Alcohol and Anxiety: Causes, Risks and Treatment

Understanding anxiety When dealing with nerve-racking days or nervous situations, you may be tempted to have a glass of wine or a beer to calm your nerves. however, drinking alcohol, specially heavily and over a long period of time, can actually increase your anxiety. Drinking alcohol can have serious consequences if you ’ ra being treated for anxiety. Having a drink might seem like a good way to ease anxiety, but you may be doing more harm than commodity.

‘Unwinding’ with alcohol

There ’ s some accuracy to the idea that alcohol can reduce try. Alcohol is a sedative and a sedative that affects the central aflutter organization. At inaugural, drink can reduce fears and take your mind off of your troubles. It can help you feel less shy, give you a boost in climate, and make you feel broadly relaxed. In fact, alcohol ’ s effects can be alike to those of antianxiety medications. occasionally unwinding with alcohol international relations and security network ’ t inevitably dangerous if your repair approves. But once you start drinking, you can build a allowance to the de-stressing effects of alcohol. This can make anxiety and stress even more difficult to cope with. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can besides have obtrusive physical and mental consequences. Over time, consuming excessively much alcohol can lead to blackouts, loss of memory, and even mind price ( specially if it causes other health problems, such as liver-colored damage ). These issues can create more anxiety as you cope with their symptoms. Learn more: Alcohol-related liver disease » The smell of relaxation you feel when you drink can much be attributed to your blood alcohol content ( BAC ). A rise in BAC levels leads to temp feelings of exhilaration, but feelings of low happen as BAC levels fall. As a consequence, it ’ s potential that having a few drinks that make your BAC rise and then fall spinal column to normal again can make you more anxious than you were ahead.

How alcohol worsens anxiety

Alcohol changes levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, which can worsen anxiety. In fact, you may feel more anxious after the alcohol wears off. Alcohol-induced anxiety can last for several hours, or even for an integral day after drink. Using alcohol to cope with social anxiety perturb can be dangerous. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America ( ADAA ), approximately 7 percentage of Americans have this form of anxiety. With sociable anxiety, you may find social situations intolerable. It ’ south common for people with social anxiety perturb to drink alcohol to cope with sociable interactions. Doing this can lead to a dependence on alcohol during socialize, which can make anxiety symptoms worse. About 20 percentage of people with social anxiety disorder besides suffer from alcohol addiction. Besides needing alcohol to feel comfortable when socialize, early signs of addiction admit :

  • needing a drink to get going in the morning
  • drinking heavily four or more days per week
  • requiring a drink at every get-together
  • an inability to stop drinking
  • drinking five or more alcoholic beverages in one day

Read more: Alcohol addiction » Overconsumption of alcohol can besides lead to hangovers. A hangover can cause symptoms that make you feel more anxious than you were, including :

  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • dehydration
  • low blood glucose (sugar)

Can alcohol cause anxiety?

The long-run consequences of alcohol pervert can be a assortment of health problems, including genial health disorders. inquiry shows that people with dipsomania find it difficult to recover from traumatic events. This is possibly because of the effects of alcohol maltreatment, which can actually change brain activeness.

long-run heavy drinkers may be predisposed to developing an anxiety disorder. however, there is no evidence that centrist drink will cause anxiety. Increased anxiety is besides a symptom of alcohol withdrawal. If you ’ ve consumed alcohol in large amounts for a long menstruation of fourth dimension and on the spur of the moment stop drink, your anxiety can be aggravated by the side effects of alcohol withdrawal. other symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include :

  • trembling hands
  • sweating
  • heart rate above 100 beats per minute
  • hallucinations
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • seizures

Alcohol is not anxiety treatment

Moderate drink in is not the same for all genders and age groups. In the United States, “ moderate ” typically refers to two drinks a sidereal day for adult men and one for women. Older adults metabolize alcohol faster, so if you ’ re in this historic period group, limit yourself to one alcoholic beverage per day. Ask your doctor if moderate alcohol consumption is desirable for you. The benefits of alcohol consumption can sometimes be outweighed by the risks, which include :

  • depression
  • obesity
  • liver disease
  • cardiovascular damage

Alcohol affects everyone differently. It can cheer you up after a approximate day or make you feel more sedate. Discuss these concerns with your doctor first to see if alcohol is dependable for you. Keep in mind that you may not safely drink alcohol if you have :

  • a low tolerance for drinking
  • anxious or aggressive tendencies
  • a mental health disorder

Alcohol international relations and security network ’ t an anxiety treatment. Seek help from a mental health professional if you have anxiety. If you think you have a trouble with alcohol, seek help from your doctor veracious away .

Traditional ways of treating anxiety

many treatment options exist for anxiety. treatment may depend on the type of anxiety you have. If you have social anxiety or a social phobia, therapy may work best to reduce your levels of anxiety ( combined with a medication such as sertraline, or Zoloft ). If you have generalized anxiety disorderliness ( GAD ), an ongoing feel of worry or tension without a particular cause, your doctor may recommend learning behaviors or skills to help you stop avoiding activities because of anxiety ( known as cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT ), or talking about your anxiety with a therapist. Your doctor may besides prescribe medications .

Antidepressants Benzodiazepines
duloxetine (Cymbalta) alprazolam (Xanax)
escitalopram (Lexapro) diazepam (Valium)
paroxetine (Paxil) lorazepam (Ativan)

Each character of medicine treats anxiety in a different way. Antidepressants may be taken every day to help treat anxiety, while benzodiazepines are broadly used for impermanent relief from irrepressible feelings of anxiety. Talk to your doctor to decide which type of medication is best for you. Some of these medications may interact with alcohol. Talk to your doctor about alcohol consumption before taking any of these medications, as side effects can be harmful or fatal .

Online therapy options

Read our review of the best on-line therapy options to find the justly fit for you.

Lifestyle changes to reduce anxiety

anxiety can be treated, but it isn ’ metric ton always curable. however, you can make life style changes to help you reduce your anxiety vitamin a well as learn to cope with it. There are some daily changes you can make to reduce your anxiety.

Reduce anxiety

  • Sleep regularly and consistently, around 6 to 8 hours a night, depending on your age.
  • Limit the amount of caffeine and alcohol you consume, as both can increase your level of anxiety.
  • Eat consistent and healthy meals every day.
  • Set aside time every day to focus on relaxation techniques, such as meditation or yoga.
  • Make time each day to engage in a relaxing hobby, such as listening to music or painting.

You can besides learn to cope with your anxiety by slowing it and preventing it from increasing and causing panic attacks :

  • Slowly breathe in and breathe out to calm yourself down when you begin to feel anxious.
  • Think positive thoughts when you feel your thoughts becoming too negative or overwhelming.
  • Slowly count from 1 to 10 or higher until feelings of anxiety begin to fade.
  • Focus on something that makes you laugh or feel positive emotions until your anxiety starts to fade.
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