Anxiety is a common fact of everyday life. For most people, anxious feelings last for a while and then disappear without having a serious impact. However, a significant number of people develop serious conditions called anxiety disorders. Can drinking make your anxiety levels worse? In some cases, yes. Anxiety disorders and major alcohol problems sometimes go hand in hand. If this happens to you, you have a condition called dual diagnosis. Effective dual diagnosis treatment is essential to your recovery.
At Women’s Recovery, we offer a range of options for the treatment of alcohol addiction. We also provide specialized dual diagnosis treatment. If you’re affected by problem drinking and anxiety disorders, we’re here to help. Our enduring commitment to women’s holistic health supports every aspect of your lasting recovery. Reach out to learn more about the effects of alcohol on anxiety by calling 833.754.0554.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is an uncomfortable mental state the produces effects such as dread, uneasiness, or fear. Virtually all adults, and many children, have firsthand experience with this state. In addition to its mental impact, anxiety can trigger a range of physical effects. These effects may include:
- A rapid heartbeat
- An increased breathing rate
- Abdominal distress
- High sweat production
In the vast majority of cases, anxiety has no lasting negative impact. In fact, you may actually benefit from anxious feelings in certain situations. But your brain and body can only take so much of these feelings. If you exceed your ability to cope with them, you may end up developing an anxiety disorder. This category of mental health conditions includes illnesses such as:
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Other types of specific phobia
- Panic disorder
All such conditions can significantly impair your ability to function. Research shows that women are more likely to develop them than men.
Can Drinking Make Your Anxiety Worse?
Is there a link between drinking and anxiety? Not in every situation. However, it certainly can happen.
For example, you may start out using alcohol to ease your feelings of anxiety. This kind of self-medication might seem to work in the short run. But over time, the impact of alcohol on your mental state may start to change. Instead of relieving your anxiety, it may actually start to make it worse. Long-term alcohol use can also produce anxiety in situations where it did not previously exist. All told, there’s a very real chance that drinking can contribute to later feelings of anxiousness.
Drinking and Anxiety: Alcohol Addiction and Anxiety Disorders
Alcohol addiction is one form of a larger condition called alcohol use disorder, or AUD. There is a strong link between AUD and anxiety disorders. If you make a habit of drinking to relieve anxiety, you may increase your chances of developing AUD. And if you already have an anxiety disorder, your risks for getting diagnosed with AUD are tripled.
The combination of AUD and anxiety disorders is just one possible example of dual diagnosis. This term also applies to any other mixture of substance problems and mental illness. Dual diagnosis treatment is specialized. If you are affected by AUD and an anxiety disorder, you don’t just need help for alcohol problems. You also need anxiety treatment, as well.
Learn More About How Dual Diagnosis Treatment Can Help
If you think that drinking is worsening your anxiety, contact Women’s Recovery today. Our staff of specialists will help you determine if you’re a candidate for anxiety treatment. In addition, we’ll help determine if you meet the criteria for dual diagnosis.
Women’s Recovery is also a premier option for women-focused anxiety and dual diagnosis treatment. With our help, you can recover from these conditions and return to a state of physical and emotional wellness. For more information, call us at 833.754.0554 or make contact through our online form.