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 . If you have generalized anxiety disorder , an ongoing feeling of worry or stress without a specific cause, your doctor may recommend learning behaviors or skills to help you stop avoiding activities because of anxiety , or talking about your anxiety with a therapist.
Your doctor may also prescribe medications.
Why Does Alcohol Give You A Hangover
All too often, a fun night out with friends ends in a not-so-fun morning. And no matter how much you enjoyed the evening before, you probably hate being hungover. You may find yourself asking: Why does alcohol make people feel so sick?
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, several factors contribute to hangovers.
To begin with, as your body metabolizes alcohol, it releases a compound called acetaldehyde. This toxic compound causes inflammation throughout the body, especially in your liver, gastrointestinal tract, pancreas, and brain. Inflammation plays a role in all sorts of illnesses, and it likely contributes to the sick feeling of a hangover too.
Alcohol also dehydrates you, which leads to headache, thirst, and fatigue. It irritates the lining of your stomach, causing nausea and sometimes vomiting. In addition, excessive consumption of alcohol disrupts your sleep, further contributing to fatigue and uneasiness.
Finally, as your brain attempts to rebalance itself after a night of drinking, you may experience a mini-withdrawal from alcohol. This can temporarily impact your nervous system, affecting your mood.
Schedule a private call with a Ria Health team member and we can help you get started.
Also Check: How To Beat Insomnia And Anxiety
When To Get Help With Your Drinking
Because of the immediate relaxing effects of alcohol, many people with anxiety and other mental health issues are drawn to alcohol as a way to self-medicate. And while it may offer some short-term relief, alcohol is not an effective long-term strategy for anxiety, depression, trauma, or other mental health issues. In fact, it can worsen all of these conditions.
Using alcohol to self-medicate is risky. Over time, your tolerance to alcohol increases, which means you need more and more of it to get the experience of ease and relief. Many people with anxiety are also prone to alcohol use disorder .
No matter how much alcohol you consume, if your drinking feels out of control, worries you, or worries those close to you, thats a good enough reason to seek help.
No matter what your circumstances, its never too lateor too earlyto reach out for assistance. There are many different ways to get help with your drinking, which means theres probably at least one thatll work for you. Learn more about alcohol treatment options.
You May Like: Is She Bipolar Or Just Mean
Drink Plenty Of Water
Alcohol can dehydrate you, causing head pain and generally adding to your misery.
Drinking water may not have a direct impact on feelings of depression, but rehydrating can absolutely help you start feeling better physically. As hangover symptoms begin to subside, the emotional effects may follow.
Even if they dont improve immediately, youll probably have an easier time doing something about them when you dont have to deal with physical symptoms, too.
Overcoming Anxiety From Stopping Alcohol
Quitting drinking is always a difficult task, even if you were more of a casual drinker than an alcoholic. Alcohol’s ability to replace normal stress coping causes it to interfere with your ability to respond in a healthy way with anxiety and stress, to the point where when you suffer from any anxiety it feels much more severe than it would if you hadn’t had alcohol. This can even affect those that never intentionally used alcohol to cope with stress.
There are many different strategies for dealing with anxiety and panic attacks that are not specific to those that have stopped drinking. But the following are important as ways to prevent alcohol from causing too much anxiety:
The key is to not try to replace the effects of alcohol – you don’t want something else that numbs your anxiety without helping you cope with it. What you’re trying to do is reduce the impact of what happens to your brain when you’re dealing with stress. These activities lessen the impact of stress and anxiety, and when you can weaken the effects of stress, you give your mind a better chance of regaining its own natural coping strength.
Those that quit drinking may suffer from anxiety. This anxiety may be the result of the chemical withdrawal, but is also often related to people using anxiety as a way to self-medicate for stress. Learning new and healthy coping tools and engaging in a long-term anxiety treatment plan is beneficial.
Was this article helpful?
Recommended Reading: Can Low Iron Cause Anxiety
It Stops You From Developing Healthy Coping Mechanisms
It is worthwhile to learn healthy coping mechanisms in response to emotions like stress, sadness and anger that do not involve or rely on alcohol. One of the most effective ways of doing this is to get the right support for your individual needs. In fact, a study by the HSE into alcohol-related harm found that those who were engaged in regular heavy drinking were less likely to use positive coping strategies when dealing with anxiety and depression.
If a person repeatedly turns to alcohol when their mood deteriorates, they miss out on the opportunity of discovering the other, more effective, ways of dealing with unpleasant moods. learning new ways to cope can make us stronger, healthier and happier in the long term.
Practice Deep Breathing And Meditation
When you’re suffering from alcohol-related anxiety, you also need in-the-moment strategies to get through it. Stensby recommends practicing deep breathing by inhaling for a count of four and exhaling for a count of six.
“Diaphragmatic breathing helps to enact and restore your nervous system, which will reduce anxiety and help you to balance your nervous system response,” she explains.
Listening to a guided meditation or peaceful music while taking a shower or a bath will help ground you in the present moment, rather than fretting over yesterday’s events.
“Focus on the sensations of the water and the peaceful sounds to increase a sense of calm,” Stensby says.
Also Check: Can You Trust A Bipolar Person
How To Deal With Alcohol Panic Attacks
If you experience an alcohol-induced panic attack, it is important to take the right steps to calm yourself as soon as possible. However, while it is important to deal with the panic attack, it is also important to acknowledge the situation and the fear you feel. No matter what it is. By acknowledging it, you will help your mind understand what is going on so as to understand that the situation will pass.
1. Talk to a friend
If you have a sympathetic friend, stay or chat with them. It can be a good distraction, and the company will provide added comfort. Otherwise, do something relaxing that will take your mind off the situation. Breathing exercises and simple meditation can help provide relief.
Engage in some calming breathing techniques to focus your mind.
3. Get some rest
When youre having a hangover, sleep can do wonders. Getting proper rest can ease panic-inducing symptoms and prevent a panic attack. Water and easily digestible carbohydrates will help refuel your body and brain, and counteract low blood sugar. Contrary to popular advice, stimulants such as caffeine or sugar, or even smoking, can make both the hangover and the anxiety worse, so avoid them.
4. Eat a healthy diet
If severe anxiety or panic attacks are a problem for you, make sure you get proper nutrition and exercise. Stable blood sugar is important for a stable mind. Psychotherapy and mindfulness meditation can help you deal with anxiety.
5. Get outside into nature
Alcohol And Anxiety The Vicious Circle
If you suffer from anxiety, its important not to be tricked by the temporary feeling of relaxation from drinking alcohol, to avoid being trapped in a vicious circle:
- You drink alcohol
- You initially feel calm as the alcohol affects the brain
- You feel anxious as a symptom of alcohol withdrawal
- You may want to drink again to try to relieve your anxiety
But the last step only starts the process again from the beginning. As the initial calm feeling fades you can feel anxiety as the effects of the alcohol wear off.
The more you drink the greater your tolerance for alcohol – meaning you need to drink more alcohol to get the same feeling. If you rely on alcohol to mask anxiety, you may find you become reliant on it to relax putting you at risk of alcohol dependence.
Don’t Miss: Does Ptsd Cause Anger Outbursts
Why Does Alcohol Cause Depression And Anxiety
Why is this? Alcohol is a depressant which affects your brains natural level of happiness chemicals like serotonin and dopamine. This means that although youll feel an initial boost the night before, the next day you will be deficient in these same chemicals, which may lead to feeling anxious, down or depressed.
How Does Drinking Alcohol Affect Anxiety
Alcohol acts as a sedative, so it can help you feel more at ease. It may make you feel more socially confident at a party or help you forget your worries.
However, these benefits are short term. When we drink alcohol it disrupts the balance of chemicals and processes in the brain. The relaxed feeling you experience when you have your first drink is due to the chemical changes alcohol causes in your brain. The alcohol starts to depress the part of the brain that we associate with inhibition5.
But these effects wear off fast and the pleasant feelings fade. If you rely on alcohol to mask your anxiety problems, you may find you become reliant on it to relax, which may lead to alcohol addiction.A likely side-effect of this is that the more you drink the greater your tolerance for alcohol will be. Over time you may need to drink more alcohol to get the same feeling. In the long term this pattern of alcohol use may affect your mental health.
Many people believe that having an alcoholic drink will help them feel more relaxed. However, if youre experiencing anxiety, drinking alcohol could be making things worse.
Also Check: Does Anxiety Affect Blood Pressure
There’s A Physiological Reason You Might Feel Anxious After A Night Of Drinking
Although we dont tend to think of it this way, a hangover is basically a form of withdrawal from alcohol. What goes up must come downalcohol makes you feel goodand it tends to reduce tension. But when the alcohol wears off, the brain and the body have a rebound process, explains George Koob, PhD, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism . This one- to two- day withdrawal period is often coupled with the typical acute hangover symptoms , as well as anxiety and even depression in some cases.
This typically doesnt happen after one glass of pinot grigio, by the way this is more likely to be the case after a night of taking a few shots, or maybe finishing off a full bottle of wine. If you are a heavy drinker, over time, your central nervous system adjusts to having alcohol around all the time. Your body works hard to keep your brain in a more awake state, but when the alcohol level suddenly drops, your brain stays in this keyed-up state, says Sanam Hafeez, PsyD, a New York City-based licensed clinical neuropsychologist. Your brain continuing to be hyped up is what makes you feel the effects of anxiety, Hafeez points out.
How To Get Rid Of Hangxiety
What can you do if its too late and you are already feeling the effects of hangxiety?
Dont panic: that will only make things worse. Instead, follow this roadmap to feeling calm and anxiety-free after abusing alcohol.
- Rehydrate by drinking small glasses of water throughout the day
- Eat light meals of mild, bland foods
- Try OTC pain relievers if necessary
Remember: the best way to avoid hangxiety is not to drink alcohol abusively.
Read Also: Can You Get Pip With Bipolar
Your House Is On Fire
Looking at it another way your life has been this house and alcohol was in the house. There are so many incredible memories in this house, from all sorts of events. You start to smell smoke, something isnt quite right in the house. You are coughing, you are no longer having as much fun. This is not what you expected it to be. Ultimately, you realize the house is on fire. You have to escape. Standing and watching the house burn down, you are so grateful to be out of that house, you survived! You can rebuild. This is all great news and your primary reaction is gratitude but the truth is an era is over. You cant go back into the house because you are now hyper-aware, you know the house is on fire, you know that its painful to be there but you mourn for the memories. For the past and even for the ignorance. Thats hard and brought very much into focus the day after drinking.
How Long Does Anxiety Last After You Quit Drinking
The good news is, our brain can restore its natural brakes. For many, anxiety levels can improve within three weeks without drinking. For those experiencing post-acute withdrawal syndrome , it may take more time. This is because PAWS symptoms often include longer-lasting anxiety and irritability as the brain recovers from the negative effects of alcohol. You can check out the alcohol recovery timeline to learn more about acute and post-acute withdrawal symptoms. Regardless of your timeline, relief is within reach. Alcohols depressive qualities intensify anxiety and depression, and removing it from your life is shown to improve your mental wellbeing.
If anxiety symptoms persist after several months sober, you may have an underlying anxiety condition. Working with a therapist is a great way to address co-occurring anxiety and develop healthier coping mechanisms. With time and support, anxiety can be mitigated.
You May Like: What Does Ptsd Stand For
How Should I Deal With Anxiety After Drinking
There are other healthy ways to get rid of stress. Meditation and yoga are some great ways to feel better as it makes the left prefrontal cortex of your brain more active. Spending half an hour doing physical exercise will also relieve anxiety by encouraging the release of feel-good hormones. You will also be able to sleep better after exercises.
Inhaling certain essential oils may also help change your brain activity and make you feel relaxed. The most effective choices are jasmine, lavender, sandalwood, and rose. You can have a warm bath before going to bed and make it even better by inhaling lavender oil. You can also carry a small bottle of your favorite essential oil and inhale the scent whenever you need to calm your nerves.
Practice Deep Breathing
Learning how to breathe properly will help a lot in reducing anxiety after drinking. Slow, deep breaths help restore your body’s rhythms. Simply seta timer on your cell phone and make it vibrate every 3 hours. When it does, take a break from your work and take five deep, relaxing breathes. Inhale though the nose and exhale through your mouth with a sigh for better effects.
Set aside 15 minutes for “time to worry”. Whenever you start to feel anxious and worry about something, remind yourself that you will take care of it during your “stress session”.
In addition, you can also take a step ahead and prevent anxiety after drinking from happening by:
Change Your Attitude
Cut Back on Drinking
How To Cope With Hangxiety
While it may be impossible to completely calm yourself down when experiencing hangxiety, below are some measures you can take to make your experience a bit easier, as advised by the AAC.
- Stay calm and give yourself plenty of time to rest. Remind yourself that this is a temporary feeling that should subside once youre feeling better.
- Participate in a self-help group like Alcoholics Anonymous if you feel like you need help.
- Learn more about anxiety, exploring whether your anxiety is caused or made worse by alcohol use.
- Reduce or stop drinking if you are continually distressed by alcohol-induced anxiety or if your drinking habits are interfering with your daily life.
The AAC explains seeking professional treatment such as therapy is important because the alcohol-induced anxiety symptoms will still be lurking around the corner if the underlying triggers or causes, from past trauma to other mental health conditions, are not addressed.
You May Like: Can People With Schizophrenia Work
Alcohol Abuse And Dependency
Alcohol abuse refers to drinking too often and in large quantities, whereas alcohol dependency involves the inability to quit drinking, loss of control, and withdrawal. Alcohol dependence is considered alcoholism and is characterized by the need to drink or the craving to drink. Dependency can lead to the following:
- adverse health effects
- damaged relationships
How To Prevent A Hangover
If you really dont want to abstain, then Calmer You has uncovered some small but powerful strategies to help when you are going to drink. These include recommendations from endurance athlete and health expert, .
- Drink until youre buzzed, then stop. Drink, but avoid drunkenness. Know when to stop. Learn your limits.
- Choose your poison. Darker drinks like wine and whiskey have a higher level of toxins compared with vodka.
- Drink water with your alcohol. Have a glass handy throughout the night. If you order a drink from the bar, get a water with it and drink it first.This should help keep you hydrated. Even better sprinkle a bit of mineral-rich sea salt in the water to provide electrolytes if you can.
- Eat before you drink. An empty stomach means you will get more drunk more quickly and have a worse morning.
- Drink two large glasses of water immediately before bed. You can also drink an electrolyte drink such as Dioralyte, or coconut water for added electrolytes.
Don’t Miss: When Was Lithium Discovered For Bipolar