Drinking alcohol may be your go-to move when feeling anxious or depressed. But this habit can actually be worsening your mental health symptoms and increasing your risk for addiction.
At Revolution Psychiatric and Addiction Treatment, we offer comprehensive services to help you break an addiction to alcohol. Richard E. Repass, MD, also specializes in general psychiatry services to address your anxiety symptoms in a healthier way.
While you may drink alcohol to relax, what you’re actually doing is revving up your nervous system, so you end up feeling more anxious.
Alcohol influences serotonin and other chemical levels in your brain. Because these chemicals contribute to the function of your mind and body, any disruptions can lead to illness. Overconsumption of alcohol can also increase the likelihood of developing an addiction.
Drinking alcohol can trigger anxiety in other ways, including:
Initially when drinking alcohol, you may feel sleepy and have no issues falling asleep. But alcohol use has a negative effect on REM sleep, the deep sleep you need to recharge your mind and body.
A lack of good sleep can increase your risk for anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Your physical fatigue can also make you feel on edge or moody the next day.
The use of alcohol depletes folic acid, an essential nutrient your body needs to function properly. Without folic acid, you may have trouble controlling your mood and be at a higher risk for anxiety and depression.
Alcohol can also influence your eating habits. When you drink, you may be inclined to opt for foods like pizza and burgers that are fast and comforting but not nutritious.
Drinking a lot of alcohol may also put you at risk for dehydration. Unless you drink water between alcoholic beverages, you may not be able to provide your body with the fluids it needs to function or replenish the fluids you lose during urination.
Whether you have one drink or several, your body goes through a natural detox process. It can take up to eight hours for your liver to remove alcohol from your body.
Throughout the detox process, you may feel nervous and jittery. Side effects of detox and withdrawal can become more serious the more alcohol you drink.
Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol may cause you to do things you wouldn’t otherwise do. This can lead to increased anxiety about your behaviors. You may also carry embarrassment or shame about your drinking habits that trigger anxiety about your future.
If you can’t manage your anxiety or an alcohol addiction on your own, you can rely on our expert staff for help.
Dr. Repass customizes care plans to help you make lifelong changes that support your mental health. He also utilizes medications and infusions of BR+NAD™ to reduce your alcohol cravings, so you can recover from alcohol addiction.
Contact us at Revolution Psychiatric and Addiction Treatment in Mercer Island, Washington, to schedule a consultation for anxiety or alcohol addiction today.