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Insights into alcohol-induced anxiety

A night out with friends after a grueling week of back-to-back travel and intense work pressure seems like a brilliant idea. Unrestrained chatting, dancing on Jim Morrison songs and doing back-to-back vodka shots give a rare kind of a high, and an escape from the drudgery of life. However, the same high turns into a horrid experience the following morning when one gets a hangover.

A hangover is an extremely uncomfortable feeling during which one feels nauseated with stomach disturbances. In addition to this, alcohol consumption also induces anxiety, when ironically, people usually drown themselves in alcohol to get away from the real-life anxieties. Moreover, if a person is already struggling with an anxiety disorder, he or she could feel worse after a night of excessive drinking because anxiety symptoms could worsen.

How does alcohol induce anxiety?

Alcohol can induce anxiety through several physiological pathways. Some of the ways are mentioned here.

  • Alcohol consumption leads to a drop in the level of serotonin hormone. Serotonin is associated with mood elevation, therefore, a decline in its level can induce anxiety and other mood disorders.
  • Alcohol intake leads to a drop in the blood glucose level, which usually manifest as giddiness, disorientation, jumpiness, etc. All these symptoms, in turn, can trigger an anxiety attack.
  • Alcohol is a dehydrating agent. When alcohol enters the bloodstream, it reduces the production of antidiuretic hormone in the body. This hormone is responsible for reabsorbing water. When alcohol reduces its production, water reabsorption is also affected which can lead to serious dehydration which again, is responsible for causing anxiety.
  • Alcohol induces a sedative effect because of which, the nervous system of an individual gets hyperactive to ward off sedation, causing sleep deprivation, jitters, and headaches, the symptoms of anxiety.
  • People trying to quit alcohol on their own might suffer from serious withdrawal symptoms and anxiety is one of them.

Managing alcohol-induced anxiety

If one drinks mindfully, he or she can definitely alleviate anxiety symptoms. Drinking water before, during and after the consumption of alcohol can prevent the body from getting into a dehydrated mode. Keeping a tab on the number of drinks can help one stay sane and steady. Moreover, taking alcohol with food can be much less damaging than having it on an empty stomach. Food slows down the absorption of alcohol, therefore, if consumed on an empty stomach, alcohol can make one drunk relatively faster.

The best way to avoid future episodes of alcohol induced anxiety attacks would be to go cold-turkey, however, it is almost always advisable to try quitting alcohol in a rehab which is equipped with facilities to ensure that recovery lasts life-long. If one is already grappling with an anxiety disorder, the rehab will address the alcohol addiction and anxiety disorder both together because managing only one disorder and leaving the other untreated can cause a relapse and hence a vicious cycle of anxiety and addiction can ensue.

Road to recovery

Alcohol consumption has become an indispensable part of the American culture. Despite the widespread dissemination regarding its vices, people from all walks of life, age brackets, genders and social strata are getting into alcohol addiction.

If you or your loved one is suffering from dual diagnosis, contact the Florida Dual Diagnosis Helpline to know more about the dual diagnosis treatment facilities in Florida. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 66-337-7631 or chat online to know about the best rehab programs in Florida.

Also read:

Mental problems associated with alcoholism

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