Anxiety Blog Life Choices

Anxiety and Alcohol

Written by Karen Gibbs
Why So Many Seek to Consume Alcohol.

Anxiety and alcohol go hand in hand. Consuming alcohol is so addictive because most people feel a sense of relaxation after a drink or two. It produces a surge of dopamine which the brain recognises as a reward. As the blood alcohol content rises, inhibitions lower giving a sense of freedom, release from troubles and worries. However, the downside is, this is temporary. AUD ( Alcohol Use disorder) can occur as people chase that feeling by drinking more and more. This disorder occurs due to the changes in the brain circuits that are involved in stress, decision making, self-control and pleasure. Persistent use of alcohol results in new learned pathways forming and alcohol consumption becomes a mental obsession. Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive disease that can be fatal, but at the very least is life-changing, and not in a good way.

What Is Happening In Your Body To Cause Anxiety

Alcohol actually changes the levels of the necessary neurotransmitters in the brain. Serotonin drops and levels become unbalanced. After drinking, as the blood alcohol levels drop, feelings of sadness often rise. This rise and fall in the neurotransmitters often cause anxiety symptoms. Anxiety and alcohol go together whether we like it or not.

How To Manage Your Anxiety During An Episode

Knowing the cause and remembering the symptoms are temporary is the first step toward healing. Instead, many people consume more alcohol which will eventually have dire consequences. If you find yourself in this position the best thing to do is to drink plenty of water, take some deep breaths and go for a walk in the fresh air. Often nausea, which is another symptom of a hang-over, will also produce feelings of anxiety. Getting the body rehydrated is a great step in the right direction to stop nausea and in turn the anxiety. Check out my previous blog for more information. 

Understanding Leads To Healing

Knowing the cause of the anxiety and why the body is reacting this way will arm you with the knowledge to control the episodes. More and more we find very young people consuming alcohol. Even before their brains have developed they are causing damage because alcohol is seen to be “cool” and not wanting to be left out many kids get caught in the cycle without understanding the long term effects. It is so important to educate our kids before they are lost to this silent disease.



About the author

Karen Gibbs

'Empowering Connections' is my thing. Hi there, I'm Karen, a Circle Facilitator, Author and Coach, empowering individuals to feel connected and positively impact the lives of others.
Through my writing, I advocate for those who struggle with depression or anxiety by supporting and serving their families and friends to understand mental health issues better.
My latest book is entitled "Stop The Downward Spiral: Everything the person in your life who struggles with depression wishes you knew."
I published my first book, Scrapbook Creations, in 2002 and won the Sunshine Coast Excellence in Business award for my business of the same name.
Helping others to connect and live a happy, faith-infused life is my passion. I gain inspiration daily from God and nature.
From my heart to yours, Karen x

You can follow Karen’s writings at
or see her inspirational quotes at either of her facebook pages