Alcoholism and anxiety attacks

Alcohol and Anxiety: Causes, Risks and Treatment

Understanding anxiety

When dealing with stressful days or nervous situations, you may be tempted to have a glass of wine or a beer to calm your nerves. However, drinking alcohol, especially heavily and over a long period of time, can actually increase your anxiety.

Drinking alcohol can have serious consequences if you’re being treated for anxiety. Having a drink might seem like a good way to ease anxiety, but you may be doing more harm than good.

There’s some truth to the idea that alcohol can reduce stress. Alcohol is a sedative and a depressant that affects the central nervous system.

At first, drinking can reduce fears and take your mind off of your troubles. It can help you feel less shy, give you a boost in mood, and make you feel generally relaxed. In fact, alcohol’s effects can be similar to those of antianxiety medications.

Occasionally unwinding with alcohol isn’t necessarily dangerous if your doctor approves. But once you start drinking, you can build a tolerance to the de-stressing effects of alcohol. This can make anxiety and stress even more difficult to cope with.

Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can also have noticeable physical and mental consequences. Over time, consuming too much alcohol can lead to blackouts, loss of memory, and even brain damage (especially if it causes other health problems, such as liver damage). These issues can create more anxiety as you cope with their symptoms.

Learn more: Alcohol-related liver disease »

The sense of relaxation you feel when you drink can often be attributed to your blood alcohol content (BAC). A rise in BAC levels leads to temporary feelings of excitement, but feelings of depression occur as BAC levels fall. As a result, it’s possible that having a few drinks that make your BAC rise and then fall back to normal again can make you more anxious than you were before.

Alcohol changes levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, which can worsen anxiety. In fact, you may feel more anxious after the alcohol wears off.

Alcohol-induced anxiety can last for several hours, or even for an entire day after drinking.

Using alcohol to cope with social anxiety disorder can be dangerous. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), about 7 percent of Americans have this form of anxiety.

With social anxiety, you may find social situations unbearable. It’s common for people with social anxiety disorder to drink alcohol to cope with social interactions. Doing this can lead to a dependence on alcohol during socializing, which can make anxiety symptoms worse.

About 20 percent of people with social anxiety disorder also suffer from alcohol dependence.

Besides needing alcohol to feel comfortable when socializing, other signs of dependence include:

  • needing a drink to get going in the morning
  • drinking heavily four or more days per week
  • requiring a drink at every get-together
  • an inability to stop drinking
  • drinking five or more alcoholic beverages in one day

Read more: Alcohol addiction »

Overconsumption of alcohol can also lead to hangovers. A hangover can cause symptoms that make you feel more anxious than you were, including:

  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • dehydration
  • low blood glucose (sugar)

The long-term consequences of alcohol abuse can be a variety of health problems, including mental health disorders.

Research shows that people with alcoholism find it difficult to recover from traumatic events. This is possibly because of the effects of alcohol abuse, which can actually change brain activity.

Long-term heavy drinkers may be predisposed to developing an anxiety disorder. However, there is no evidence that moderate drinking will cause anxiety.

Increased anxiety is also a symptom of alcohol withdrawal. If you’ve consumed alcohol in large amounts for a long period of time and suddenly stop drinking, your anxiety can be aggravated by the side effects of alcohol withdrawal. Other symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:

  • trembling hands
  • sweating
  • heart rate above 100 beats per minute
  • hallucinations
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • seizures

Moderate drinking is not the same for all genders and age groups. In the United States, “moderate” typically refers to two drinks a day for adult men and one for women. Older adults metabolize alcohol faster, so if you’re in this age group, limit yourself to one alcoholic beverage per day. Ask your doctor if moderate alcohol consumption is suitable for you.

The benefits of alcohol consumption can sometimes be outweighed by the risks, which include:

  • depression
  • obesity
  • liver disease
  • cardiovascular damage

Alcohol affects everyone differently. It can cheer you up after a rough day or make you feel more sedated. Discuss these concerns with your doctor first to see if alcohol is safe for you.

Keep in mind that you may not safely drink alcohol if you have:

  • a low tolerance for drinking
  • anxious or aggressive tendencies
  • a mental health disorder

Alcohol isn’t an anxiety treatment. Seek help from a mental health professional if you have anxiety. If you think you have a problem with alcohol, seek help from your doctor right away.

Many treatment options exist for anxiety.

Treatment may depend on the type of anxiety you have. If you have social anxiety or a social phobia, therapy may work best to reduce your levels of anxiety (combined with a medication such as sertraline, or Zoloft). If you have generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), an ongoing feeling of worry or stress without a specific cause, your doctor may recommend learning behaviors or skills to help you stop avoiding activities because of anxiety (known as cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT), or talking about your anxiety with a therapist.

Your doctor may also prescribe medications.

Each type of medication treats anxiety in a different way. Antidepressants may be taken every day to help treat anxiety, while benzodiazepines are generally used for temporary relief from uncontrollable feelings of anxiety. Talk to your doctor to decide which type of medication is best for you.

Some of these medications may interact with alcohol. Talk to your doctor about alcohol consumption before taking any of these medications, as side effects can be harmful or fatal.

Online therapy options

Read our review of the best online therapy options to find the right fit for you.

Anxiety can be treated, but it isn’t always curable. However, you can make lifestyle changes to help you reduce your anxiety as well as learn to cope with it.

There are some daily changes you can make to reduce your anxiety.

Reduce anxiety

  • Sleep regularly and consistently, around 6 to 8 hours a night, depending on your age.
  • Limit the amount of caffeine and alcohol you consume, as both can increase your level of anxiety.
  • Eat consistent and healthy meals every day.
  • Set aside time every day to focus on relaxation techniques, such as meditation or yoga.
  • Make time each day to engage in a relaxing hobby, such as listening to music or painting.

You can also learn to cope with your anxiety by slowing it and preventing it from increasing and causing panic attacks:

  • Slowly breathe in and breathe out to calm yourself down when you begin to feel anxious.
  • Think positive thoughts when you feel your thoughts becoming too negative or overwhelming.
  • Slowly count from 1 to 10 or higher until feelings of anxiety begin to fade.
  • Focus on something that makes you laugh or feel positive emotions until your anxiety starts to fade.

Can Drinking Cause Anxiety & Panic Attacks?

Anxiety and alcohol use disorder are common co-occurring disorders that can cause serious distress and impair your daily functioning. Alcohol use disorder can exacerbate an existing anxiety disorder or may lead to new anxiety symptoms and vice versa, meaning that a pre-existing anxiety disorder can contribute to an alcohol use disorder (as many individuals use alcohol as an unhealthy coping mechanism).

If you or someone you care about is struggling with anxiety and alcohol use disorder, anxiety could be the result or a contributing factor of alcohol abuse.

This article will help you understand alcohol misuse, anxiety signs and symptoms, and how both disorders often co-occur. This article will also explain a few ways to help calm anxiety symptoms if you should experience alcohol-induced anxiety or an alcohol panic attack.

American Addiction Centers offers co-occurring disorder treatment at many of our nationwide treatment centers for substance and alcohol use disorders. Call us today at

Can Alcohol Cause Anxiety or Make it Worse?

Alcohol use can cause new onset anxiety and worsen pre-existing anxiety symptoms. Many individuals will use alcohol as an unhealthy coping tool to reduce symptoms of anxiety.

Alcohol may be a temporary, unhealthy way to relieve anxiety and forget about your underlying stressors, however using alcohol does not erase these underlying triggers. Whether your anxiety is related to past trauma, financial stress, or untreated depression; alcohol is merely a temporary Band-Aid and the longer one depends on alcohol to help treat their anxiety, the more at risk they are for developing an alcohol use disorder. Additionally, symptoms of anxiety will still be lurking around the corner as the underlying triggers have not been properly addressed and treated.

Chronic alcohol use affects your ability to respond to stress in healthy and effective ways, which can lead to anxiety. This may be due to alcohol’s effect on the amygdala, the area of your brain that regulates negative emotions. Brain imaging studies have found abnormalities in amygdala functioning in individuals with alcohol use disorder.3

Understanding Alcohol Use & Abuse

Alcohol is one of the most commonly used (and misused) substances in the U.S. In 2019, 85.6% of people reported drinking alcohol at some point in their lives, 25.8% of people aged 18 and older reported binge drinking in the past month, and 14.5 million people aged 12 and older had an alcohol use disorder (AUD), the clinical term for alcoholism or alcohol addiction, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).1

Alcohol abuse means that you use alcohol in unhealthy ways that impact your life. It involves drinking more than the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Dietary Guidelines for alcohol, which states that people who choose to drink should do so in moderation. This means 2 drinks or fewer for a man and 1 drink or fewer for a woman per day. A standard drink is the equivalent of 12 ounces of 5% beer, 8 ounces of 7% malt liquor, 5 ounces of 12% wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80 proof distilled spirits or hard liquor (such as vodka, gin, rum, or whiskey). Excessive alcohol use (alcohol abuse) includes binge drinking, heavy drinking, and drinking while pregnant. 2

AUD is a chronic brain disorder that causes a person to continue to drink alcohol despite the negative consequences it has on their lives. According to the NIAAA, it is characterized by compulsive drinking, an inability to control your alcohol use, and negative feelings when you don’t drink.2

A large proportion of people who abuse alcohol also have co-occurring anxiety disorders. Having either an alcohol use disorder or an anxiety disorder can substantially elevate your risk of developing the other.3

Symptoms & Types of Anxiety

Most people experience anxiety at some point in their lives. In fact, anxiety is a normal (and a very human) response to a fearful situation or a stressor, such as the way you might feel before a doctor’s appointment or before an exam. In a perfect world, feelings of anxiety would generally subside after an upsetting situation or stressor has been resolved. However, when feelings of anxiety persist, you may experience excessive fear or worry that doesn’t go away and doesn’t always seem to be influenced by stressful external factors. For example, feelings of anxiety may be present in the absence of fear or a stressor. When these symptoms interfere with your ability to function in daily life as a healthy adult, it may be a sign that you have an anxiety disorder.4

There are several types of anxiety disorders that may manifest in different ways, depending on the individual, but all them share symptoms of excessive worry and fear. Common types of anxiety disorders include:4,5,6

  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). The main symptoms are chronic, excessive worry and fear about general, everyday things that interfere with your ability to function. The feelings must occur most days and last at least 6 months to qualify for this diagnosis.
  • Panic Disorder. Characterized by recurrent, unexpected panic attacks, which are sudden, intense episodes of fear and dread that are often debilitating and can feel life-threatening. Some people feel like they are having a heart attack. Symptoms can include chest pain, difficultly breathing, feelings of impending doom, heart palpitations, and feeling like you’re out of control.
    • Characterized by intense fears or aversions to specific triggers such as claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces) or agoraphobia (fear of public places, crowds and situations where you cannot escape). You experience intense fear related to specific things or places that is out of proportion to the actual situation.
  • Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). Previously referred to as social phobia, this involves intense fear of social or performance situations such as public speaking. You may worry that your feelings and behaviors will be judged negatively by others or have an intense fear.

Triggers of Anxiety & Coping Mechanisms

Certain issues, lifestyle factors, and triggers can influence anxiety. These include:9

  • Chemical stimulants such as caffeine, cocaine and amphetamines.
  • Trauma.
  • Physical health problems, especially a chronic or life-threatening condition.
  • Other mental health disorders, such as depression.
  • Side effects from medications.
  • Alcohol.
  • Stress and addiction are linked. Life problems that cause excessive stress, such as money concerns, exposure to abuse or bullying, worries about housing or family, etc.

On the other hand, certain factors and self-care measures may help to improve anxiety, such as:10

  • Alternative practices, like aromatherapy, mindfulness meditation, yoga, massage, or hypnotherapy.
  • Deep breathing exercises.
  • Seeking support from people you trust.
  • Taking care of your physical health.
  • Participating in peer support groups for people with anxiety.

What is the Relationship Between Alcohol & Panic Attacks?

One study reported that 25% of people who sought treatment for panic disorder had a history of alcohol dependence.16Alcohol has an effect on many chemicals in the brain including GABA, serotonin and dopamine and when these brain chemicals are altered, it can throw off how the body reacts in everyday situations.  Alcohol can induce panic because of its effects on GABA, a chemical that normally has a relaxing effect. Mild amounts of alcohol can stimulate GABA and cause feelings of relaxation, but heavy drinking can deplete GABA, causing increased tension and feelings of panic.17,18

Individuals with panic disorder, and many other types of anxiety disorders, may try to self-medicate with alcohol in hopes of reducing their anxiety levels.  When more and more alcohol is used over time, they can potentially become dependent on alcohol and as a result, when they stop drinking, they are at risk of alcohol withdrawal which can result in severe anxiety.16

Take Our “Am I an Alcoholic?” Self-Assessment

Take our free, 5-minute “Am I an Alcoholic?” self-assessment below if you think you or someone you love might be struggling with an alcohol use disorder (AUD). The evaluation consists of 11 yes or no questions that are intended to be used as an informational tool to assess the severity and probability of an AUD. The test is free, confidential, and no personal information is needed to receive the result.

Do All Types of Alcohol Cause Anxiety?

There are no specific studies that suggest that one type of alcohol can affect anxiety levels more than other types of alcohol. While some people may believe that wine and beer may cause less anxiety than hard liquor due to its alcohol content, this is not true. It’s not necessarily the type of alcohol you drink that can affect your levels of anxiety, but rather anxiety is related to the amount and frequency of alcohol use.

Is Anxiety Associated with Alcohol Tolerance and Dependence?

Alcohol tolerance occurs when the individual needs more alcohol over time in order to induce the same feelings of euphoria. This can become a vicious cycle, because you may initially use alcohol as an unhealthy coping mechanism to help relieve your underlying anxiety but overtime you will need more alcohol to produce the same effects (tolerance).20

Dependence, different from tolerance, develops when the body adapts to regular alcohol use. A telltale signs of dependence is the presence of alcohol cravings or alcohol withdrawal symptoms when the individual reduces their alcohol use or stops drinking altogether. Alcohol withdrawal can worsen a pre-existing anxiety condition, or it can create new symptoms of anxiety, potentially resulting in the need to drink again. .3,15

How Long Does Alcohol-Induced Anxiety (“Hangxiety”) Last?

The length of alcohol-induced anxiety varies among each individual. One study in mice found that alcohol-induced anxiety that occurs from withdrawals  can last 14-16 hours after initial hangover symptoms.21 abstract Another study in mice showed that binge drinking anxiety from alcohol withdrawals appeared to last 24 hours after initial hangover symptoms began.

If you are physically dependent on alcohol, you can experience anxiety symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal that last approximately 3-7 days, with the first 48 hours being the most difficult. Some people can experience anxiety symptoms that last longer than 7 days.22

How to Calm My Anxiety After Drinking?

It might not be possible to completely calm yourself down if you experience hangover-induced anxiety (or hangxiety), but there are some things you can do to make your experience a bit easier, such as:

  • Stay calm and give yourself plenty of time to rest. Reassure yourself that this is a temporary feeling that should subside after you’re feeling better.
  • Participate in a self-help group like Alcoholics Anonymous if you feel like you need help.
  • Educate yourself about anxiety. Think about whether your anxiety is caused or exacerbated by alcohol use.
  • Commit to reducing or quitting drinking if you are continually distressed by alcohol-induced anxiety or if your drinking habits are interfering with your daily life.

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Can Quitting Alcohol Cure Anxiety?

The only sure way to avoid anxiety caused by drinking is to stop drinking or drastically reduce your alcohol consumption. However, it depends on whether your anxiety is alcohol-induced or if you have an underlying anxiety disorder that you have been self-medicating with alcohol.

Regardless, quitting alcohol (or other mind-altering substances) can help you feel more grounded and level-headed and provide a beneficial baseline for the treatment of any co-occurring disorders you may be struggling with.

Seeking professional treatment for AUD and anxiety can help you take back control of your life and prevent the negative consequences and feelings associated with alcohol-induced anxiety. An integrated form of treatment is usually best for treating co-occurring disorders, such as anxiety and alcohol use disorder. This may include detox, inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, medication, psychotherapy, participating in support groups, or a combination of these.25

  1. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (2021). Alcohol Facts and Statistics.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Alcohol Use and Your Health.
  3. Anker, J. J., & Kushner, M. G. (2019). Co-Occurring Alcohol Use Disorder and Anxiety: Bridging Psychiatric, Psychological, and Neurobiological Perspectives. Alcohol Research: Current Reviews, 40(1).
  4. National Institute of Mental Health. (2018). Anxiety Disorders.
  5. American Psychiatric Association. (2021). What Are Anxiety Disorders?
  6. S. Department of Health & Human Services. (2014). What are the five major types of anxiety disorders?
  7. Marcinkiewcz, C. A., Mazzone, C. M., D’Agostino, G., Halladay, L. R..& Kash, T. L. (2016). Serotonin engages an anxiety and fear-promoting circuit in the extended amygdala. Nature, 537(7618), 97–101.
  8. Science Daily. (2016). How do antidepressants trigger fear and anxiety?
  9. (2021). Anxiety and panic attacks: What causes anxiety?
  10. (2021). Anxiety and panic attacks: How can I help myself?
  11. Science Daily. (2012). Heavy drinking rewires brain, increasing susceptibility to anxiety problems.
  12. Wolosker, H., & Balu, D. T. (2020). D-Serine as the gatekeeper of NMDA receptor activity: implications for the pharmacologic management of anxiety disorders. Translational Psychiatry, 10(1), 184.
  13. Alcohol and blood sugar.
  14. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Manage blood sugar.
  15. Banerjee, N. (2014). Neurotransmitters in alcoholism: A review of neurobiological and genetic studies. Indian Journal of Human Genetics, 20(1), 20–31.
  16. Canan, F., & Ataoglu, A. (2008). Panic disorder after the end of chronic alcohol abuse: a report of 2 cases. Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 10(4), 332–333.
  17. Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust. The unhealthy mix between alcohol and mental health.
  18. Cosci, F., Schruers, K. R., Abrams, K., & Griez, E. J. (2007). Alcohol use disorders and panic disorder: a review of the evidence of a direct relationship. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 68(6).
  19. University of Toledo Counseling Center. Blood Alcohol Content.
  20. Alcohol and anxiety.
  21. Karadayian, A. G., Busso, M. J., Feleder, C., & Cutrera, R. A. (2013). Alterations in affective behavior during the time course of alcohol hangover. Behavioral Brain Research, 253, 128–138.
  22. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
  23. Lee, K. M., Coelho, M. A., Class, M. A., & Szumlinski, K. K. (2018). mGlu5-dependent modulation of anxiety during early withdrawal from binge-drinking in adult and adolescent male mice. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 184, 1–11.
  24. Marsh, B., Carlyle, M., Carter, E., Hughes, P…Morgan, C. (2019). Shyness, alcohol use disorders and ‘hangxiety’: A naturalistic study of social drinkers. Personality and Individual Differences, 139 (1), 13-18.
  25. National Alliance on Mental Illness. (2020). Substance Use Disorders.

symptoms, causes, how to fight, professional help

Very often, patients in their memories of the details of the first panic attack, find a relationship with the use of a significant amount of alcohol. Really! Alcohol addiction and alcohol abuse is one of the most common triggers for the development of panic attacks.

Thus, the assumption that alcohol relieves anxiety, helps to cope with stress, is a sedative and hypnotic is basically wrong. nine0003

Infrequent and moderate drinking of good quality alcoholic beverages can temporarily improve mood and relieve stress symptoms, but with regular use it can have a radically opposite effect: namely, to provoke the development of a persistent withdrawal syndrome and post-alcoholic depression, which together are one of the dominant factors provoking development of a panic attack.

Why does alcohol cause panic attacks? It is important to note that alcohol itself, as such, is not a fundamental trigger for a panic attack, in contrast to feeling unwell provoked by excessive consumption of strong drinks. nine0003

Alcohol poisoning is far from a rare phenomenon, and in case of a stressful state, against the background of a situation favorable for the development of a panic attack, withdrawal syndrome, or, more simply, “hangover”, accompanied by dizziness, nausea, headaches, vegetative-vascular dystonia and general energy and emotional decline, can easily trigger the development of a neurotic syndrome and a panic attack.

In order to consider the issue of prevention and treatment of panic attacks in more detail, let's recall their main symptoms. nine0003

What is a panic attack? Definition and symptoms

Panic attack, or more scientifically VVD (Vegetovascular Dystonia) is a sudden attack of anxiety and fear, which in fact have no rational basis. In other words, there is no real threat to human life or health. The symptomatology of the condition manifests itself both on the physical and psycho-emotional levels, having vegetative and somatic signs. According to ICD-10, a panic attack is included in the cluster of anxiety-phobic disorders and is a neurotic spectrum disorder. nine0003

In fact, the attack itself is not a disease, rather it is a complex of vegetative-somatic symptoms that are reversible.

Thus, a panic attack is primarily provoked by destruction in the work of the autonomic and CNS (central nervous) systems. That is why alcohol is an excellent trigger for adverse changes in the autonomic and vascular systems.


As noted above, the main symptom of panic disorder is a sharp attack of anxiety and intense fear, for which there is no rational cause. Unregulated fear arises unexpectedly. According to statistics, the attack itself reaches its critical point within a few minutes, and then systematically fades away. nine0003

Physiological signs of panic attacks

The body's reaction to panic attacks at the physiological (vegetative) level manifests itself in different aspects: for example, blood pressure may begin to jump, palpitations or tremors of the limbs may develop, asphyxia (a state of suffocation), pain in the chest cage, fever, sweating, dry mouth. Some patients may also experience nausea, heartburn, and a burning sensation in the stomach area. nine0003

Anxiety, fear, intense excitement, bad unreasonable forebodings are symptoms of the emotional sphere. Also, against the background of taking alcohol, it can be accompanied by a vivid hallucinosis, which is also called "delirious tremens".

Panic attack and alcohol. Who is at risk?

The predominant risk group is people who are in a permanent stressful situation, trying to alleviate the owl's state of anxiety by taking alcohol. Often, a fairly stable stratum of the population gets here: business leaders, civil servants, financial workers, all those who bear a rather tangible burden of responsibility. Irregular working hours, lack of sleep, excess caffeine and nicotine, and just the same regular intake of alcohol for relaxation - all in a compartment leads to the development of panic conditions in middle age. As noted above, patients often report having their first attack while intoxicated. nine0003

Causes of panic attacks

Based on the above, we can say that one of the main causes influencing the development of panic is stressful and traumatic factors: social environment, increased anxiety, severe stress, highly responsible work, wrong lifestyle. Nevertheless, it is important to take into account the constitutional portrait of the individual, as well as genetic determinism. If there is no hereditary predisposition to this type of disorder, then most likely alcohol will not be a factor provoking the development of a panic attack. nine0003

Causes of panic attacks in alcoholics

Excessive alcohol consumption leads to a significant malfunction of the body and has a destructive effect on the central nervous system. Alcohol contains such dangerous components as fusel oils, the impact of which on the nervous system can lead to the most adverse consequences.

However, as noted above, the panic attack itself, as a condition, and alcohol are not directly related. For some, the minimum dose (about 30 grams per day) will indeed be an antidepressant that helps stop the excessive production of adrenaline, which is the hormone of anxiety. And for others, such a small dose can be a poison, causing an imbalance between the conscious and subconscious "I". Alcohol in any case is a negative psychoactive substance that can saturate the brain with dopamine, and subsequently deplete the nervous system. It will take about two weeks to restore the natural level of this hormone. nine0003

Panic attacks after drinking alcohol

The underlying cause of this particular type of panic attack is alcohol. In an effort to calm down and improve mood, a person runs the risk of destabilizing the work of the autonomic and sympathetic nervous systems, the threat of delirium tremens and, as a result, a panic attack. Regular use of alcohol can reduce dopamine levels to critical levels, which is the trigger for the development of panic attacks. Initially, dopamine can cause euphoria for a short time and reduce feelings of anxiety and fear, but later, when the effect weakens, the body triggers a set of reactions that end in an attack. It is this mechanism that pushes patients to the need to increase the dose. nine0003

Panic attacks from a long hangover

Long hangover can cause particularly severe attacks, this is due to the process of poisoning by residual substances and alcohol by-products. A hangover attack can cause animal fear and inexplicable anxiety in a person. Often, an attack can be associated with the patient's desire to stop drinking and a failed attempt to do so. An intrapersonal conflict develops against the background of an irresistible desire to drink and awareness of all the harmfulness of this process. If the constitutional type of personality is suspicious and anxious, then the attack acquires an emotional color, which leads to an increase in the feeling of fear. nine0003

Hangover panic attacks, how to get rid of them?

What can be done to stop an attack on your own?

The search for an effective remedy must begin with an understanding of the underlying cause of the anxiety attack. In this case, we are talking about the poisoning of the body by the products of alcoholic decay, thus, general detoxification of the body will help to cope with the disorder, which should begin with replenishing the water-salt balance. To do this, the patient must take at least 2-3 liters of fluid daily, including herbal teas and compotes. Alcohol intake during this period, even in small doses, is strictly prohibited. nine0003

Also, for faster recovery and replenishment of key substances and minerals, it makes sense to take a complex of vitamins. Vitamins C and B help to speed up metabolism and more quickly neutralize toxins from the body. Sometimes a thiamine injection is very helpful. Body-oriented practices, such as a contrast shower, will help to establish a psycho-emotional background and help the body activate recovery processes.

How to deal with drugs?

As for drug therapy and the use of auxiliary drugs, in this case it is not worth self-medicating, but it is better to contact a specialist in time, who will prescribe the appropriate complex. At home, you can take Alco-Seltzer or regular aspirin to help relieve common hangover symptoms. nine0003

Panic attacks after alcohol: how to fight?

Alcohol addiction during panic attacks can significantly complicate the process of treatment and rehabilitation, which is why the best way is to contact a specialist in a timely manner. Diagnosis and identification of the causes of a panic attack is an important preliminary step that can only be carried out in a hospital. A competent specialist will conduct an examination and prescribe a comprehensive treatment, including both drug and psychotherapy. The drug complex may include taking tranquilizers or other drugs that are prescribed by a doctor in accordance with the individual parameters of the patient's body. It is important to remember that panic disorder can go from a temporary form to a chronic one, to which it is better not to bring it up. But in each case, therapy will have its own characteristics. nine0003

Help of a psychotherapist in case of attacks

Remember that a qualified consultation of a psychotherapist and a well-designed treatment course is fundamental to a successful outcome and overcoming the consequences of a disease. The specialists of our clinic will not only conduct a comprehensive examination and prescribe the relevant treatment for a panic condition, but also conduct a professional rehabilitation course with a further effective rehabilitation and prevention program.

❗ Panic attacks after alcohol: causes and symptoms

Excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages necessarily affects the state of the human body. Due to intoxication, all systems suffer, and in advanced cases, disorders such as panic attacks can occur.

For many alcoholics, the state of anxiety that comes from drinking is quite frightening. It is typical for people prone to protracted feasts.

What causes panic attacks and how to deal with this disease?

The concept of "panic attack", who is at risk?

Panic attacks are sudden onset anxiety attacks characterized by autonomic symptoms. The duration can be up to an hour.

The disorder is characterized by feelings of fear, anxiety, causeless feelings.

There are also cases when the attack passes without disturbing sensations. In this case, there is an accelerated heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain, a person may lose consciousness. nine0003

According to statistics, about 20% of the population suffers from panic attacks, more often women. The average age of patients is 25 years.

At risk are those who have been beaten in the family by those suffering from this disease. Based on this, it can be argued that panic attacks can be transmitted genetically.

Also, scientists have found that personality type does not determine the predisposition to seizures.

Why alcohol causes panic attacks

It is worth noting that drinking alcohol does not necessarily lead to panic attacks. Their frequent causes are disorders of the cardiovascular, nervous, endocrine systems, as well as the human psyche. nine0003

High caffeinated drinks or certain medications that affect the nervous system can trigger an attack.

As for alcohol, its excessive consumption leads to an excessive release of adrenaline and malfunction of the body.

Alcoholic beverages contain hazardous ingredients such as fusel oils. They are the most dangerous for the nervous system.

Some psychologists argue that panic attacks are a kind of protective reaction of the body to alcohol abuse. Say, in this way the drinker realizes how detrimental alcohol affects him and what alcoholism leads to. nine0003

That is, subconsciously a person punishes himself for not being able to resist.

The level and frequency of panic attacks also depend on the frequency of drinking. If the receptions are rare, then the attacks are not frequent, they can develop after a few days. In heavy alcoholics, panic attacks occur quite often. Such chronic manifestations can provoke a depressive state, hallucinations, delirium tremens, which in turn can lead to suicide.

How to deal with panic attacks after alcohol

Panic attacks most often occur after a hangover, that is, the day after drinking alcohol. Hangover syndrome symptoms are most clearly manifested through physical level:

  • headache;
  • vomiting;
  • frequent urination;
  • pressure surges;
  • body aches and lethargy;

The connection between panic attacks and hangovers is shown through two directions:

  1. "Before". This means that the attack occurs even before drinking alcohol. A person who is confidently about to take another dose suddenly has a feeling of fear and horror.

At the same time, the following signs of PA appear on the outside:

  • sweating increases;
  • increased heart rate;
  • very dizzy;
  • trembling of limbs;
  • loss of consciousness. nine0120
  1. "After" . In this option, all the signs and consequences of a panic attack are identical, as in the "before". Only the period of onset differs. In this case, the disease affects a person after drinking alcohol, throughout the hangover period. The only thing that will help is the complete cleansing of the body of alcohol and the rejection of its use.
  1. Prevention and treatment alcohol-related panic attacks

Many people who have experienced panic attacks after alcohol do not know what to do and cannot start a normal life. Often this can develop into a phobia or a phobic anxiety disorder.

Of course, the simplest and most effective way to prevent panic attacks is moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages, and even better - a complete rejection of them.

It can also help:

  • exercise regularly; nine0120
  • get enough sleep, at least 8 hours;
  • master therapeutic massage;
  • proper nutrition, exclusion from the diet of caffeinated drinks;

Anyone who has suffered from a panic attack during a hangover has to deal with it on their own. There are different methods and techniques that will help cope on their own :

  1. Learn to regulate breathing. Due to rapid breathing and excessive oxygenation of the blood, the person feels even worse. To restore the lack of carbon dioxide, you can apply the following techniques:
  • breathe into the palm of your hand. You need to sit down, lean your back against the wall, fold your palms in a boat and press them to your face. Breathe slowly until the end of the attack.
  • breathe into a paper bag. The method is identical to the previous one, only a package is used instead of a palm.
  • hold your breath. When inhaling, hold the air for a few seconds, and then exhale slowly.
  1. Try to divert attention. For this you can help:
  • count the objects around or just say the numbers out loud;
  • cause yourself a slight sharp pain. Often, an elastic band is put on the arm and, during the onset of an attack, they pull it back so that it hits painfully. You can also pinch yourself.
  • apply massage. This method will help to relax and calm down and thereby interrupt the onset of an attack. You can also turn on your favorite music, lie down.
  1. Drug prophylaxis. nine0116 If an attack has begun, you can take an infusion of valerian, mint or motherwort.
  2. Promote detoxification. Without intervention, toxins are eliminated from the body in a few days. To speed up this process, you can:
  • increase the amount of liquid you drink up to 2.5-3 liters.
  • take a complex of vitamins, especially groups B and C. A dropper will help most effectively. This will help restore the body and normalize metabolism. nine0120
  • contrast shower. This will help to tone the muscles, cheer up and relax.
  • take special drugs for a hangover, having previously studied the instructions.

If you cannot cope with panic attacks after alcohol on your own, then you need to seek help from doctors. A psychotherapist and a neurologist specialize in such disorders. Don't be shy or afraid to ask for help. These specialists are not required to put you on a dispensary record. nine0003

It is impossible to cure this disorder in one session, it will take a whole course.

Antidepressants are most commonly prescribed for recovery and take several months. The doctor is obliged to warn that it is strictly forbidden to drink alcohol while taking medication, as this can lead to serious complications.

After suffering the first episode of an attack, the patient is afraid of its recurrence. To rid him of this fear, doctors spend the following manipulations :

  • explain the nature of the disease, why panic attacks occur after alcohol. This helps to understand that he cannot go crazy or die from an attack.
  • puts the patient in a situation that promotes PA while providing an opportunity to understand the safety of the symptoms and how to deal with them. Experiment until they realize that the possibility of relapse is reduced.

The support of relatives and friends plays an important role in therapy. It is very important that the patient feels calm at home. A calm conversation or a condescending attitude may help. You can also discuss the dangers of alcohol in a relaxed atmosphere without accusations and convince the alcoholic that he is on the right track.

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