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Anxiety symptoms are common in those who have developed an addiction to alcohol. This can happen as a result of a person’s body reacting to alcohol, or as a result of withdrawal if they go too long without drinking. Alcohol affects serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, which can aggravate anxiety. You may get considerably more concerned as the booze wears off. Alcohol-induced anxiety can last for many hours or even a whole day after intake.

If one is physically addicted to alcohol, anxiety symptoms associated with withdrawal will last about a week maximum, with the first 2 days being the most challenging. In some people, anxiety symptoms might last longer than a week. In this piece, we’ll talk about how alcohol causes anxiety. The paper will further go over why alcohol-induced anxiety is so common, as well as how long it may persist. Furthermore, we will explore various treatments and solutions for alcohol-induced anxiety.

Before we consider, in greater detail, the role of alcohol, we must first try and answer the question; what does anxiety mean? Anxiety is defined as a sensation of fear and/or anxiety over something that is going to happen. Physical symptoms such as an increase in heart rate, perspiration, and shaking might occur in many situations. Anxiety comes in many forms, ranging from social anxiety or phobia to the more serious General Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Anxiety, in any scenario, is extremely dangerous and needs quick treatment. Alcohol and panic episodes go hand in hand, and one might lead to the other.

Alcohol is a depressant that has a profound effect on the drinker’s mental state by influencing the central nervous system directly, decelerating the brain’s nerve cells specifically. Furthermore, alcohol has an effect on GABA, a neurotransmitter in the brain that works as an inhibitor, reducing or totally blocking the activity of specific brain cells. Although the combination of GABA and alcohol generates a sense of calm, it only lasts for a brief time before the individual becomes agitated. Alcohol does, in fact, cause panic attacks and anxiety attacks, according to research. It’s a two-way road. Anxiety and panic episodes can be triggered by alcohol, while alcohol usage can be triggered by anxiety and panic attacks.

Brain fog, nausea, shortness of breath, trembling, pounding heartbeat, and a variety of other severe symptoms can develop during panic attacks. As a result, it’s critical to address the root of anxiety and avoid situations that trigger anxiety and panic episodes. Alcohol, which we shall now examine in further detail, is among the aggravators of anxiety attacks and panic attacks.

Alcohol may help a person relax and cope with their anxiety. On the other hand, it has the potential to trigger anxiety and panic episodes. Panic attacks are episodes of intense anxiety characterised by fear and terror. Even though there is no obvious threat, the individual feels anxious and their mind feels divorced from reality because they believe they are in danger. Long-term alcohol use might result in panic episodes. This is because, as previously indicated, alcohol has an effect on GABA. GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is a key neurotransmitter in the body’s central nervous system. It has an inhibitory function, which means it decreases neuronal excitement (nerve cells). This inhibition is responsible for the body’s calming impact. GABA is stimulated and relaxation is produced when little amounts of alcohol are consumed. However, excessive amounts of alcohol, especially for heavy drinkers, significantly impair GABA activity and cause panic. According to research, 25% of persons with panic disorder had a history of alcohol use and abuse.

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To add to this, certain alcohol addiction symptoms are similar to those of a panic attack or panic disorder. An increased heart rate, thirst, dizziness, and irritability are all physiological signs. Drinking alcohol can easily cause a panic attack in someone who already suffers from anxiety by activating these symptoms. When you drink alcohol, your serotonin levels rise and then fall, exactly like your GABA levels. Because chronic alcohol use reduces the normal amounts of these neurotransmitters, withdrawal symptoms (such as panic and anxiety) are more severe.

If alcohol intake produces panic attacks on a frequent basis, this is cause for concern and should be addressed by an expert since it indicates that the person has developed an addiction to alcohol. However, while infrequent drinking doesn’t quite trigger panic attacks or anxiety attacks, habitual drinking can induce them, and infrequent drinking can exacerbate existing anxiety and panic disorders.

Alcohol is known to trigger anxiety and panic attacks in those who have never experienced them before. Not only that, but alcohol exacerbates anxiousness and anxiety that already exists. The reason for this is that because alcohol is a sedative, some people take it to relieve their anxiety. It affects brain chemistry and causes nerve impulses to slow down. The inhibitory part of our brain is depressed by alcohol. We feel peaceful and at rest as a result of this, but the relaxation is just temporary. When the effects of alcohol wear off, previously repressed anxiety returns, and in some circumstances, produces much more anxiety than as was the case priorly. When people use alcohol as a medium to calm their anxiety on a regular basis, they develop an addiction to it, which can lead to an alcohol use disorder. Alcohol and anxiety are a very unpleasant combination that impairs one’s ability to operate normally.

The neurotransmitters dopamine, GABA, serotonin, and adrenaline are all altered by alcohol, resulting in a brief euphoric experience. When the euphoria of drinking wears off, anxiety, panic, and even despair set in. Alcohol also disrupts sleep rhythms and hormones, resulting in nervous feelings.

Withdrawal symptoms appear as the amount of time gap since the last drink grows. These might be either psychological or physical in nature. One of the psychological withdrawal consequences is anxiety. Those who are not nervous in general may overlook this and it will not be an issue for them. Alcohol withdrawal, on the other hand, exacerbates anxiety in people who already have it. Those who suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder may get up in the middle of the night feeling anxious and stressed with anxiety. People with social anxiety may begin to dig through their memories of what happened the night before, exacerbating their uneasiness.

Extensive and chronic alcohol consumption impairs one’s capacity to respond to stress in a healthy and adaptive manner, resulting in anxiety. Alcohol has been proven to influence the amygdala, a part of the brain that regulates emotions, particularly unpleasant ones, according to research. Because the amygdala does not function correctly in alcoholics, we may deduce that alcohol and anxiety are linked, and it is a terrifyingly vicious cycle.

Hangxiety is the term for alcohol-induced anxiety, and the duration of its effects varies depending on the individual and how their bodies react to alcohol. Hanxiety is also used as an abbreviation for hangover anxiety, which occurs when a person experiences a surge in anxiety after consuming alcohol. Despite the fact that anxiety from alcohol is the least reported symptom, it is stated that more than 20% percent of persons experience it.

Hangxiety can continue more than half a day after the first hangover symptoms, according to a mouse research, after which the mice’s blood alcohol level recovered to baseline. Another study found that alcohol-induced anxiety in rats persisted up to 24 hours. So, while the worry associated with a hangover may not linger long, it is not always the case. Anxiety can persist for up to a week in those who are addicted to alcohol! Moreover,  Anxiety might last for up to seven days in some people. The uneasiness associated with a hangover lasts as long as it takes the body to restore normal chemical levels.

Alcohol-induced anxiety can last for many hours or even a whole day after intake. If you’ve ever had a long night of drinking, you’ve definitely experienced the physical effects of a hangover. Symptoms include a pounding headache, nausea, fatigue and weakness, sensitivity to light, sweating, and a strong need to drink water.

For many people, however, the symptoms of a hangover do not stop there. The headache and nausea are accompanied with hangxiety, or hangover worry.

Do you ever become nervous or worried after a night of drinking? Are you constantly replaying what you said and did the night before, afraid of humiliating yourself or offending someone? Hangxiety is what it is. So, what can be done to treat this kind of anxiety, or ‘hangxiety’ to be more precise. The therapy you receive may be influenced by the type of anxiety you have. So depending on the kind of anxiety you face, different treatment options exist. Counseling may be the most effective approach to reduce your anxiety if you suffer from social anxiety or phobia (combined with certain medication). If you have a generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), which is marked by an unexplained sensation of concern or tension, your doctor may recommend cognitive behavioural treatment (CBT) or talking to a therapist about your anxiety.

A doctor may prescribe Duloxetine (Cymbalta), escitalopram (Lexapro), or paroxetine as antidepressants. Each type of anxiety medication acts in a unique way. Antidepressants can be used on a regular basis to help with anxiety, while benzodiazepines are frequently used for short-term anxiety alleviation. To find out which drug is best for you, go to your doctor.

Several of these medications may interact with alcohol. Before taking any of these medications, discuss your alcohol use with your doctor, since side effects can be severe or fatal.

Treating alcohol anxiety could prove to be wearing, however, one may reduce it. Making some lifestyle changes can help you manage and reduce your anxiety. These simple changes include reducing your levels of anxiousness, getting proper sleep each night (6-8 hours daily), limiting caffeine intake as well and alcohol consumption, as both drinks can lead to you feeling uneasy. Eating a well-balanced and nutritious meal could also prove to be effective, as well as focusing on ones self and taking out time to relax and soothe one’s mind and body. This includes incorporating yoga and meditation into your daily routine. Interesting and relaxing hobbies such as singing, dancing, listening to good music, painting, etc can also contribute towards a reduction in anxiety. 

Addressing alcohol-induced anxiety in particular, you may also learn to control your alcohol anxiety by slowing it down and preventing it from becoming overwhelming and causing panic attacks. A few easy and totally doable steps include taking few deep breaths each time you feel scared or panicked, and slowly inhale and exhale. Focusing on the positive and brighter side of things when one starts to get negative or overwhelming thoughts can also help stay pleasant.techniques such as slow counting can also help fight anxiousness. Your aim should be to maintain you focus on good and positive things around you that put a smile on your face, or make you laugh, in order to get rid of anxiety and calm your nerves.  

If you have been drinking and have suffered alcohol-induced anxiety before, it is likey that the next day you might suffer ‘hangxiety’. So here are a few recommendations for soothing anxiety at night or lowering anxiety the next day after drinking if you suffer from severe hangxiety.

Taking care of the physical symptoms of a hangover may help you feel better mentally. To recover from a hangover, drink plenty of water, get proper sleep, eat a light meal, and take an ibuprofen-like pain killer. In order to soothe yourself and calm your nerves, it would be helpful to try and include meditation and deep breathing as part of your routine at times where you fear hangxiety or feel like you are panicking. Relax your body and mind while paying attention to and accepting your thoughts without bias. If you feel up to it, listen to soothing music or indulge in a relaxing hobby such as writing, reading, painting, or going for a walk. This would keep your mind off the stress and divert your attention to the activity at hand, which could in turn considerably lower the amount of stress you were previously facing. 

Having a good alcohol-free nighttime relaxation routine can prove to be very beneficial in overcoming such issues. You can pick and choose what seems possible, and incorporate those things in your routine that makes you feel most relaxed and seem most interesting. 

Setting aside time in the evening to turn off any electronic devices with screens is strongly recommended. It is recommended that you avoid watching television for at least an hour before going to bed, with three hours being ideal.

Scented candles, essential oils and diffusers can help create the perfect aura. The calming and relaxing effects of lavender, vanilla, jasmine, rose, sandalwood, ylang-ylang, bergamot, and chamomile are well-known. Once your environment feels relaxing, your mind and body will automatically start to feel less stressed and would welcome the relaxing and calm aura. 

A tasty nightcap could help relax too. Turmeric, ginger, cloves, and honey provide this warming golden milk with its natural anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral benefits. To make it dairy-free, use almond or coconut milk. This not only calms your stomach, but it also strengthens immunity and could help calm your mind which could, in turn, lead to a calm and deep sleep. 

Despite the fact that it appears to be simple, the majority of us are ignorant of the powerful and always available stress-relieving approach of simply breathing! Instead, the vast majority of people take shallow breaths. When you take calm and complete inhalations and exhalations, it enhances blood circulation and better distributes nutrients and chemicals to all of the many critical regions of your body and brain, resulting in overall equilibrium. One of the most effective is Dr. Weil’s 4-7-8 breath method. This is something you could prefer to do on a chair or on the floor. Simply inhale four times, hold for seven counts, and then exhale eight times. Rep this process three or four times more.

A gratitude list could do wonders to keep you in good spirits. Even if you’re having a difficult day, you can find many things to be grateful for every day— a warm bed, lovely breakfast of your choice, someone’s smile, those deep breaths you just took, your pulse. We don’t need science to inform us that gratitude contributes to a happier, less stressful state of mind. gratitude makes you focus on the good aspects of your life and could also lead to a habit of always being grateful for the little things in life, which could help deal with your anxiety. 

Thus, small positive changes can all contribute towards the relaxed, positive, and stress-free life that you deserve!

After a long, weary day, you need some relaxation and alone time. What would seem ideal would be to pull out a glass and pour yourself some delicious red wine and sit yourself comfortably down on the bed or sofa and sip your worries away. At this point you might wonder if wine, being an alcoholic beverage, can lead to anxiety? Thankfully, the most current research on red wine has focused on its antioxidants and its memory-protecting and anti-aging properties. And what could be more relaxing than a wonderful glass of delicacy in gem tones?

Sorry to break it to you, but wine can exacerbate tension and anxiety, as well as disrupt sleep, especially if you’re already stressed out. And, if you’ve ever suffered from anxiety, you know how debilitating it can be—and how common it is. Around 30% of people suffer from anxiety problems at some point in their lives. Furthermore, almost twice as many women as men are affected.

This raises the question of how wine causes or effects anxiety. It has the capacity to change the chemistry of your body.

Any sort of alcohol, such as wine, changes the levels of serotonin, other neurotransmitters, and hormones in the brain and body, which can aggravate anxiety. While a single glass of wine may seem relaxing, alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that can cause a rebound effect that can last for hours or even days after it wears off.

It can make you sweat at night and give you hot flashes. When your body is thrown off balance, it works hard to get back on track. Your body may struggle to achieve homeostasis if you’re perimenopausal or menopausal. When you drink a glass of wine, your body reads it as sugar, creating an increase in insulin to deal with the increased blood sugar, which has an impact on other hormones like estrogen and progesterone. This means that your body may overcompensate in order to achieve homeostasis, resulting in hot flashes and nocturnal sweats.

It has the potential to cause sleep disturbances. Your body is unable to rest when it is out of its natural homeostatic state. So, while it’s true that a glass of wine can help you fall asleep quickly, it’s also true that the reason you wake up a few hours later is that the sedative effects wear off, leaving you with the aftereffects of a body trying to rebalance itself. Sleep deprivation can cause worry, which can lead to a vicious cycle.

It’s a delicate position. Even if you’ve never had an alcohol issue, you (like the majority of us) may have addictive characteristics that cause you to overindulge in other areas of your life. Consider sugary and salty meals, outlet or online shopping, binge-watching Netflix or other recorded shows, and all the other addictions that come with our 24/7 lifestyles. Also, bear in mind that anxiety and alcoholism seem to go hand in hand, so if you have one, you’re more likely to have the other.

So, in conclusion, it seems better to avoid wine as well when you are suffering anxiety or seem vulnerable to it. 

Although hangxiety can be managed to a degree, it is best to avoid it entirely and for good. The methods to managing and, if feasible, during Alcohol Anxiety are as follows:

Simple methods for preventing anxiety include eating before drinking and drinking a glass of water after each alcoholic beverage. Staying hydrated can help you avoid both a hangover and hangxiety, as dehydration has been connected to anxiety and other mood changes.

Drinking less alcohol is also advantageous. The more you drink, the worse your hangover (and any associated anxiety) will be.

The more you drink, the worse your hangover (and any hangxiety) will be. Try pacing yourself and setting a limit for the evening before you start drinking. Instead of hanging out with folks who will drink excessively, hang out with people who wish to limit their consumption. Instead of going out with folks who will overindulge in alcohol, hang out with pals who wish to limit their consumption. While having a nice time, you’ll be able to hold each other accountable.

Thus, small changes in lifestyle and a little self control, ensuring you avoid alcohol can lead to you feeling less anxious and could prevent “hangxiety”. 


The Balance RehabClinic is a leading provider of luxury addiction and mental health treatment for affluent individuals and their families, offering a blend of innovative science and holistic methods with unparalleled individualised care.


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