anxiety treatment moms
September 17, 2023 By Leah Malone

Motherhood and Coping With Anxiety During Treatment


Recovering from substance use disorder (SUD) while maintaining responsibilities at home may feel overwhelming for some mothers. Anxiety is one of the most common co-occurring issues for individuals in early recovery. According to Psychiatric Times, “Anxiety and substance use disorders are among the most frequent psychiatric problems in the United States,” and they often coexist. Emerge Recovery TX offers multiple outpatient programs to support women coping with anxiety during SUD treatment, allowing mothers to focus on healing while maintaining a balanced home life. 

How Does Anxiety Affect Mothers in Treatment?

Mothers with children of all ages may feel guilt, shame, regret, or uncertainty about spending significant time away from family to receive essential treatment. Internalized stigmas about being a bad parent cause some mothers to avoid seeking help. Mothers who do take steps to participate in treatment may worry about leaving their loved ones for prolonged periods. The stress may cause some women to experience chronic anxiety. 

Anxiety affects a mother’s ability to manage stress and provide the support their family needs. Some other effects of chronic anxiety include: 

  • Increased risk of self-harming behaviors 
  • Reduced focus and difficulty maintaining accountability 
  • Extreme mood swings and unusual irritation 
  • Sleep disturbances 
  • Headaches, body aches, and chronic pain
  • Decreased quality of life

Finding healthy ways to address anxiety through treatment reduces the risk of relapse. Outpatient programs are often ideal for mothers with children at home. The schedule flexibility and personalized treatment allow mothers to spend every night at home, where they can benefit from the support of loved ones. Returning home reach evening also reduces the burden on mother’s to find long-term childcare services or find a loved one they entrust to look after their children. 

Coping With Anxiety and Stress During Long-Term Recovery

Stress has a negative effect on many body systems and severely impacts mental health. Treatment programs focus on providing women with the skills and tools to manage SUD symptoms, co-occurring disorders, and other stressors. Mindfulness, muscle relaxation, deep breathing exercises, positive self-talk, social engagement, self-care, and other coping techniques reduce the effects of stress and anxiety on the body.

Anxiety is one of the most common symptoms of chronic stress and significantly affects recovery by doing the following: 

  • Reducing a person’s ability to focus on their recovery 
  • Worsening symptoms and side effects of SUD and co-occurring disorders
  • Increasing self-isolating behaviors 
  • Reducing a person’s overall health and ability to function 
  • Decreasing overall health and wellness

Long-term recovery comes with many challenges and stressors. Women with the necessary skills to manage stress and anxiety have an easier time making progress during treatment and ongoing recovery. Some mothers choose to cope in the short term by compartmentalizing work, family, and recovery stressors. The dedicated care team at Emerge Recovery TX assists women with identifying, analyzing, and processing stressful areas in their lives. 

Coping With Anxiety Using Healthy Routines

Anxiety is something everyone experiences. However, some people have difficulty moving past it and finding ways to reduce negativity. Creating health routines is one way mothers in recovery can relieve stress and anxiety. Outpatient programs are perfect for women who want to successfully balance their family responsibilities and mental health or SUD treatment. The time at home every day offers many opportunities for women to practice the coping skills taught in therapy. 

A few ways to cope with anxiety while maintaining family responsibilities include: 

  • Setting aside time each day to spend alone or in quiet meditation
  • Attending a community support group for mothers in recovery
  • Working with your care team to identify anxiety triggers and ways to manage them

Mothers have the additional challenge of creating healthy routines around the needs of their children and other family members. Family therapy sessions might be helpful for some women who need extra guidance navigating family dynamics during recovery. Emerge Recovery TX offers family therapy and other services to help families actively participate in the treatment process. According to the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare (NCSACW), “Research demonstrates that treatment, recovery, and family well-being outcomes improve when the complex needs of each family member are met through supportive services such as parenting programs, children’s developmental and therapeutic services, and attachment-based family therapeutic services.”

Attending Outpatient Treatment for Substance Abuse and Anxiety

Outpatient programs provide a supportive community where women work together to gain self-confidence. Treatment also includes access to essential resources during early recovery. Anxiety often requires long-term individual therapy, prescription medication, or other treatments. Some mothers may need to continue mental health treatment after completing rehabilitation. All of the clinicians at Emerge Recovery TX have private practices where clients can continue to receive care after they complete outpatient treatment for SUD. Mothers in recovery can successfully manage anxiety and heal from the effects of substance misuse.

Balancing motherhood and treatment increases the risk of developing anxiety-related symptoms or disorders. Mothers struggling with substance abuse benefit from attending outpatient treatment programs capable of simultaneously addressing all active and underlying issues, including anxiety. The increased flexibility and structured support allow women to get the help they need without making them take time away from their loved ones. Emerge Recovery TX offers various outpatient treatment programs and services to meet every woman where she is today. Mothers can rely on the dedicated care team to help them find healthy ways to heal and grow during recovery. To learn more about our treatment programs and services, call our office today at (737) 237-9663.

About Author

Leah Malone

Learning to sit with uncomfortable feelings can be painful and disturbing at times. When Leah was able to see her behavior patterns and decided there was enough pain to be disturbed, she became motivated to make changes and accept the work that needed to be done to heal. She needed direction and had no clue how to heal on her own. Through a connection with God, authentic connection with others, honesty, willingness, and humility, Leah is now in recovery from addiction and trauma.

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