For better understanding the relationship between alcohol abuse and anxiety it is good to know what alcohol abuse and anxiety are.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a pervasive and unpleasant feeling of tension, dread, apprehension, and impending disaster.
There are many types of anxiety disorders but one thing is common for all of them and that is fear of the things or situations that are usually objectively harmless.
For example fear of talking in front of an audience, or fear that something bad may happen if you don’t do certain ritual, or fear of being touched etc.
What is alcohol abuse?
Alcohol abuse is a substance abuse in which alcohol is being consumed more than it is considered normal and healthy. Not that alcohol is healthy but a small quantity of alcohol per moth can’t do a lot of harm. Whereas alcohol abuse can do harm to you and your loved ones and is responsible for many destroyed lives.
The strongest link between alcohol abuse and anxiety is that alcohol can reduce some symptoms of anxiety making people believe that alcohol is the solution to their problem. Unfortunately it is quite the opposite. Individuals that suffer from anxiety and abuse alcohol always end up at a much worse place than they were prior to alcohol abuse.
“I’m 27 years old male and I live many years with a secret that is haunting me and destroying everything I love and care about. No matter how hard I try to make things better they always end ugly. I have never told this to anyone and even writing this e mail to you is difficult for me.
I have this overwhelming fear of interacting with people and being around them. Even going to a store or walking down the street is very difficult for me because I’m so much afraid of people. Four years ago I started drinking and realized that when I’m under the influence I can talk to people and that I’m very outgoing and fun to be around.
So, I moved to another town and started my new life as being this fun person and a guy that everybody wants to be friends with. I started dating, I got a good job and everything seemed to be just the way it should be: work, parties, girls, friends… That is until my drinking didn’t start to show.
Five days a week I have to drink so that I’m able to work. If I want to hang out with my friends or with my girlfriend over the weekend again I have to drink. So, I drink almost every day because I’m afraid of life but I want to live so badly.
My long term girlfriend left me because of my drinking, I lost most of my friends and I’m about to lose my job. Alcohol didn’t help but it completely destroyed me. Now I’m drunk, depressed, anxious and writing this e mail with tears in my eyes. I’m so ashamed and lost. Is there anything you can do to help me?”
This is one of numerous examples how alcohol tricks people by giving a little and taking everything from them.
Joe didn’t know anything about the relationship between alcohol abuse and anxiety until he had become an alcoholic. Unfortunately he is just one of many that discover the link between alcohol abuse and anxiety this way.
Alcohol is never a solution to any problem you may have. It will only make things worse for you. If you suffer from anxiety disorder you need to face it and work on it. This means getting the appropriate professional help and support. Don’t surrender to alcohol, fight anxiety and leave the fear behind you.