A casual drink is a frequent indulgence for most of the population. But for certain people, drinking can be tied to problems with anxiety. A general anxiety disorder is characterized as uncontrolled worry about everyday situations. Coping with anxiety disorders often leads to the consumption of alcohol. Desert Cove Recovery, leading alcohol rehab in AZ, will take a look at anxiety and drinking: what anxiety is, how the treatment of anxiety lends itself to alcoholism, and what are some of the more harmful effects of this cycle.
What is Anxiety?
Occasional situational anxiety is a part of life. However, people with an anxiety disorder frequently have excessive worry and fear about everyday situations. Often, anxiety disorders involve repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes (panic attacks).
These feelings of anxiety and panic interfere with daily activities of living; they can be challenging to control, they can blow situations and feel out of proportion, and they last an unreasonably long time. You may avoid places or situations to prevent these feelings. And, it is not just adults with anxiety disorders–symptoms may start during early childhood, they can start during the teen years, and they can continue into adulthood.
Examples of anxiety disorders, according to the Mayo Clinic, include generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder and social phobia, and separation anxiety disorder. It is also not unheard of to have more than one anxiety disorder. Sometimes anxiety at its core stems from a medical condition that has yet to be treated.
Continued after video:
Symptoms of Anxiety
Though not a thorough list, a list of common anxiety symptoms include:
- Feeling nervous or tense
- A sense of impending danger or panic
- An increased heart rate
- Breathing rapidly and/or hyperventilating
- Trouble concentrating
- Having trouble sleeping/insomnia
Complications from Anxiety
Often, you hear people say, “stop worrying so much.” But having an anxiety disorder involves more than only worrying too much. If it is not addressed, anxiety can also lead to other mental and physical conditions that can drastically reduce your quality of life. These conditions include:
- Depression and/or other mental health issues
- Substance abuse
- Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
- Digestive or bowel problems
- Headache pain
- Social isolation
- Problems functioning at school, work or in the home
Anxiety and Drinking
When dealing with anxiety, some people self medicate. They may do this before they seek professional intervention. They will typically do this by using alcohol. It is a natural solution because alcohol is easily accessible, relatively affordable, and the effects of alcohol are very similar to those of anxiety medications.
Alcohol lowers inhibitions, improves your mood, and can calm any nerves. However, problems arise as tolerance is built, and alcohol consumption increases. Once this happens, symptoms of too much drinking and the stress brought on by those symptoms lead to more anxiety. This is a risky cycle that can get out of hand quickly.
If you or someone you know is suffering from anxiety and addiction, Desert Cove Recovery can help. We are always one phone call or one click away to help you get to a better place and onto a clearer path.