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.
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
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)
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