Alcohol addiction often starts as a way to find temporary relief from painful feelings of anxiety disorder. Psychologically speaking, alcohol seems like the ideal substance because of its intrinsic properties as a depressant (which doesn’t mean it makes you depressed; what is does is depress neurotransmitter levels in the brain). Alcohol is also widely available and more or less socially acceptable, unlike many other drugs.
However, using alcohol for the purposes of lowering your anxiety is a bad idea is that you’re always going to pay for in the long run. Symptoms of withdrawal of all drugs, including alcohol addiction, are diametrically opposed to symptoms of intoxication. They are essentially your body’s way of trying to regain equilibrium. In other words, you’ll notice that your anxiety skyrockets after a bout of drinking or when you’re hungover.
Many don’t make this connection though. They don’t view their anxiety symptoms as caused by alcohol withdrawal syndrome. This unawareness creates a vicious cycle where they find it necessary to consume more and more in order to deal with their worsening symptoms. Many come to believe that this unnatural state is simply how they are without alcohol in their system.
The cycle of excess drinking and acute anxiety is bad enough, until you consider the other withdrawal symptoms caused by alcohol addiction. Alcohol Use Disorder can ultimately lead to shakes, seizures, and delirium tremens, also known as the DTs. People who drink heavily and consistently develop a physical dependency on alcohol, and stopping can be potentially life threatening. For someone to receive treatment for their anxiety, they must first be safely detoxed from the alcohol. This includes the administration of medication to curb cravings, treat withdrawal symptoms, and prevent seizures. Only after detoxification can someone with a alcohol addiction / anxiety dual diagnosis be properly treated for their root problem.
If you or someone you love is looking for anxiety treatment or help with alcohol addiction, Contact us today to set up an initial consultation.