Anxiety is the sensation of concern or anxiousness about the future. It might be minor or severe. It impacts your thoughts and feelings and frequently causes physical signs such as a faster heartbeat, sweating, or trembling. If anxiety makes it difficult for you to enjoy your life as completely as you want, it may become a health issue. It can result in various symptoms such as fatigue, difficulty focusing or sleeping, headaches, or stomachaches, among many more. However, several factors influence anxiety, one of which is alcohol. In this article, you’ll learn the relationship between mental health and alcohol, how it can worsen anxiety and how to find treatment for alcohol and anxiety.
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What Is the Relationship Between Alcohol and Mental Health?
People take alcohol for various reasons, including celebration, socializing, solace, and drowning our sorrows. We may take alcohol to alter our mood, making us feel more at ease, brave, or confident. Alcohol does have an impact, but it wears off quickly. We frequently experience worsening symptoms as the effects of alcohol withdrawal take hold of our bodies and minds. Alcohol may be used by those who are depressed or anxious to cope with their symptoms, but heavy alcohol use can harm mental health. Studies have shown that one in five people who experience anxiety say they drink to relieve stress.
Alcohol consumption can have several long-term health effects, including mental health difficulties. According to research, alcoholics have a hard time recovering from traumatic experiences. Alcohol abuse’s effects, which can alter brain function, may be to blame for this. Alcohol is a depressant that can alter your feelings, thoughts, and behavior by changing your brain’s balance of neurotransmitters (chemical messengers). You may feel more at ease, less worried, and more confident after having a few drinks because alcohol affects the area of your brain that handles inhibition. However, these results and effects disappear shortly. No matter how you’re feeling, the chemical changes in your brain might quickly cause other unpleasant emotions to take control, including anger, anxiety, or worry.
The following are a few alcohol-related adverse effects:
- Mental health deteriorates once the sensation of calmness disappears
- Hangover symptoms such as headaches, nausea, vomiting
- Anxiety and despair following alcohol use
- Nausea, vomiting, dehydration, and low blood sugar
Does Alcohol Make Anxiety Worse?
Many individuals drink sensibly, partaking in a glass of wine with dinner or getting together with friends for a drink on special occasions, for example. In these circumstances, drinking alcohol is seen as socially acceptable and unproblematic. However, drinking may soon become a problem in the long run. Some people may experience difficulties even with occasional alcohol usage, especially if they already experience mental health concerns like anxiety.
First, those who are anxious can drink to dull their sensations. And to some extent, this is true, as alcohol does have sedative properties. A drink might ease the tension and offer you some solace from your concerns. Alcohol may also lessen the stress of social settings by elevating your mood and reducing your shyness. Alcohol can help in social situations and alleviate tension, but it’s likely to have the opposite effect. It might be risky to use alcohol to treat social anxiety disorder. Approximately 7% of Americans, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), suffer from this type of anxiety. You could find social circumstances to be intolerable if you have social anxiety. Alcohol use is widespread among those with social anxiety disorder as a coping mechanism for social situations. By doing this, one may develop a dependency on alcohol when socializing, which could exacerbate anxiety symptoms.
Serotonin and other neurotransmitter levels in the brain are altered by alcohol, which can worsen anxiety. In fact, as the alcohol wears off, you can feel even more worried. Anxiety brought on by alcohol might last for several hours or even the entire day after drinking. Also, alcohol withdrawal causes increased anxiety.
The withdrawal symptoms from alcohol might make you feel more anxious if you’ve been drinking heavily for a while and then quit all at once. This is why it is not advisable to use alcohol as an escape from anxiety.
How to Find Treatment for Alcohol and Anxiety
One of the most critical public health concerns in the United States is alcohol-related problems caused by drinking too much, too quickly, or too frequently. Many people experience drinking problems that lead to anxiety at some point in life. Alcohol consumption disorder affects more than 14 million persons aged 18 and older (AUD).
You don’t want your alcoholism and anxiety to continue untreated if they are shown to be co-occurring illnesses. Treatment for both illnesses is crucial. The good news is that those who are coping with a dual diagnosis have access to a wide range of therapeutic choices.
Do you struggle with alcohol addiction and anxiety disorder and are unsure how to overcome it?
Contact Rise in Malibu today to learn more about our drug and alcohol luxury rehab in Southern California.