Correlates of self-medication for anxiety disorders: results from the National Epidemiolgic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions.
ABSTRACT Self-medication is a common behavior among individuals with anxiety disorders, yet few studies have examined the correlates of this behavior. The current study addresses this issue by exploring the pattern of mental health service use and quality of life among people who self-medicate for anxiety. Data came from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions and was limited to the subsample of individuals meeting criteria for an anxiety disorder in the past 12 months (n = 4880). Multiple regression analyses compared 3 groups-(1) no self-medication, (2) self-medication with alcohol, and (3) self-medication with drugs, on mental health service use and quality of life. After adjusting for potentially confounding covariates, individuals who engaged in self-medication had significantly higher service use compared with people with anxiety disorders who did not self-medicate (adjusted odds ratio = 1.41, 95% CI = 1.06-1.89). Self-medication was also associated with a lower mental health-related quality of life compared with those who did not self-medicate. Clinicians should recognize and respond to the unique needs of this particular subpopulation of individuals with anxiety disorders.
- SourceAvailable from: Giovanni Abrahão Salum[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Anxiety disorders are highly prevalent, affecting approximately 10% of individuals throughoutlife; its onset can be detected since early childhood or adolescence. Studies in adults have shown that anxiety disorders are associated with alcohol abuse, but few studies have investigated the association between anxiety symptoms and problematic alcohol use in early ages. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate if anxiety symptoms are associated with problematic alcohol use in young subjects. METHODS: A total of 239 individuals aged 10-17 years were randomly selected from schools located in the catchment area of Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre. The Screen for Child Anxiety-Related Emotional Disorders (SCARED) was used to evaluate the presence of anxiety symptoms, and the Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST), to evaluate alcohol use. RESULTS: One hundred twenty-seven individuals (53.1% ) reported having already used alcohol. Of these, 14 individuals showed problematic alcohol use (5.8% ). There was no association between lifetime use of alcohol and anxiety symptoms, but mean SCARED scores in individuals with problematic alcohol use was higher if compared to those without problematic use, even after adjustment for age and gender (29.9±8.5 vs. 23.7±11.8, p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Despite the limitation of a cross-sectional design, our study suggests that anxiety symptoms are associated with problematic alcohol use early in life.Trends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy. 12/2012; 35(2):106-110.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Self-compassion is a topic of growing research interest and is represented by six facets including self-kindness, self-judgement, mindfulness, over-identification, common humanity and isolation. Recent research interest has begun to examine the use of self-focused compassion and mindfulness as a way of alleviating the distress associated with psychological disorders. Little research exists to examine the relationship between self-compassion, depression, anxiety and stress among individuals who are alcohol-dependent. The present study aimed to address this gap by examining whether high levels of self-compassion will be associated with lower levels of depression, anxiety and alcohol use at entry to treatment. We also examined whether clients whose self-compassion improved over time also reported improvement in depression, anxiety and alcohol use at follow-up. Participants in this study were clients of a publicly funded Drug and Alcohol Service, who completed a baseline and 15-week independent clinical assessment that corresponded with their entry into and exit from treatment with the Service. At baseline, study participants were significantly higher in depression, anxiety, stress, alcohol use, and lower in self-compassion than the general population. At 15 weeks follow-up, participants reported a significant increase in self-compassion, mindfulness, common humanity and self-kindness, and significant decreases in self-judgement, isolation and over-identification. This study provides important preliminary data on self-compassion among a group of people with alcohol dependence.Mindfulness 3(4).