Alcohol chemically affects the brain and makes us more prone to mental health conditions.
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It is no news to say that the pandemic greatly increased cases of anxiety in the world. It is one of the most popular mental health disorders and it is true that all of us at some point in our lives have had some experience with anxiety, finally it is a completely natural defense mechanism in the body that invites us to a healthy degree. react and take action. Unfortunately many people they resort to certain vices as a way out and in a kind of search to achieve a greater state of relaxation. In fact, there are recent studies in which it has been proven that a high percentage of adults increase their alcohol consumption as a way to deal with anxiety.
Anxiety can vary from a mild state of irritability to a total panic attack, based on this, when it occurs chronically, it is a condition that significantly affects the state of health and quality of life of people.
The truth is that for years we have considered alcohol consumption as a socially accepted defense mechanism How many times have we said, “I need a drink” after a stressful day or event? It is important to be more aware of the consequences of these behaviors, finally the The effect of alcohol is extremely negative on the functioning of the nervous system, mental and emotional health translates as a direct way to exacerbate anxiety.
Today we know about the devastating effects of excessive alcohol consumption on health, it is one of the behaviors that most deteriorates the quality of life. Complementary to this, it is essential to know that it is very dangerous to resort to excessive alcohol consumption as a way to numb anxiety.
What is anxiety?
First thing’s first. Anxiety is an emotion that triggers our stress response and releases a wave of stress-related hormones in the body. This often presents itself through various symptoms such as heavy breathing, increased heart rate, and sweating. While the Anxiety is a normal reaction to a stressful situation, feeling nervous all the time and on edge most of the time, usually indicates a anxiety disorder.
It is worth mentioning that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness among Americans; It is estimated that about 40 million adults struggle with some form of anxiety in the United States alone. Today we know that the various anxiety disorders They can be caused by a number of factors, including lifestyle, environment, and chemical imbalances. Anxiety disorders often occur with other problems, such as depression and trauma, they also tend to stem from addictions such as alcoholism.
What is the relationship between alcohol consumption and anxiety?
It’s no surprise to say that anxiety absolutely affects the entire body. Finally experiencing anxiety directly affects the functioning of the nervous, immune, respiratory, digestive and cardiovascular systems. What we may not realize is how interconnected anxiety and our drinking habits are, the relationship is direct and significantly affects the body and well-being at all levels.
While drinking can provide a immediate relief for anxiety, the results are short term. The decrease in the chemical alterations that alcohol causes in our brain increases the level of anxiety we experience, creating a vicious cycle of drinking, panic and self-medication. Based on this, experts point out that there are some very specific reasons, supported by science, which show how alcohol worsens anxiety.
– Alcohol lowers serotonin levels. While it is true that alcohol can temporarily increase serotonin levels and it is precisely what makes us feel good while we drink. In the long term, it lowers the level of serotonin in your brain, which makes us more susceptible to depression.
– Hangovers can trigger panic attacks. The physical responses to hangovers (dehydration, nausea, palpitations) are so similar to anxiety that these symptoms alone can trigger anxiety attacks.
– Drinking significantly affects the quality of sleep. It is no news to say that alcohol affects the quality of your sleep, which creates the perfect scenario to increase the level of anxiety in the body. When we do not rest well tWe tend to be much more reactive and stressed, all of these are active triggers for anxiety.
Self-medication with alcohol to relieve anxiety is a very serious and too recurring topic. The alcohol trains the brain to be dependent on a substance already As time goes on, greater amounts of alcohol are needed to achieve the same calming effect, and when the body experiences withdrawal, the anxiety worsens. Based on this the only path to true liberation around anxiety or any mental health disorder, it is without a doubt bet on a healthy lifestyle in addition to psychological therapy. It is important to take care of your diet and avoid the consumption of processed foods, engage in physical activity, be in contact with nature, bet on relaxing activities such as yoga and meditation, and enjoy the beauty of life from a healthy side.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.