When you are dealing with anxiety, you may reach for a bottle of wine, or a can of beer to calm yourself down, unwind, or relax. Why does this seem reasonable? Because a lot of people do it.
People often associate alcohol with kicking back and just having a good time. Even light drinkers who do not suffer from alcoholism, per se, may view the relationship between alcohol and anxiety as that of a beverage used to ease the anxiety.
However, what you may not know is that alcohol can make anxiety worse. In fact, you may be doing more harm than good. Suffering severe anxiety is difficult, especially if you self-medicate with heavy drinking. However, an anxiety treatment program can teach you about the real relationship between alcohol and anxiety.
Why Alcohol Does Help You Unwind
While it is true that alcohol is a sedative and a depressant, there’s more to the story. When you first take a sip, you may notice how the alcohol reduces your stress and even takes your mind off your worries. You may start to come out of your shell, get in a seemingly better mood, or even feel relaxed. However, the more you start drinking, the more those initial feelings wear off.
Eventually, your body develops a tolerance to the beverage, and you start drinking more so that you can experience those feelings time and again. Once you become addicted to alcohol or abuse it, you will begin to experience blackouts, memory loss, and even some damage to the brain.
Even worse, the length of alcohol detox means you experience serious withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop using. What first started as a means to relax a little, has now turned into a significant problem that is affecting all areas of your life including your home life, your job, and all of your relationships.
How Alcohol Can Make Your Anxiety Worse
Alcohol can alter the levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in your brain. This alteration can make your anxiety worse. You may feel even more anxious once the alcohol wears off. Once you form a dependency on alcohol, the anxiety becomes part of the addiction, because you start to feel that you need alcohol to engage in just about anything.
If you don’t get the alcohol, then you stress out, and your anxiety can heighten. However, mental health therapies combined with addiction treatment can help you control this tempestuous relationship.
Treatment for Alcohol Addiction
Once you have reached a level of dependency on alcohol, then your alcohol addiction will worsen and eventually destroy your life. How do you break this destructive cycle addiction? By entering an alcohol treatment program or anxiety treatment program at Silver Pines Treatment Center. We offer a wide range of treatments and therapies such as our: