Can Alcohol Cause Anxiety?

Can Alcohol Cause Anxiety?Anxiety issues may stem from experiences from early childhood. If parents exhibit high levels of stress, young children may experience stress also. If high levels of stress are consistent through childhood, it may damage a child’s developing ability to deal with stress and lead to higher levels of anxiety later in life.

Whether due to childhood experience, genetic susceptibility or a high-stress environment, high levels of anxiety may lead to alcohol abuse as a way to cope. Individuals who experience high amounts of stress and have no healthy way to handle it may become depressed or have high levels of anxiety. Furthermore, they may drink as ways to calm down. With continued use this may lead to alcoholism and a physical or psychological dependency on alcohol.

How Alcohol May Increase Anxiety Issues

Alcohol has a number of effects on the body that may increase anxiety. Alcohol consumption may lower levels of serotonin (a chemical found in the brain, nervous system and stomach) that helps to regulate mood. Low levels of serotonin may directly affect how happy, depressed or anxious a person feels. Alcohol interferes with the body’s ability to stabilize blood sugar levels, which may lead to mood swings. Long-term alcohol use may decrease the effectiveness of insulin and increase the chance of developing glucose intolerance or diabetes.

Alcohol also has psychological effects that increase anxiety. Alcohol has a calming effect on the central nervous system and slows down brain activity. The result is that initially users may feel more relaxed and confident in social situations. However, when alcohol is consistently used as a way to relax, it may become a crutch for social anxiety. Over time an individual may become dependent on the effects of alcohol. This may worsen social anxiety problems when alcohol is unavailable and increase the chance of developing alcoholism.

Why Integrated Treatment Can Help Alcoholism and Anxiety

Treatment will involve Dual Diagnosis help for anxiety issues and alcoholism, and this will treat them simultaneously for more effective treatment. Medical staff and counselors who specialize in alcohol addiction will combine treatment to address how anxiety and alcohol abuse overlap. Professional counseling can help you understand anxiety issues and learn healthy ways to cope, and medical professionals may prescribe medication to help balance brain chemistry. Patients may have a better chance at long-term success when both issues are treated at the same time.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Anxiety and Alcoholism

If you deal with anxiety and alcohol abuse, treatment can help. Our counselors can help you find treatment that fits your needs and answer your questions about Dual Diagnosis treatment centers. Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline to learn more about addiction treatment.