Anxiety and Alcohol: Can Binge Drinking Treat Anxiety?

By Michaela Weaver

Most people are familiar with the horrible sensation that follows the morning after a night of over-imbibing.

If you’ve drunk long enough or hard enough, but before the dreadful morning arrives, the fun night and the more confident version of you comes in and plays along.

Is it a hint that alcohol, even if only temporarily, helps to alleviate your anxiety?

Understanding What Anxiety Is And How It Feels

Alcohol can help you relax during parties or other social gatherings, that being said, we’re sure you’re also tempted to relax with a glass of wine or a beer when you’re having a difficult day or in a stressful moment. However, excessive alcohol, especially over a lengthy period, can make you feel more anxious.

If you’re being treated for anxiety, drinking alcohol can have catastrophic repercussions.

While it may appear that having a drink will help you relax, you may be doing more harm than good.
Anxiety disorders, such as high functioning anxiety, are a big part of many people’s lives in the United States.

Further, in the United States, anxiety disorders are the most frequent mental ailment. Anxiety disorders affect around 40 million adult Americans each year.

But, What Exactly Is Anxiety, and How Does It Feel?

Well, anxiety is characterized by a sense of dread, and unease. You may experience restlessness, tenseness, or sweating, as well as a racing heartbeat.

Anxiety could simply be a normal stress reaction.

You may be concerned if you have an assignment deadline or a difficult decision to make. This form of anxiety can both help you cope and encourage you to focus on the problem.

However, fear, dread, and uneasiness are not fleeting for those with high anxiety; they are ongoing and can be overwhelming.

anxiety and alcohol

Unwinding With Alcohol

Anxiety and alcohol consumption are frequently exacerbated by each other.

This is particularly problematic because the two are frequently linked. Alcoholism and anxiety are frequently found together in the same person, as is the case with many dual-diagnosis illnesses. Anxiety is both a cause and a consequence of drinking for many people.

The idea that wine might help you relax has some merit. Alcohol affects the central nervous system as a sedative.

At first, alcohol can help you relax and forget about your problems. The effects of alcohol can mimmick those of anti-anxiety drugs. If your doctor permits, occasionally unwinding with wine isn’t necessarily dangerous.

However, when you begin drinking, you develop a tolerance to alcohol’s stress-relieving effects. Anxiety and tension may become even more difficult to manage as a result of this.

Excessive alcohol use can have both physical and psychological implications.

Drinking too much alcohol can cause blackouts, memory loss, and even brain damage over time. As you deal with the symptoms of these problems, you may get increasingly anxious.

It is typical practice to have a drink or two to relieve stress after a long day.

When someone has an anxiety problem, though, it’s simple for that drink to morph into three or more as they try to quiet their mind.

However, it has been established that one of the long-term consequences of alcohol abuse is the development of a variety of mental health disorders, one of which is anxiety.

Alcoholics have a hard time recovering from stressful incidents, according to research. This could be a result of the effects of alcohol consumption, which can alter brain activity.

Anxiety disorders are more likely to occur in long-term heavy drinkers. Moderate drinking, on the other hand, does not appear to promote anxiety to such an extent.

Because alcohol alters serotonin and other neurotransmitter levels in the brain, it can exacerbate anxiety. Especially once the alcohol wears off, you may feel much more worried. Anxiety is a sign of alcohol withdrawal as well.

The side effects of alcohol withdrawal can increase anxiety if you’ve been consuming high amounts of alcohol for a long time and abruptly quit drinking.

Using Alcohol As A Self-Medication

Anxiety is a condition that affects the central nervous system (CNS).

It can boost heart rate, blood flow, and put the brain into overdrive. Doctors frequently prescribe benzodiazepines, which are CNS depressants, in cases of acute anxiety that require medical treatment.

The properties that make benzodiazepines effective in these conditions are, however, the same effects that many people experience when they drink alcohol. However, keep in mind that alcohol has a distinct effect on various people. Short term, it might make you feel more relaxed or brighten you up after a long day.

First, talk to your doctor about your worries to discover if alcohol is safe for you.

When an individual is unable to obtain a prescription for their Anxiety Disorder, they may resort to alcohol for relief. This is also quite frequent among anxiety sufferers who cannot afford or are embarrassed to seek counselling.

While this may appear to work at first, the temporary relief that alcohol provides is fleeting and comes at a high price. So keep in mind that alcohol isn’t a remedy for anxiety.

If you suffer from anxiety, seek treatment from a mental health expert. If you believe you have an alcohol issue, feel free to go over the resources on this page.

You may also enrol in our masterclass and work with a fantastic coach like Michaela.

Alcoholism And Anxiety Addiction Treatment

The sort of anxiety you have may influence the treatment you receive.

If you have social anxiety or a social phobia, therapy may be the best way to alleviate your anxiety, but it can be difficult to get assistance if you also have an alcohol addiction.

Many people think of alcoholism as the more immediate threat, but you’re more likely to relapse if you don’t address the underlying worry.

Finding a facility that knows how to treat your anxiety illness can mean the difference between success and failure.

Reach out to a treatment professional if you don’t know where to turn and need assistance thinking out your next actions. They can talk about other therapy choices.

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Hi, I'm Michela

I’m a leader in the science of transformational freedom for women, and someone previously addicted to alcohol. I have walked the path. I understand your concerns and fears. Here you will find some of my thoughts and insights. Happy browsing!

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Michaela Weaver

Michaela is the world's leading authority for enabling highly successful women to embrace their true, alcohol-free, authentic selves in a world where alcohol is normalised for those who are successful.Her ground-breaking science-based methods using The Science of Transformational Freedom, result in the revelation of uncovering The Social Secret®, so that high achieving woman can joyfully live their lives free from alcohol – but also thrive in all aspects of their work and personal life without it.