Alcohol is one of the most common drugs a person with anxiety turns to for relief. It is legal, and it is easily attainable. It is also one substance that can exacerbate the anxiety symptoms a sufferer feels.
Contrary to what sufferers think, alcohol anxiety can result when a person uses it to overcome the symptoms of nervousness, fear, tension, heart palpitations and feelings of unreality. In small amounts, alcohol can provide a sense of tranquility or drowsiness, but when consumed in larger amounts it can actually cause the very anxiety a person is hoping to overcome.
Alcohol is not a medicine. If a person is feeling tense or anxious for more than two weeks, that person should seek medical help. Talk to a doctor about the problems that are causing the anxious symptoms.
Medication may not be necessary. A person may be able to resolve their anxiety by working problems out with a therapist. Sometimes just talking about feelings can have a therapeutic effect on an individual.
Why Alcohol and Anxiety Do Not Mix
Alcohol impacts serotonin levels and it robs the nervous system of essential vitamins necessary to function in a healthy way. Many people have found that when they use alcohol to cure anxiety symptoms, those symptoms become much worse once the alcohol wears off.
This is because of the physiological effect that the substance has on body and brain chemistry. It can also make a person dehydrated and this can add to symptoms of feeling weak, dizzy and shaky.
Overindulgence in alcohol can cause alcohol anxiety in the form of a hangover. A hangover is essentially a form of extreme dehydration. However, for the sufferer, in addition to experiencing a headache or nausea, a person may feel particularly afraid.
In addition to feelings of dizziness and shakiness, which add to anxiety, a person could feel as if their heart is beating in a pronounced manner. It likely is due to the fact that alcohol consumption can increase the heart rate. Heart palpitations are among the most common anxiety symptoms, and they are among the most uncomfortable.
Excess amounts of alcohol are simply no good for the anxiety sufferer. While it is fine to take the substance in small amounts, usually when it is ingested over and over, a person builds up a tolerance to it. This can mean they need to drink more and more to feel “relaxed” and end up with greater withdrawal symptoms the following day.
If symptoms of anxiety are plaguing your life, talk to your doctor. Sometimes a change in environment can be helpful. You may need to get a less stressful job.
Implement an exercise regimen. Getting plenty of exercise can be one way to relieve feelings of stress without the need for medication. If a doctor does prescribe a medication to help with anxious feelings, avoid alcohol altogether. These substances can be dangerous when mixed together.
Usually, a small amount of alcohol is not harmful. However, to prevent anxiety it is best to abstain from it.