We Have Beds Available! Call for Same Day Admission.855-722-6926

How Alcohol Affects Anxiety

How Alcohol Affects Anxiety

Anxiety can make you feel tense and extremely fragile.

Having an anxiety disorder can make it nearly impossible to keep up with responsibilities or enjoy your life. Many people turn to alcohol in an attempt to cope with symptoms of their anxiety. While alcohol and anxiety relief may sound like a promising duo, this is far from the truth. The relaxing effects of alcohol are not only temporary, but they can also become harmful when it’s drunk in high doses. As a nationwide drug and alcohol treatment center, we know how alcohol affects anxiety and we can guarantee that it isn’t the solution.

Understanding Anxiety

Experiencing occasional moments of anxiety is normal for many people. However, there are others who are frequently anxious, to the point where it disrupts their lives. These individuals may struggle from a severe anxiety disorder that includes regular and prolonged periods of intense bursts of fear and a sense of doom. Without the help of a mental health program, anxiety can affect every area of a person’s life. 

The most common symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Nervousness
  • Restlessness
  • Feeling tense
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Feelings of danger, dread, or panic
  • Rapid breathing or hyperventilation
  • Muscle weakness
  • Tremors or twitches
  • Trembling
  • Difficulties concentrating or focusing
  • Difficulties sleeping
  • Digestive or gastrointestinal problems
  • Avoiding things that trigger anxiety
  • Obsessions about certain ideas or things
  • Performing repeated behaviors
  • Anxiety surrounding a certain event of experience (signs of post-traumatic stress disorder)

Individuals with anxiety disorders may also experience panic attacks. Common panic attack symptoms include:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Excessive sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Shortness of breathing
  • Feeling a sensation of choking
  • Chest pains or tightness
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling excessively hot or cold
  • Numbness
  • Feeling detached from reality (depersonalization and derealization)
  • Fear of dying

Panic attacks often mimic the symptoms of other conditions like heart disease, breathing disorders, and cardiovascular problems like heart attacks. These individuals may believe they’re experiencing a life-threatening condition rather than a symptom of anxiety. Banyan Treatment Centers offers residential mental health treatment that can help individuals with anxiety develop healthy coping mechanisms.

How Does Alcohol Affect Anxiety?

The signs and symptoms of anxiety can be alarming. Many individuals who do have anxiety haven’t been properly diagnosed, so they may not realize they have a disorder. These anxiety sufferers may also lack proper mental health care. Anxiety and alcohol are often interlinked because people attempt to use the latter to cope with the former. A mental disorder can be highly disruptive to a person's life, so it’s no surprise that people often use drugs and alcohol to cope with their symptoms. Alcohol is a commonly abused substance because it depresses the central nervous system and produces feelings of peace and relaxation. However, although drinking may promise temporary relaxation, the effects of alcohol on anxiety are anything but relaxing

How alcohol affects anxiety has everything to do with the effects of alcohol on the body. Binge drinking can not only cause hangovers, but it can also produce various adverse side effects that can induce anxiety and panic attacks.

Common effects of alcohol include:

  • Dehydration
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Low blood sugar
  • Hangover
  • Blackouts or loss of consciousness
  • Agitation
  • Increased blood sugar
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased body temperature

These symptoms can be extremely disturbing and stressful, which can trigger symptoms of anxiety. An anxious individual may feel physically ill to the point of panicking after excessive alcohol consumption. Alcohol can not only worsen anxiety symptoms, but it can also lead to addiction. A person who becomes accustomed to binge drinking frequently is more likely to develop alcoholism. Banyan Treatment Centers offers safe and effective alcohol addiction treatment that can help individuals who are unable to quit drinking on their own get sober.

Anxiety and alcohol abuse are just one of the many deadly combinations involving substance abuse. At our Banyan detox center, not only do we offer expert tips for managing anxiety, but we also offer a variety of treatment options for addiction. If you or a loved one is battling a drinking problem, call us now at 888-280-4763 to find out more about our detox programs and substance abuse treatments.

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
How Alcohol Affects Anxiety
This website uses cookies to improve your experience. By using this website you agree to our Online Privacy Policy.
Learn more ›