Alcohol promotes anxiety

Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay

Do you feel sudden and unfounded anxiety, worry, or even unexplained fear? Perhaps this is the result of the fact that the day before you “went too far” with alcohol. Drinking alcohol and related actions, as well as the effect of ethanol on human tissues and organs, lead not only to “basic” hangover symptoms, but also to cause less anxiety.

Parties, alcohol, the drive can all be fun until the hangover kicks in. This is a kind of reminder that the fun is already over. This condition most often manifests itself as headache, nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to bright light, and loud sounds. These symptoms are familiar to anyone who has ever been intoxicated. But in addition to a physical hangover, there can be a mental one, which usually proceeds sharper and more sensitive. So, quite often people, in addition to the standard manifestations of a hangover, experience serious and unjustified anxiety. This phenomenon is known as “hangover anxiety.”

In addition to a physical hangover, there can be a mental one, which can be sharper and more sensitive.

The state of anxiety exhausts a person – he cannot concentrate on daily affairs, be attentive enough to his loved ones. Sometimes anxiety arises as a result of problems at work or in personal life. And to deal with anxiety, you need to address these issues. But to get rid of hangover anxiety should be approached a little from the other side.

Why can anxiety occur after alcohol abuse?

There may be several reasons why a depressed mental state appears in the morning after a party.

Social anxiety that “comes back”. For many people, alcohol is a way to escape from problems, in particular from manifestations of social anxiety. It is characterized by the desire of a person to be in society, while he has a fear that he will be laughed at or criticized. Such a person is usually shy, tries not to appear in front of people. That is, two opposing desires are fighting in him: to be among people and to hide from them. Social anxiety can be the first stage of social anxiety, but instead of going to a psychologist, a person prefers to be “treated” with alcohol. Indeed, while drinking alcohol in the company, signs of fear of society evaporate, but the next day this state again takes its “rightful” place, which leads to the appearance of hangover anxiety.

Social anxiety can be the first stage of social anxiety, however, instead of going to a psychologist, a person prefers to be “treated” with alcohol.

Guilt. Alcohol helps “get rid” of moral and ethical boundaries. The more alcohol a person drinks, the more courageous, courageous, invincible he feels. The idea of ​​norms is disappearing, the boundaries of the socially permissible are erased. In this state, a person can commit any rash acts. For example, to be rude to relatives, to fight with friends, to commit an offense … Let’s not talk about serious crimes. But even mild forms of delinquency can lead to intense feelings of guilt, which can also contribute to increased levels of anxiety and can lead to prolonged depression.

“Alcohol starvation”. While drinking alcohol, the amount of endorphins increases. And as soon as the intake of alcohol into the body stops, the level of these hormones drops sharply. These endorphin spikes cause anxiety, which can last up to 8 hours (the time it takes to stabilize endorphin levels). Many people believe that in this case, you just need to repeat the intake of alcohol – simply “hangover” with light alcohol, and everything will pass. You can guess that as soon as a fresh portion of ethanol enters the bloodstream, the release of endorphins occurs again – a person becomes well. But this effect soon ends and anxiety returns. And then you want to drink again – the so-called “alcohol starvation” occurs.

As soon as a fresh portion of ethanol enters the bloodstream, the release of endorphins occurs again – a person becomes well. But this effect soon ends and anxiety returns.

Dehydration. Water is an essential element for all human organs and tissues. In any situation, when the body does not receive the required amount of water, it experiences stress comparable to the stress from life-threatening situations. But often this state is not realized by the person himself, therefore, unreasonable anxiety and fear appear. What does alcohol have to do with it? When drinking alcoholic beverages, a person usually does not think about how to replenish the water supply. And alcohol itself contributes to dehydration, disrupting metabolism at the cellular level. Moreover, foods that affect the water content in the body are often used as a snack: salted or pickled vegetables, salted fish, fatty fried foods, sugary carbonated drinks, juices, etc. Thus, the more was drunk the day before, the more the body experiences stress due to dehydration, and a person suffers from causeless anxiety.

Alcohol contributes to dehydration by disrupting cellular metabolism.

How to deal with hangover anxiety?

Even a non-drinker can find it difficult to deal with anxiety. What can we say about when the symptoms of a hangover are added to this feeling. In this state, any attempts to calm down lead only to an increase in the level of anxiety.

In order not to get into such a situation, it is better, of course, not to drink alcohol at all, or at least limit its amount. But if you notice that you cannot control yourself during parties or are unable to refuse another glass, then you should consult a doctor to identify possible alcohol dependence and subsequent treatment.

In the event that you drank excessive amounts of alcohol and the symptoms of a hangover overtook you the next day, you can try to cope with anxiety with one and/or more of three methods.

Replenish your water supply. If you feel anxious after drinking alcohol, try drinking more fluids. So, you can eliminate the option when hangover anxiety is actually associated with a lack of water in the body. Even if there is no dehydration (which cannot be reliably determined by yourself), then the water will help calm down and recover a little. It is desirable to drink clean plain water, and not one or two glasses, but as much and often as possible. And don’t try to treat your hangover symptoms with pickle or beer – it will only make things worse.

Sleep as part of recovery. During an alcoholic party, your body is under severe stress: a large amount of alcohol, lack of adequate sleep at the usual time, and a powerful emotional outburst. All this depletes the strength of the body, and therefore, with increased anxiety, you no longer have the internal resources to cope with this state. Sleep will help you recover and reduce anxiety. If you can’t sleep, try taking a cool shower before going to bed, playing light and quiet relaxing music, dimming the lights, or drawing the curtains.

Sleep can help you recover and reduce anxiety.

Mindfulness meditation. This is perhaps the hardest way to deal with hangover anxiety, but it is also very powerful. The essence of mindfulness meditation is to completely relax in a bed, an armchair, or in a place that is convenient and comfortable for you. You need to close your eyes, start breathing deeply and smoothly. Breathing should be natural: don’t try to control it. While in this state, you will begin to calm down a little. At this point, you can focus on your thoughts and feelings. Think about what makes you anxious, try to find the root cause of this condition. This can be both the social anxiety described above, or some bad words and wrong actions that were said and committed last night.

Error correction. If the day before you did something for which you are now ashamed, then think about how you can fix it. For a start, of course, it is better to fully recover, recover, sleep well. And solve the problems with a fresh mind.

Hangover anxiety can disrupt all plans for the day. However, this depression is easy to prevent. Refusal from alcohol will help you protect your body from the negative effects of alcohol, and your psyche from manifestations of anxiety and unaccountable fear.



19 thoughts on “Alcohol promotes anxiety”

  1. hi, nadiia,
    nice to meet you.
    just went through your post about anxiety its social aspects and problems discussed. found it very informative, and hope to get such articles in future with such indepth info.
    just to mention here i just came to know of a live event about anxiety with free viewing option. check the link here>>

  2. As a recovering alcoholic, I can personally attest to how much better it is to not have to deal with all of these things and how I never recognized just how anxious alcohol made me — I thought it was doing the opposite!

  3. Hi, I have drunk to excess for as long as I can remember, I am currently on the path to sobriety. I can completely relate to your post regarding anxiety, it has been a constant shadow over me for many years, even to the stage where I had a full blown anxiety attack and took myself to hospital. I am on day 23 of no alcohol, the anxiety has decreased beyond my wildest dreams. It’s been hard but the way I am feeling I am praying there is no going back.

    1. Oh, It is good you are holding up! Be strong, it is important to realize that alcohol is the enemy. You did it, it great! I wish you good luck and fast recovery from this nightmare!

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