawal process. Those who are withdrawing from benzodiazepines are also at risk of these attack. Dealing with tremendous amounts of stress can cause panic attacks. Different substances such as alcohol, caffeine, and amphetamine can trigger a panic attack. Those who are overly passive in their communications seem more prone to these symptoms. People who engage in too much negative self-talk are more likely to suffer from anxiety. If people are in the middle of a traumatic event then this could trigger an attack. This could include a death or a relationships breakup. People can suffer panic attacks during the first days of their sobriety as part of the withdrawal process. Once they have made it through the withdrawal period this should not longer be a problem.
Early recovery can involve a great deal of stress as the individual adjusts to a life away from substance abuse. It is sometimes referred to as an emotional rollercoaster ride. Many addicts and alcoholics suffer from low self-esteem. This may mean that they are unable to be assertive when it is required; their failure to communicate their needs effectively may cause panic and anxiety. Some people in recovery can drink an unhealthy amount of caffeinated drinks, as it can bring on these attacks.
There is a solution. For starters, cut down on the caffeine. I used to drink coffee as a way to relax. My solutions are often worse than the problem! Prayer and meditation, the 11th step, is vital in recovery. Mindful meditation is a wonderful practice. As alcoholics and addicts, it is important to learn how to sit with our feelings without being swept away by them.