EP 02: Reader Question – Why do I have so much anxiety the day after drinking?

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Annie explores the relationship between alcohol and anxiety. A short, effective answer packed with research and insight.

Anxiety from drinking is mainly due to the dynorphin cycle.

Your body is always trying to maintain homeostasis. Over time you build a tolerance to alcohol – in essence a tolerance means you are more sober after less drinking – and it has a counter effect on the alcohol. Your body creates an immunity to the alcohol, because it believes you don’t have a choice in drinking it. One aspects of the tolerance is the release of a chemical called dynoprhin. The dynorphin causes the unease and anxiety from drinking you might be experiencing.


An effort to practice moderation can also cause anxiety from drinking. If you want to moderate its because you believe there is something beneficial in drinking – it brings you somewhere or does something for you. So if you practice moderation and the alcohol doesn’t deliver on the anticipation, happiness or whatever you were expecting that can cause anxiety from drinking. Even worse is if all of your anxiety from drinking is due to the limits you have placed for yourself and now must adhere to or feel that you have failed.

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Anxiety from drinking

Keep analyzing your feelings, your thoughts and your emotions. Learn what your anxiety is truly about and work to reshape those expectations with the realities you now know. Anxiety from drinking can continue long after you are alcohol free if you do not dispel the myths you have created that surround the anticipation and perceived belief of the pleasure alcohol will bring. You must see alcohol for what it really is to break free from those beliefs.

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Special music thank you to the Kevin MacLeod Funkorama (incompetech.com)
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