This Is 7 Ways Consuming Alcohol Increases Anxiety 5

Alcohol Anxiety Real Run Ryan Alpharetta

7 Ways Consuming Too Much Alcohol Increases Anxiety

Anyone who’s suffered from anxiety knows how intense and scary it can feel. Tightness in the chest, sweating, helplessness, panic and dizziness are just a few of the overwhelming symptoms.

The stress of anxiety is especially exacerbated when we drink alcohol to cope. Ironically, alcohol can cause anxiety, and anxiety pushes (some) alcohol users to drink. There’s no doubt alcohol makes anxiety worse. In fact, it usually makes everything worse and isn’t an effective way to deal with any of life’s woes.

Studies have shown that drinking and hangovers increase anxiety levels in a variety of ways, including the six areas below:

1. Drop in Blood Sugar

A drop in blood sugar can cause dizziness, confusion, weakness, nervousness, shaking and numbness. These symptoms can most certainly trigger a bout of anxiety.

2. Dehydration

Lack of appropriate water consumption has been known to cause nausea, dizziness, fatigue, light-headedness and muscle weakness. These symptoms wouldn’t necessarily cause anxiety but they add to a sense of illness which fosters anxiety.

A counselor once told me that people sometimes drink alcohol, not because they want to take the edge off, but because they are actually thirsty. Alcohol tricks us into thinking we aren’t thirsty. Try reaching for a glass of water first, instead of some booze, and see if it helps.

3. Low Mood

Drinking can temporarily boost serotonin levels, which make you feel happy in the short term. In the long term, excess alcohol lowers serotonin levels, which can either cause or accentuate depression.

People with anxiety are up to three times more likely to have an alcohol problem or other substance abuse than people without anxiety. Remember how you feel the day after a hard night of drinking? It usually isn’t a fun time and leads to depressed feelings.

4. Poor Concentration

A hard night of drinking can also make you hazy, bring on headaches and create a sense of disorientation. Probably no need for concern if you’re going to have a glass of wine with dinner, but if you’re a heavy drinker, or binge drinker, this could cause a real problem for you.

5. Nervous System

The nervous system is affected because in order for the body to fight off the sedative effects of alcohol, it puts the body into a state of hyperactivity in order to counteract this effect. This hyperactivity can lead to shaking, light/sound sensitivity and sleep deprivation.

6. Heart Rate

Your heart rate can become elevated as a result of consuming alcohol which can cause a palpitation false alarm and put you into a state of anxious anticipation. Is it a heart attack or isn’t it you might ask. This “what if” questioning can increase your general state of anxiety.

7. Health problems

In addition to anxiety, drinking to excess could result in high blood pressure, heart and liver disease, digestive problems like Gerd, and even osteoporosis in women because alcohol weakens the bones.

Some tips: It may sound obvious, but eat a meal before drinking, drink water in between drinks, and stay in bed if you are hungover to avoid the problems outlined above. This is an obvious tip, but don’t drink and drive. The Centers for Disease Control has found that people who get pulled over for their first DUI have on average driven drunk at least 80 times before their arrest. Whoa.

Some would say that maybe you shouldn’t drink at all if you have an anxiety disorder. Do you think that alcohol should be avoided at all cost when someone has an anxiety disorder?

For those who can handle their liquor, alcohol doesn’t necessarily need to be avoided entirely. Moderation and good sense should be your guide. However, if you know for a fact that alcohol makes you anxious, just don’t do it.

Need help dealing with your anxiety? Contact me:
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Ryan Light

About Ryan Light

I started to run after a very stressful time in my life. I suffered most of my life with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), panic, and anxiety. I tried everything from diets to conventional medicines – nothing worked. Running saved my life – literally, I was at the bottom with my OCD, panic, and anxiety, and on the verge of suicide. Running gave me a new found adventure, a goal, an escape so to say. It’s been seven years since I took my first run…Currently I have run over 40 Half Marathons, Three Full Marathons, and countless amounts of 5 & 10Ks” and loving every minute of it. I’ve made some outstanding friends, overcame challenges I thought I’d never could, and best of all found a passion in life! To learn more...

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5 thoughts on “This Is 7 Ways Consuming Alcohol Increases Anxiety

  • Tyrone Baird

    HI, My name is Ty, I started suffering from anxiety for reasons unknown, I started to get small palpations whilst lying down and just wrote them off has something and nothing, but they gradually got more regular and worrying. I started to think about what could be causing them and decided to seek advice. I was told it was all in my mind, but how could it all be in my mind when I was getting actual physical symptoms? Eventually after many yrs of different symptoms by now I went to the hospital for tests and discovered my heart was beating irregular probably due to the anxiety and adrenaline and cortisol rushes I was having over the years. So now I really need help hence typing this to you for help before this anxiety thing kills me. Certain stressful situations have happened to me in my life which could be the cause but not convinced enough for what it is doing to me. Anyway Ryan, any help on offer is most gratefully received. Thanks for reading this short note. All the best Ty.

  • Mark

    I’ve suffered w anxiety/panic attacks for the past 10 years, and yes, alcohol doesn’t help.. BUT, there is the stubourn part of me that won’t let anxiety win, I drink in moderation, I know when I can have a few, and when not to. Mornings after can be hard, but I try and battle through, and in 10 years, I have never had a day off sick due to my anxiety, if anything it actually pushes me on to get things done, screw the anxiety and get on with my life.. isn’t always that easy, but hey, don’t let it get to you!