Can alcohol cause Anxiety?!
A handsome guy in a suit hits the bar after a stressful day at work to have a drink or two, while loosening his tie (symbol for relaxation 😉 ) hence the question Can alcohol cause Anxiety?! . That’s how alcohol consumption is demonstrated in movies and tv shows: a sedative drink that helps you relax .
However, let us question the accuracy of that picture, the truth of alcohol effects on our brains and answer the famous question: Can alcohol cause anxiety?
- Types of anxiety
- Why do you get hangover anxiety?
- Anxiety and alcoholism cycle
- What does alcohol do to your brain?
Types of anxiety
“Can alcohol cause anxiety?” Well, depends on which type of anxiety you are asking about.
- Occasional anxiety
which is felt by an employee working on a certain project and concerned about the deadline and this one is normal, sometimes even healthy.
- Anxiety disorder
Where a person feels constantly anxious by situations that are not supposed to cause anxiety. Patients are not just shy or stressed, but they experience increased heart rate, shakiness, and they may become sick by certain triggers that are different for every patient.
Types of anxiety disorder
- General anxiety disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder
- OCD (Obsessive-compulsive disorder)
- PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder)
Why do you get hangover anxiety?
After a night of partying and drinking with friends, one usually wakes up with ‘anxiety’, when you suffer from nausea, headache, thirst, muscle aches, and anxiety (as if physical pain wasn’t enough!). But, can alcohol cause anxiety from ONE night?
Well, yes, but not the disorder. Anxiety here is the occasional one when you become worried about what damage you may have caused while you were drunk, like:
- Hurting anyone emotionally or physically
- Texting your ex
- Embarrassing yourself publicly through socially unacceptable actions
And thanks to technology, whether or not these things were filmed and may be posted on social media, putting you in danger of suddenly becoming a trend.
Sometimes even if you did not do anything embarrassing, you will still feel:
- The need to apologize
Anxiety and Alcoholism Cycle
When researchers here can alcohol cause anxiety question, they divide into 2 groups with two models (theories):
The Self-Medication Model
They say that people with anxiety disorders usually resort to alcohol to ease their symptoms and help them relax, resulting later in alcohol use disorders (AUDs). And the AUDs trigger anxiety more, and so on……………
The Substance-Induced Anxiety Model
This model states that one of the biopsychological problems caused by alcohol is anxiety disorder,especially if the pattern if drinking is of prolonged duration and consists of multiple episodes of binge drinking followed by withdrawal.
This causes damage to certain parts of the central nervous system like the limbic system which involved in panic attacks.
Moreover, can alcohol cause anxiety due to sociological problems in interpersonal relationships, finance, and employment? They answer ‘yes’.
So, this group of researchers answer with a firm yes to “Can alcohol cause anxiety?”.
What does alcohol do to your brain?
Maybe now you know the answer to the can alcohol cause anxiety question, but now you are more concerned about “Why does alcohol cause anxiety?”
Alcohol and dopamine
Alcohol causes dopamine to flood your reward circuits, thus causes euphoria. If you drink it in small doses to achieve that. Hence, The problem is that every time your brain will need a higher dose of alcohol to achieve the same level of euphoria.
Alcohol and serotonin
In the beginning, alcohol increases serotonin levels, but in the long-term, it causes its depletion and prevents the human body from normally producing it. Thus, one becomes dependent on alcohol because otherwise, depression hits. Furthermore, This not only answers “Can alcohol cause anxiety?”, but also “Can alcohol cause depression ?”.
Alcohol is a depressant drug
It stimulates GABA (major inhibitory brain neurotransmitter), and inhibits glutamate (major stimulatory brain neurotransmitter).
Alcohol can cause occasional anxiety and anxiety disorder due to its effects on the brain, as well as its strong correlation (clinically and experimentally) with different anxiety disorders.