Breaking The Link Between Anxiety and Alcohol
Now more than ever, self-medicating with alcohol is often encouraged. There are virtual happy hours or social distancing street parties. It seems like everyone is choosing alcohol to deal with the anxiousness and uncertainty we are all feeling. It all starts innocently, but there’s hidden dangers to choosing alcohol to control your anxiety. In fact, it can actually make your anxiety worse in the long run. Uncovering the link between anxiety and alcohol is crucial to overcoming it.
Who Needs Enemies?
We all start off considering alcohol our friend. It’s that shoulder we turn to when life feels too big. We feel like we can rely on alcohol to quiet those fears and maybe even take them away. I know that I kept going back to alcohol as my anxiety kept increasing. What I didn’t realize is that my anxiety kept increasing because my alcohol intake kept increasing. Crazy, right?
There’s actually something called “hangxiety.” Drinking itself can increase your anxiety and leave you feeling worse once it wears off. Drinking for anxiety is like sucker punching yourself. It will initially relax you since it is a sedative. In fact, it was often used as anesthesia in the early days of surgery. The dark side to this is that alcohol changes levels of serotonin and other transmitters in your brain. This yo-yoing of the chemical levels in your brain means that anxiety levels can be higher than they were before drinking.
I dig deeper into the link between anxiety and alcohol in This Naked Mind. Start reading for free today!