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Alcohol and Anxiety

alcohol-17118_640There is no doubt that alcohol and anxiety share a strong link. People who suffer from chronic anxiety often self-medicate with alcohol because drinking gives them instant relief from bothersome symptoms like panic, sweating and depression.

Of course the problem with using alcohol to treat anxiety is that it doesn’t target the underlying source of the problem, so essentially it’s a temporary solution to a permanent issue. Alcohol in itself can eventually lead to serious complications and health risks, so it should never be used to control your anxiety symptoms.

When you are using alcohol to treat your condition, you are setting yourself up for addiction since eventually resisting alcohol will become harder and harder as your body and mind gets used to drinking on a regular basis.

One of the biggest reasons why people who have anxiety symptoms use alcohol is that it’s easily accessible and highly effective. Unlike anxiety medication that must be prescribed by a doctor, alcohol is readily available on store shelves.

If you are feeling anxious, you can get instant relief with a couple of drinks. Most people feel that drinking is an acceptable way to relax and calm down after an especially stressful day, but its anxiety-reducing effects are highly misleading. After the alcohol is out of your system, your anxiety symptoms will always come back, so it’s not a realistic solution to a complicated problem. To permanently reduce your symptoms, you need to face your anxiety head on instead of masking it with alcohol use.

Many people who use alcohol believe that alcohol and anxiety are a harmless mix. In theory, alcohol is legal, and it can seem like there is no reason why you shouldn’t use it if it helps you control your anxiety and lead a normal life. Since alcohol is socially acceptable, most people who drink don’t think of it as a serious drug when in fact it can be just as dangerous as illegal street drugs.

Alcohol addiction is a very real consequence of regular alcohol use, and it can cause a long list of serious health risks that include liver disease and even death. Alcohol withdrawal is not only very dangerous, but it causes intense feelings of panic and anxiety, so it’s not something you want to go through as someone who already suffers from anxiety. Most people who end up with alcohol addiction start by drinking a couple of drinks a day. Even if you think that you will never become addicted to alcohol it’s a very real possibility for anyone who uses alcohol as a way to reduce feelings of stress or anxiety.

If you’ve been using alcohol to control your anxiety, make a plan to slowly reduce the amount of alcohol you drink on a regular basis until you are able to stop altogether. If you have severe anxiety, talk to your doctor to find out if you are a good candidate for prescription medication. Otherwise, focus on making healthy lifestyle changes and trying natural treatments until you find a plan that works for your mind and body.


  1. A good method of assisting relaxation are the Hemi Sync CDs by Monroe Productions. They are not intended to replace medical treatment, but as an additional aide to relaxation and anxiety.

    • Great Suggestion Julie! I have just had a look at the site – CDs based on relaxing music/sounds – I think worth a try as a relaxing technique can definitely help overall.

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