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Why Do Phobias and Drinking Behavior Co-Occur?

Phobias are a group of anxiety disorders which cause fear of an event, action, or thing that is often irrational. Fear is either something that is unlikely to occur or not harmful if it were to happen. A wide range of phobias can create panic for people with drinking behavior as well, what is known as co-occurring disorders. Some of the phobias may include panic or anxiety, embarrassment for no reason, or fear of something specific like spiders or snakes. Learning the reason they co-occur can help battle phobias in the midst of addiction.

Symptoms of Phobias

There are many symptoms which may co-occur with phobias, some include:

  • Panic attack
  • Increased heart rate
  • Hyperventilation
  • Shaking
  • Urge to flee the situation

Management of the symptoms may take the form of addiction to calm down. Sometimes a person drinks or uses drugs to excess in order to cope but addiction can happen any time a person is using substances as a coping mechanism. Immediate treatment will be needed to help deal with both phobias and substance use disorder.


Phobias and substance abuse or addiction can often occur together. No matter how potentially harmful the choice may be, sometimes self medicating feels better than to let things linger. The large amount of substances can turn into a problem when it becomes a habit that is unstoppable. It is not uncommon to medicate phobias to cope with the stress. The main types of phobias people deal with can include:

  • Fear of animals including insects, domesticated animals, or wild animals
  • Fear of nature including disasters, storms, or anything unstable
  • Fear of medical problems including shots, needles, injuries, or procedures
  • Fear of a situation including traveling or being inside enclosed spaces
  • Other types of phobias include fear of dying, fear of germs, fear of falling, etc

Phobias and drinking behavior can occur together for many reasons including genetics, living with a family member who has it, trauma, or access to drugs or alcohol while dealing with phobias. Treatment needs to happen for both issues at the same time to be most effective so it is important to find a treatment center that focuses on both called dual diagnosis treatment.

The struggle with addiction can be made greater when coping with phobias in addition to substance use. Our world-class team of healthcare professionals are here to assess the best treatment for your diagnosis. We will address both the addiction and mental health aspects of your journey so that you can be successful in recovery. Call us to find out how you can get help now: 844-339-6964