Like depression and alcoholism, anxiety and alcoholism are undoubtedly linked. Studies have shown that one-third of the people who have anxiety disorders struggle with substance abuse, and that one-third of substance abusers also have an anxiety disorder.
The most common mental illness in the U.S., anxiety disorders afflict 40 million adults—twice as many women as men—and take a toll on the economy of more than $40 billion each year due to health-care costs and lost productivity.
The tragic side of alprazalom and many other anti-anxiety drugs is that they are highly addicting, and contribute to a large percentage of people recovering from substance use disorder who want to quit or relapse back to alcohol or drug use after many years of recovery. A relapse can be devastating to a person’s mental and physical health. Some people lose their families and their jobs. Some even lose their lives.
Benzodiazepines detoxification is dangerous, and can lead to a seizure and death, so do not try to do it alone. You need the help of a qualified doctor or detoxification center of a hospital or outpatient detoxification center to help you with the withdrawal side effects.
Anxiety is normal. Anxiety disorders are not normal. The challenge of diagnosing anxiety disorders is that everyone has some degree of anxiety. Anxiety becomes a disorder when it interferes with life or causes a lot of distress.
Everyone has a different threshold level or limit as to how much of stress or stimulus coming to us from the world, that we can handle. As soon as that threshold is exceeded – we deal with that by engaging in a variety of coping mechanisms. Most ‘dysfunctional’ behavior stems from our ability to withstand this ‘stress.’
Anxiety sometimes drives people to do things to get rid of the discomfort. Many people who experience chronic feelings of anxiety about social situations, work and relationships, or other aspects of everyday life often reach for a beer or a glass of wine to quell their unease.
Alcohol may help anxious people cope in the short term, but over time this strategy can backfire. Self-medicating with alcohol or drugs can increase the risk of alcoholism and other substance-abuse problems, without addressing the underlying anxiety. And anxiety becomes the trigger for continued alcohol use and dependence. People probably believe that self-medication works. What people do not realize is that this quick-fix method actually makes things worse in the long term. On the flip side of the alcohol/anxiety relationship, alcohol consumption and hangovers can make many people anxious. It is a scientifically based understanding fact that alcohol can cause anxiety.
Scientists believe that alcohol causes or at least increases anxiety in 6 basic ways:
Alcohol can affect our mood because it can affect the level of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a feel good brain chemical that when in short supply can cause feelings of anxiety and depression.
2. Drop in Blood Sugar
A drop in blood sugar can cause dizziness, confusion, weakness, nervousness, shaking and numbness. These symptoms can most certainly trigger a bout of anxiety.
This has been known to cause nausea, dizziness, fatigue, light-headedness and muscle weakness. These symptoms wouldn’t cause anxiety per say but they add to a sense of illness which fosters anxiety.
4. Nervous System
The nervous system is affected because in order for the div to fight off the sedative effects of alcohol it puts the div into a state of hyperactivity in order to counteract this effect. This hyperactivity can lead to shaking, light/sound sensitivity and sleep deprivation.
5. Heart Rate
Your heart rate can become elevated as a result of consuming alcohol which can cause a palpitation false alarm and put you into a state of anxious anticipation. Is it a heart attack or isn’t it you might ask. This “what if” questioning can increase your general state of anxiety.
A hard night of drinking can also make you hazy, bring on headaches and create a sense of disorientation. Treatment for many anxiety disorders most often includes a combination of non addicting medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Research suggests that a combination of cognitive-behavioral therapy and medication can help control symptoms and lead to complete remission in some people.
For those people who have suffered an alcohol and drug relapse, or who have not been able to maintain sobriety due to anxiety, Lasting Recovery offers a cognitive behavioral program. We support people to people make changes in their thinking and in their lives and to understand the causes of anxiety and basic fears. We offer the Fearless Change Process that helps you to see that a lot of anxiety comes from unmet needs or fear that one’s needs will not be met in the future.