Wondering how to get rid of hangover anxiety?
We’ve all been there – the pounding headache, the queasy stomach, the overwhelming feeling of regret. Hangovers are no fun and can be made even worse by the anxiety that often accompanies them. This might also manifest as nighttime depression anxiety. It’s a vicious cycle – the more anxious you feel, the worse your hangover symptoms become, and the worse your hangover symptoms become, the more anxious you feel. But don’t worry. There are ways to ease the anxiety and return to feeling like yourself again.
This post explores some effective tips and tricks to eliminate hangover anxiety and start feeling better quickly. This is particularly relevant if you’re considering quitting drinking due to anxiety.
What Is Hangxiety?
Hangxiety is the unpleasant combination of a hangover and anxiety, two of the least enjoyable feelings in the world, the morning after drinking. That lingering sense of dread and unease can make you feel like you never want to drink again (until next weekend, of course). Essentially, it’s your brain punishing you for having a good time. While there’s no denying that anxiety is a bummer, it’s also a reminder that our bodies and minds are connected in more ways than we sometimes realize.
Anxiety Disorders Related to Hangxiety
Hangxiety can be a symptom of various anxiety disorders, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is one of the most common disorders that can be linked to hangover anxiety. People with GAD experience excessive and persistent worry about everyday things, which can worsen with alcohol consumption.
Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is another disorder related to hangover anxiety, as people with SAD experience intense fear or anxiety in social situations, which can lead to excessive alcohol consumption as a coping mechanism.
Panic Disorder is also associated with hangover anxiety, as panic attacks can be triggered by alcohol use, especially if the person is already prone to panic attacks.
It is essential to seek professional help if you suspect you may have an underlying anxiety disorder contributing to your hangover anxiety symptoms.
Symptoms of Hangxiety
- Racing Thoughts: One of the most common symptoms of hangover anxiety is a feeling of uncontrollable racing thoughts. This happens because alcohol disrupts the normal balance of neurotransmitters in the brain, leading to an overstimulation of the nervous system.
- Physical Discomfort: Hangover anxiety often comes with a host of physical symptoms, such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, and fatigue. These symptoms are caused by dehydration, inflammation, and other changes that occur in the body when alcohol is metabolized.
- Increased Heart Rate: Another symptom of hangover anxiety is an increased heart rate or palpitations. This happens because the body is stressed, and the sympathetic nervous system is activated.
- Feelings of Dread: Hangover anxiety can also be characterized by feelings of dread or impending doom. This relates to how alcohol affects the brain’s neurotransmitters and can cause a temporary chemical imbalance.
- Irritability: Many people with hangover anxiety also experience irritability and mood swings. This is because the body is trying to cope with the stress of the hangover, and the brain’s reward centers are not functioning properly.
It’s important to remember that these symptoms are temporary and will usually go away within a day or two, according to National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
How Long Does Hangover Anxiety Last?
Hangover anxiety can last for several hours to a couple of days, depending on the severity of the hangover and an individual’s body chemistry. Generally, hangover anxiety peaks within 24 hours of consuming alcohol and subsides within 72 hours.
However, hangover anxiety can last longer for some individuals and may require medical attention. Factors such as dehydration, the amount of alcohol consumed, and an individual’s sensitivity to alcohol can all impact the duration of hangover anxiety. While it can be uncomfortable, hangover anxiety is usually temporary and can be managed with the right strategies.
What Causes Hangover Anxiety?
Hangover anxiety is a cruel reminder that our bodies are not invincible, no matter how much we convince ourselves otherwise. But fear not! Understanding the science behind hangover anxiety can help us take steps to prevent it.
Alcohol affects the brain’s chemistry by increasing the production of neurotransmitters such as GABA and dopamine, which can cause relaxation and pleasure. However, as the body metabolizes alcohol, it creates a byproduct called acetaldehyde, which can cause headaches, nausea, and anxiety.
Additionally, alcohol disrupts the body’s natural sleep cycle, leading to fatigue and irritability the next day. By knowing the science behind hangover anxiety, we can take steps to mitigate its effects and avoid it altogether.
Alcohol and Anxiety: How Alcohol Affects Your Brain
Alcohol is known to have various effects on the brain, and it can be particularly problematic for individuals who experience anxiety.
Here are some of the ways alcohol affects the brain:
- Disrupts neurotransmitters: Alcohol affects the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain, particularly GABA and glutamate, which play a significant role in regulating anxiety. When alcohol is consumed, it initially increases GABA, which leads to feelings of relaxation and reduced anxiety. However, as the effects wear off, GABA levels drop, and glutamate increases, leading to feelings of anxiety and agitation.
- Dehydration: Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it causes dehydration. Dehydration can cause headaches, fatigue, and increased anxiety.
- Lowers blood sugar levels: Alcohol can also lower blood sugar levels, which can lead to shakiness, dizziness, and increased anxiety.
- Interferes with sleep: Alcohol can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to poor-quality sleep and fatigue, worsening anxiety symptoms.
- Triggers the release of stress hormones: Alcohol can also trigger the release of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, leading to increased anxiety and tension.
While alcohol can temporarily relieve anxiety, it ultimately exacerbates symptoms and can lead to long-term problems. It’s important to be mindful of alcohol consumption and to seek professional help if alcohol is being used to cope with anxiety.
Alcohol Use and Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety and alcohol use disorders are often linked, potentially contributing to each other.
People with anxiety disorders may use alcohol to self-medicate and temporarily alleviate their symptoms. However, over time, this pattern can lead to the development of alcohol use disorders, which can worsen anxiety symptoms and create a vicious cycle.
On the other hand, excessive alcohol use can also cause anxiety symptoms, including hangover anxiety, due to the effects on the brain and body. It’s essential to seek professional help to address anxiety and alcohol use disorders to break this cycle and promote overall mental health and well-being.
How to Get Rid of Hangover Anxiety
While there is no guaranteed way how to get rid of hangxiety fast, there are some methods that may help alleviate symptoms more quickly.
Here are some science-backed techniques on how to calm hangover anxiety:
- Hydration: Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it causes dehydration. Replenishing lost fluids by drinking plenty of water or electrolyte-rich drinks may help reduce hangover symptoms, including anxiety.
- Rest: Sleep is crucial for the body to repair itself and recover from the effects of alcohol. Resting can also help alleviate anxiety symptoms.
- Deep breathing: Taking deep breaths can help reduce stress and anxiety. It can also help increase oxygen levels, which can aid in reducing headaches and fatigue associated with hangovers.
- Exercise: While vigorous exercise may not be advisable when hungover, light exercise like stretching or walking can help increase blood flow and oxygen levels, which may help alleviate symptoms.
- Mindfulness techniques: Techniques such as meditation, yoga, or tai chi can help reduce stress and anxiety, which may alleviate symptoms of hangxiety.
It’s important to remember that everyone’s body reacts differently to alcohol and hangovers, so what works for one person may not work for another. It’s also important to practice safe drinking habits and not rely on these methods to encourage excessive alcohol consumption.
Is There a Hangover Anxiety Pill I Can Take?
While no specific pill or medication is designed to treat hangover anxiety, some over-the-counter medications, such as pain relievers or anti-inflammatory drugs, may help alleviate physical symptoms that can contribute to anxiety.
However, It’s important to note that medication alone is not a cure for hangover anxiety and should be used in conjunction with other methods such as hydration, rest, and stress-reducing activities.
Lorazepam for Hangover Anxiety, Is It Safe?
Lorazepam is a prescription medication commonly used to treat anxiety disorders. While it may help alleviate symptoms of hangover anxiety, it is not specifically approved for this use and should only be taken under the guidance of a healthcare professional. Like all medications, Lorazepam can have potential side effects and risks, so it is important to discuss it with a doctor before taking it for hangover anxiety. It is also not a long-term solution for managing hangover anxiety and should not be relied upon as a primary treatment.
It’s also important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any medication, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or other medications.
Natural remedies such as herbal teas, supplements, or mindfulness practices may also effectively reduce hangover anxiety symptoms.
Home Remedies for Hangover Anxiety
Hangover anxiety can be quite distressing, but some home remedies may help ease the symptoms. Here are a few:
- Stay hydrated: Alcohol can dehydrate your body, so it’s important to drink plenty of water before, during, and after drinking. This can help reduce the severity of hangover symptoms, including anxiety.
- Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep can worsen anxiety symptoms, so getting enough rest is important. Try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep after drinking.
- Eat a nutritious meal: Consuming a healthy meal before and after drinking can help stabilize your blood sugar levels and prevent or lessen the severity of hangover anxiety.
- Try relaxation techniques: Deep breathing, meditation, or yoga can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. These techniques can also help you manage stress, a common anxiety trigger.
- Take a warm bath: Soaking in a warm bath can help relax your muscles and ease tension, reducing anxiety symptoms.
- Drink herbal tea: Certain herbal teas, such as chamomile or lavender, have calming properties that can help ease anxiety symptoms.
Remember that home remedies may not work for everyone, and it’s important to seek medical help if your symptoms are severe or persist for an extended period.
Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Horrible Anxiety After Drinking
Here are some lifestyle changes that may help reduce hangover anxiety after drinking:
- Drink in moderation: One of the best ways to avoid hangover anxiety is to avoid drinking too much alcohol. Set a limit for yourself and stick to it.
- Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can help reduce the severity of a hangover and may also help reduce anxiety symptoms. Try to drink a glass of water between each alcoholic drink.
- Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep can increase anxiety symptoms, so ensure you get enough sleep after drinking.
- Exercise regularly: Exercise can help reduce stress and anxiety, so try to incorporate regular exercise into your routine.
- Eat a healthy diet: Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help improve overall health and reduce anxiety symptoms.
- Practice relaxation techniques: Techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.
Everyone’s body reacts differently to alcohol, so what works for one person may not work for another. It’s important to listen to your body and make changes as needed to find what works best for you.
Professional Help for Hangover Anxiety
It’s important to understand that experiencing hangover anxiety is common, and it doesn’t necessarily mean you need professional help. However, if you struggle with these symptoms regularly or they interfere with your daily life, it may be time to seek professional help.
Here are some signs that indicate it’s time to seek help:
- Your anxiety is persistent: If your hangover anxiety persists for days or weeks after drinking, or if you’re anxious even when you haven’t been drinking, it may be a sign of an underlying anxiety disorder that requires professional attention.
- You have severe symptoms: If you experience severe symptoms such as panic attacks, racing heart, or suicidal thoughts, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.
- You have a history of mental health issues: If you have a history of mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety disorders, you may be more vulnerable to experiencing hangover anxiety. In this case, being proactive about managing your mental health and seeking help when necessary is important.
- Your anxiety affects your daily life: If your hangover anxiety interferes with your daily life, such as your work, school, or relationships, it’s a sign that you may need professional help. It’s important to address these issues before they escalate and become more difficult to manage.
- You’re using alcohol to cope with anxiety: If you find yourself using alcohol to cope with anxiety, it’s important to recognize that this can be a dangerous cycle. Seeking professional help can help you break this pattern and find healthier coping mechanisms.
Remember, seeking professional help is a sign of strength, not weakness. If you’re struggling with hangover anxiety or any other mental health issue, know that help is available, and you don’t have to face it alone.
Despite My Anxiety, I Am Afraid of Quitting Drinking
Feeling scared or anxious about quitting drinking is understandable, especially if you’re worried about experiencing withdrawal symptoms. However, quitting gradually or in moderation can help reduce the risk of severe withdrawal symptoms and make the process feel less overwhelming.
Here are some tips:
- Set realistic goals: Instead of quitting cold turkey, try to reduce your alcohol intake gradually over some time. For example, start skipping a drink or two each day and gradually increasing the amount until you feel comfortable.
- Seek support: Talk to a trusted friend or family member about quitting drinking. They can offer encouragement and support throughout the process. You may also want to consider joining a support group or seeking professional counseling to help you cope with anxiety and manage withdrawal symptoms.
- Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can help flush out toxins from your body and reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Aim to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water per day.
- Eat a balanced diet: A healthy diet can provide your body with the nutrients it needs to heal and recover. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
- Get enough rest: Getting enough rest is crucial for your body to heal and recover. Aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night and establish a consistent sleep schedule.
Remember, quitting drinking is a personal journey, and everyone’s experience differs. It’s important to be patient and kind to yourself as you navigate the process. If you’re experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms, don’t hesitate to seek professional medical help.
Welcome to After-Anxiety.com! Our dedicated team tirelessly curates resources that empower individuals to overcome anxiety. Our authors, including mental health advocates Jessi Davis, James Thompson, and Ana Ramirez, contribute their diverse experiences and expertise to provide insightful content. Their backgrounds in psychology, holistic health, mindfulness, and wellness contribute to our mission: helping individuals understand, manage, and thrive after anxiety. Discover After-Anxiety.com today – your online hub for healing, growth, and a fulfilling future.