Hangover Anxiety

hangover anxiety

“Hangxiety” refers to the feeling of dread or anxiety symptoms that follow a long period of heavy drinking.

If you’ve ever experienced anxiety after drinking, then you may understand how mentally and physically uncomfortable it can be. Although some people can pass through this hangover phase with no problem, others become overwhelmed by their anxiety symptoms. If you experience this feeling frequently, it may be an indication of a more serious drinking problem. Our addiction treatment center in Palm Springs understands how alcohol affects the brain and why hangover anxiety happens.

Why Do Hangovers Cause Anxiety?

Hangxiety is a common symptom of a hangover. A hangover is characterized by symptoms like nausea, stomach pain, headache, and dizziness following a period of heavy drinking. Alcohol works similarly to other sedatives or depressants in how it affects the brain. Drinking affects multiple neurological pathways in the brain, one of them being gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that works by inhibiting certain brain signals and decreasing activity in the central nervous system (CNS). It also plays a role in functions like memory, anxiety, mood, and motor control. Alcohol increases GABA in the brain, producing feelings of calm and relaxation as well as inhibiting these functions.

Alcohol works as a sedative by activating the brain’s inhibitory system (GABA) while also stimulating the brain by targeting the stimulatory system. This causes the brain’s inhibitory system to work twice as hard and causes a reduction in activity in the stimulatory system and also causes the relaxed feeling that so many drinkers enjoy. If you’re drinking for a long time or drink a lot of alcohol, the brain tries to regulate itself. It decreases the inhibitory system’s activity and increases the stimulatory system’s activity. As a result, you may feel jittery, anxious, irritable, and agitated when you stop drinking. This is also known as hangxiety.

Hangover Anxiety Symptoms

People who have anxiety disorders are more prone to experiencing anxiety the day after drinking heavily. But this doesn’t mean someone who doesn’t have an anxiety disorder would not experience hangover anxiety. Hangxiety can be considered a milder version of alcohol withdrawal. This could be a result of alcohol’s effects on neurotransmitters like dopamine. Drinking alcohol causes dopamine neurons in the brain to fire constantly. This dopamine rush doesn’t last long, so it’s common for people to experience sudden changes in mood and anxiety levels.

Some common symptoms of hangover anxiety include:

  • Tight feeling in the stomach
  • Increased heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Rapid breathing
  • An intense sense of doom and fear
  • Restlessness, which can make it difficult to sleep or concentrate
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Irritability and agitation

People who drink more heavily may experience more severe side effects like diarrhea and panic attacks. If you find yourself experiencing hangover anxiety, then you may need help. Hangxiety is a symptom of alcohol withdrawal, which is the body’s reaction to a lack of alcohol. The more frequent your drinking habits become, the more dependent on alcohol your body will become. If you’re struggling to cut down on your drinking, our alcohol detox at Banyan Treatment Centers Palm Springs can help.

Hangxiety May Indicate a Serious Problem

Because hangxiety is associated with heavy drinking and considered a form of alcohol withdrawal, constantly experiencing anxiety after a night out drinking with friends can indicate a more serious problem. Hangovers are most common in individuals who drink an excessive amount of alcohol. Hangover anxiety is also a sign of alcohol dependence. Dependence, in this case, is the body’s reliance on a substance, which is marked by withdrawal symptoms when the body lacks this substance. In other words, the more you drink, the more your body gets used to it, and the more uncomfortable it will be to stop drinking.

People often continue consuming alcohol to avoid the discomfort caused by withdrawal symptoms. This repetitive behavior can eventually result in alcoholism. Alcohol addiction is a chronic and progressive disease characterized by a person’s inability to control their drinking. Long-term alcohol abuse can cause problems like liver disease and failure, kidney damage, and alcohol-induced dementia. Individuals who frequently binge drink are also more likely to suffer from alcohol poisoning. People who are battling alcoholism can get help at our rehab in California. Banyan Palm Springs offers alcohol addiction treatment in addition to other therapy programs to treat the related superficial and underlying issues.

If you or a loved one is battling alcoholism or drug addiction, call us now at 888-280-4763 to learn more about our inpatient rehab in Palm Springs.

Alyssa who is the National Director of Digital Marketing, joined the Banyan team in 2016, bringing her five-plus years of experience. She has produced a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. Through strategic marketing campaign concepts, Alyssa has established Banyan as an industry leader and a national household name.