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Author Topic: Alcohol: An Anxiety No No  (Read 52556 times)

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Offline kwhite521

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Alcohol: An Anxiety No No
« on: August 29, 2009, 12:59:28 AM »
For a while, at the height of my battle with anxiety, alcohol became both my best friend and worst enemy. No medication I was prescribed seemed to produce the same short-term calming effect that I got from alcohol. It soon became the first option I turned to for upsetting anxiety symptoms, and for a while I thought I had discovered a miracle treatment. As my disorder progressed, however, it became evident that my consumption was causing more problems than it was addressing.

Alcohol, a controlled depressant, can certainly help to ease symptoms for a bit, but sooner or later you have to sober up, and that is where the problem begins to get scary. In the mornings, after a night of drinking, my anxiety became almost unbearable. I was shaky, uneasy and confused. The treatment that had seemingly worked so great the night before, had worn off, and the anxiety had actually worsened.

So you'll never guess what I did. Yep, I started drinking again, desperate for the same results. This became a vicious cycle that would lead me to the brink of physical, mental and emotional disaster. The symptoms of my anxiety continued to spin out of control and my alcohol intake rose to dangerous levels. Naturally I became hopeless, desperate and miserable.

I realize firsthand how frightening anxiety can be. People suffering will try almost anything to get relief, but alcohol, despite its initial assistance, is definitely not the answer. If you feel like alcohol is beginning to cause a problem with your anxiety and your life in general, I strongly urge you to get help. I finally broke the cycle and I am happy I did. My anxiety is now fairly under control and has not bothered me for quite some time.

This is not a permanent condition. Try not to let fear lead you into destructive behavior. Keep fighting the "good fight" and eventually your symptoms will subside.

I'm interested to hear your thoughts on this subject. Please post your comments.
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Offline tmicrowave

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Re: Alcohol: An Anxiety No No
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2009, 03:11:24 AM »
sounds like what i did for about 5 or 6 months before the anxiety HIT (when i stopped!)

me and my boyfriend broke up
and i just teamed up with some loser buddy and we drank almost every day for months
else i'd just drink alone
it was just suppressing my emotions more and more
making everything worse
so when i quit i had to face reality
which is what i should have done from the beginning
i panicked day and night
thats back when i found this site

so yea long story short
i get what your saying
i can remember saying "okay im quitting this now" and 4 days into it, i thought it was alcohol withdrawal and i was just a complete wreck in every way
panick attacks
E.R. visits and god
it was ugly


it's anything but the answer
for sure

i've had anxiety all my life you know but that was when the SHI* hit the fan
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Jenna


"When the heart weeps for what it has lost, the soul laughs for what it has found." - Sufi aphorism


Offline oboyrosie

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Re: Alcohol: An Anxiety No No
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2009, 08:34:11 PM »
As I was reading your post - I actually had to stop and look at who left the post thinking I had written it months earlier.  SERIOUS!!!!

I like you thought Alcohol was the way to go - it got me thru parties, trips, vacations, flights and pretty much life.  It started with just having drinks in the evening and than BAM - the next morning I thought I was going to DIE - literally - DIE.  The anxiety/panic was out of control and ended up lasting 24-36 hours.  So of course . . . I would start drinking in the a.m. - just to take the edge off.

I've only recenlty given up drinking like a nutty lady (I will still have a glass of wine or 2 but that's that baby) and started exercising and eating healthier and I have to say I feel like a new person.

I wouldn't have believed I could feel better if I just layed off the booze - but I'm a walking - talking - and faily normal living chick!!!

XO
Rosie
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Offline speedfreakadelic

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Re: Alcohol: An Anxiety No No
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2009, 10:06:05 PM »
Yep...you hit it right on the head.  I think a lot of people with anxiety problems come by alcohol and drug abuse honestly, just looking for some relief.  I'm living proof that drinking only makes things worse in the long run.  You begin to dig a hole that is difficult to climb out of.  Some people, unfortunately, are never able to.

Very insightful post.
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Offline jewelstar

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Re: Alcohol: An Anxiety No No
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2009, 07:28:38 PM »
Thank you soooo much for this post!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have just realized that this is a bad, bad combination.  I used to be able to drink and feel not to bad the next day but once my anxiety issues started that booze made it one hundred times worse!!  I could not understand how something that had made me feel so good the night before could be making me feel sooo bad in the morning!! 

Now I am commited to taking my antidepressants, staying off the alcohol and doing whatever else it will take to manage my anxiety and get my life back!

THANKS FOR THE POST, GLAD TO KNOW IM NOT GOING CRAZY!!

Jewelstar  :xmas-smiley-035:
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Offline mitra902

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Re: Alcohol: An Anxiety No No
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2010, 03:43:37 AM »
I feel the same way !

when im drunk i have absoluterly no anxiety, its so perfect, but the more i drank the more anxious i would get...vicious cycle as you said

i started meds now and im going to lay off the booze hopefully it worksss
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Offline camel

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Re: Alcohol: An Anxiety No No
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2011, 07:50:39 PM »
I finally quit beer on the 2nd Jan. Its hard, but already im feeling better. I quit all other booze years ago. When drunk or tipsy I would have zero anxiety, but the next day I had 100%, so I drank again etc ... vicious cycle. Not to mention the physical damage to my body.

Its hard, but it can be done. To any one else who has quit or is considering it.. GO FOR IT  :bigsmile:
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Offline shygirl26

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Re: Alcohol: An Anxiety No No
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2011, 02:31:58 PM »
I haven't found that alcohol really affects my anxiety, besides making me feel a lot better/more carefree...but it has negatively affected my relationships and many times I say and do things that I regret afterwards. I've been trying to lay off the booze, and for me, it was easier to quit smoking than trying to do this! It's hard for me to accept I have problems with alcohol already and I'm not even legal drinking age yet.
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Offline cbhaga01

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Re: Alcohol: An Anxiety No No
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2011, 07:34:30 PM »
You're not alone, shygirl.  At least you're figuring it out now as opposed to 20 years down the road when your life is seriously wrecked.  The best thing you can do is try to align yourself with a good crowd; at our age, finding reliable friends who don't feel the need to drink is quite a challenge. 
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"Living every day with a fear of dying isn't really living at all."

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Offline cokaren

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Re: Alcohol: An Anxiety No No
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2011, 03:29:49 PM »
I am so glad for this post. I totally get the vicious cycle. I've been battling morning anxiety for a year now and I'm pretty sure it's because I drank the night before. I am miserable in the morning and if I just take a night off, I feel so much better the next day. I too am so glad I'm not crazy! Thanks again!
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Offline polyex

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Re: Alcohol: An Anxiety No No
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2012, 02:57:32 AM »
I am reading that people equate the need to get drunk with using alcohol for anxiety . I suppose this is true if you are constantly having anxiety, but what about the folks that are not? I find my rather debilitating , but transitive anxiety to "go away" instantly with ONE drink, and it goes away for the whole day at least, so I don't feel the need to drink more than one drink a day. Am I just "lucky?". After one drink , it can be tempting to have MORE THAN ONE, but that is just because alcohol is fun and after one drink, having the second CAN become easier due to you inhibitions being lowered. I treat it like a medication instead of some sort of party in a can/bottle. I know some people can't, and I guess you folks know who you are, or should. I find that so many psychs find it shocking and a bad idea to have a beer to calm your anxiety, yet, think that a PRN of a Benzodiazepine is OK.  Seems ridiculous to me. Love to hear from people similar to me and problems they might have run into.
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Offline UnderControl

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Re: Alcohol: An Anxiety No No
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2013, 03:40:59 AM »
Just found this thread from a string search, and I am glad I did.

I now realise have been suffering from "morning" anxiety for years now. In fact, I have always been a pretty nervous person. But you wouldn't know it from the outside. On the surface, I appear calm, under control and totally rational. But man, on the inside, I can be dizzy, fuzzy, panicky, confused, anxious and generally unstable.  :dazed:

I decided to take action about 5 years ago and went to see a counsellor/ behavioural therapist. She seemed to talk through a lot of issues, but didn't deal with the anxiety. I quizzed her about a possible relationship to alcohol and she said it should help to calm my nerves. I now realise this was bollocks. I saw a psychologist, who recommended  "ACT" (acceptance and commitment therapy). ACT teaches you to identify you have anxiety, and work with it in your body. It really helps and calms me down. But I was still getting the dizzy sweaty attacks most weekday mornings, especially on a Monday.

After reading these posts, I have realised alcohol may be the cause. I am pretty fit overall, eat very healthily, but do drink too much. I really don't drink much during the week but come Thursday night, I have a few beers and some wine, Friday night, a bottle of red and 3-4 beers, Saturday night, 6 beers and some more wine and Sunday night, a bit more wine and 3-4 beers. Not excessive in isolation but 4 nights in a row has left me totally screwed by Monday morning. The reason I drink is to relieve this anxiety and relax, but the cost is becoming just too high. A recent trip to the doctor has identified I have a mild fatty liver, which is caused by excessive drinking. The doctor has recommended I cut down, and I want to take a break, to see if there is indeed a link between anxiety and alcohol.

I am going  to stop drinking completely for the next six weeks and monitor my anxiety levels. Hopefully they should get much lower. After six weeks, and hopefully a lot of soul searching regarding my relationship with alcohol, I will allow a drink or two, but strictly limited to social events, dinner parties etc. If my anxiety doesn't change, I will admit I am wrong and get smashed. LOL :laugh3:

I want to fix this problem. It has begun to seriously affect my performance at work, has possibly killed my sex life and I am absolutely sick of feeling stressed, sick and dizzy every morning.

I can give a weekly report, each Monday morning, which might help others with a similar affliction.

Thanks for the help and great reading.  :happy0151:
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Offline UnderControl

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Re: Alcohol: An Anxiety No No
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2013, 02:05:43 AM »
Quote
Just found this thread from a string search, and I am glad I did.

I now realise have been suffering from "morning" anxiety for years now. In fact, I have always been a pretty nervous person. But you wouldn't know it from the outside. On the surface, I appear calm, under control and totally rational. But man, on the inside, I can be dizzy, fuzzy, panicky, confused, anxious and generally unstable. 

I decided to take action about 5 years ago and went to see a counsellor/ behavioural therapist. She seemed to talk through a lot of issues, but didn't deal with the anxiety. I quizzed her about a possible relationship to alcohol and she said it should help to calm my nerves. I now realise this was bollocks. I saw a psychologist, who recommended  "ACT" (acceptance and commitment therapy). ACT teaches you to identify you have anxiety, and work with it in your body. It really helps and calms me down. But I was still getting the dizzy sweaty attacks most weekday mornings, especially on a Monday.

After reading these posts, I have realised alcohol may be the cause. I am pretty fit overall, eat very healthily, but do drink too much. I really don't drink much during the week but come Thursday night, I have a few beers and some wine, Friday night, a bottle of red and 3-4 beers, Saturday night, 6 beers and some more wine and Sunday night, a bit more wine and 3-4 beers. Not excessive in isolation but 4 nights in a row has left me totally screwed by Monday morning. The reason I drink is to relieve this anxiety and relax, but the cost is becoming just too high. A recent trip to the doctor has identified I have a mild fatty liver, which is caused by excessive drinking. The doctor has recommended I cut down, and I want to take a break, to see if there is indeed a link between anxiety and alcohol.

I am going  to stop drinking completely for the next six weeks and monitor my anxiety levels. Hopefully they should get much lower. After six weeks, and hopefully a lot of soul searching regarding my relationship with alcohol, I will allow a drink or two, but strictly limited to social events, dinner parties etc. If my anxiety doesn't change, I will admit I am wrong and get smashed. LOL

I want to fix this problem. It has begun to seriously affect my performance at work, has possibly killed my sex life and I am absolutely sick of feeling stressed, sick and dizzy every morning.

I can give a weekly report, each Monday morning, which might help others with a similar affliction.

Thanks for the help and great reading. 

Well, its one week down. As promised, I am reporting on my Monday morning experience, a week without alcohol.

I must admit, my level of anxiety seemed a bit lower than a normal Monday morning. I really didn't look forward to the day, but the level of 'fuzziness' and the feeling of panic i normally experience, wasn't really there as much. I wasn't stresses about being late and didn't mind the drive to work too much.

This may just be because this particular Monday was fairly quiet, with few pressing issues to resolve, or conflict to deal with. But the signs are promising.

I am well aware it may take months for my mind and body to reset to lower levels of anxiety. I think the problem is, my mind's automatic reaction to everything these days, is to get anxious and up tight. I think the alcohol has possibly caused this state, or maybe helped it along. I am staying a non drinker for the month, then will be a lot more careful about my alcohol consumption, limiting the number of drinks in any one session and only to a couple of nights a week. And never on a Sunday night. It will take some readjustment but I have 4 weeks to reassess my relationship with alcohol. Who knows, after 4 weeks, I may feel so good, I will never want to touch it again. I get the feeling few people realise what a powerful drug alcohol is, and the potential effects on our psyche, over the long term.

Will check in next Monday.
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Offline UnderControl

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Re: Alcohol: An Anxiety No No
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2013, 05:42:35 AM »
Two weeks down and my anxiety has definitely reduced. I don't have that continually nervous sensation in my stomach. It's hard to explain, but I feel kind of balanced. I am still getting anxious at times during the day, but the episodes are short lived. A major difference is, if something negative occurs to me at work or at home, I cop a hit then move on and am not dwelling on the negative. A few weeks ago, a bad thing would happen at work in the morning and I was still aching in the stomach at nine o clock at night. Now, I am far less affected by negative things throughout the day.

I do miss a beer. There are periods of feeling flat and bored. Not so bad during the week but on weekends, something really seems to be missing. Weekends don't seem to be so much fun anymore. Especially after some manual labour or exercise. By late afternoon I would kill for a few coldies and a few reds with dinner, then some shots with coffee bla bla bla....sounds harmless enough but 16 plus standard drinks in one night is not a good health option, especially backed up 3 nights in a row.

So my main intent is to beat this anxiety. I cannot drink like I used to and think I can avoid the jitters returning. I need to spend the next few weeks analysing my relationship with alcohol. Is there something else missing in my life ?  Why do I feel the need to drink until I fall asleep ? Can I be happy with just a couple of drinks a day or two a week ? 

Stay tuned.
G
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Offline floridaguy65

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Re: Alcohol: An Anxiety No No
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2013, 02:36:40 PM »
Hi UC:) Congrats at trying to work your way through some of your issues. Self-help is quite a powerful and lasting way to learn how to best live alongside our anxiety challenges. A lot of the time we, simply, have to live it to learn it, so to speak. Our actions and habits always matter when it comes to anxiety disorder(s) / mental health challenges. Much of the time we can feel as though we have little control over many of our actions and habits....and this tends to be the 'pull' of those mental health challenges. To me, as you move away from alcohol a little more, you'll likely find that there just isn't the need for it (that 'need' being what an anxious mind can latch upon) to the levels we can seem to be depending upon to get us through some of our trials. Moderation will always be vital in your journey with anxiety. You are beginning to have self-realization (self-affirmation) of this...which is more powerful that having me tell you this, for sure:) Best wishes, my man!

Peace and Feel Well:)
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