Alcohol Anxiety: 6 Reasons Why You Suffer From It & What To Do About It

Nov 26, 2015 | Anxiety, Blog

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This article will uncover some of the reasons why alcohol anxiety occurs, what you can do to prevent a hangover, and how you can more quickly recover when you’ve had a few too many.

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What Happens When You Drink

Drinking alcohol has an effect on the mind and body – and one could argue that it’s positive (at the time), which is why those who suffer from anxiety turn to alcohol to mask their feelings.  It’s ironic that we are culturally conditioned to have a drink to “calm our nerves” because we now know that the opposite can be true. That’s because it’s mostly the hangover the next day, while your body is trying to get rid of the toxin that causes alcohol anxiety.

Drinkaware.co.uk tells us that alcohol affects brain chemistry – by lowering the levels of serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter – a message sender if you like, responsible for a range of functions including mood, sleep, and memory. Low levels of serotonin mean that you sleep poorly, have mood swings, and have trouble remembering things. If you already suffer from anxiety this is not going to help.


“About 20 percent of people with social anxiety disorder also suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence, and a recent study found that the two disorders have a stronger connection among women.”

Anxiety and Depression Society America

Here’s Why You Could Experience Alcohol Anxiety ‘The Next Day’

You’ll Get Mood Swings

Alcohol can affect our mood because it can lower the levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a feel-good brain chemical that when in short supply can cause feelings of anxiety and depression.

Your Blood Sugar Will Drop

A drop in blood sugar can cause dizziness, confusion, weakness, nervousness, shaking, and numbness. These symptoms can most certainly trigger a bout of anxiety.

You Will Be Dehydrated

This has been known to cause nausea, dizziness, fatigue, light-headedness, and muscle weakness. These symptoms wouldn’t cause anxiety per se but they add to a sense of illness that fosters anxiety.

Your Nervous System is On Alert

The nervous system is affected because in order for the body to fight off the sedative effects of alcohol it puts the body into a state of hyperactivity in order to counteract this effect. This hyperactivity can lead to shaking, light/sound sensitivity, and sleep deprivation.

alcohol anxiety

And So Your Heart Rate is Increased

Your heart rate can become elevated as a result of consuming alcohol which can cause a palpitation false alarm and put you into a state of anxious anticipation. “Is it a heart attack or isn’t it?”, you might ask. This “what if” questioning can increase your general state of anxiety.

 

alcohol anxiety can't focus

You Won’t Be Able to Focus

Recovering from a hard night of drinking can also make you hazy, bring on headaches, and create a sense of disorientation.

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So how do you best avoid experiencing alcohol anxiety?

The obvious answer would be to avoid drinking alcohol, as many have reported that they are better able to cope with their anxiety as a result.

If you’re wondering whether ‘staying dry’ and avoiding alcohol will make a difference to how you feel, then take note from research by London’s Royal Free Hospital. They monitored 102 men and women who were regular drinkers during a month of no drinking.

They found ‘substantial improvements’ not only with liver function (which you would expect) but also in the quality of sleep. The Independent has reported that alcohol holds back glutamine – which keeps you awake. Once you’ve stopped drinking (and gone to bed), the body floods the body with glutamine trying to wake you up making it more difficult to get a good night’s sleep.

If you suffer from anxiety, wouldn’t it be better to just give it up? And can you?  It’s worth some serious thought.

How To Prevent a Hangover

If you really don’t want to abstain, then Calmer You has uncovered some small but powerful strategies to help when you are going to drink. These include recommendations from endurance athlete and health expert, Mark Sissons.

  • Drink until you’re buzzed, then stop. Drink, but avoid drunkenness. Know when to stop. ‘Learn’ your limits.
  • Choose your ‘poison’. Darker drinks like wine and whiskey have a higher level of toxins compared with vodka.
  • Drink water with your alcohol. Have a glass handy throughout the night. If you order a drink from the bar, get a water with it and drink it first.This should help keep you hydrated. Even better – sprinkle a bit of mineral-rich sea salt in the water to provide electrolytes if you can.
  • Eat before you drink. An empty stomach means you will get more drunk more quickly – and have a worse morning.
  • Drink two large glasses of water immediately before bed. You can also drink an electrolyte drink such as Dioralyte, or coconut water for added electrolytes.

Hangover Cures

If you do have a hangover and feel anxious, then the best thing is to find hangover cures so you are able to recover as quickly as possible and avoid too much alcohol anxiety. Drinking water is one that everyone knows, but you can also introduce natural remedies, instead of having a big fry up or hair of the dog and wishing the day away in an anxious state.

Natural health approaches include taking Milk Thistle which helps the liver detoxify more quickly, green tea extract which has L-theanine, an anti-anxiety property, or it would be a good idea to have a store of  Rescue Remedy close by –  a few drops in water, spray or pastilles will help to stabilise your mood and emotions. It is designed to get the user through an acute set of anxieties so would be great for alcohol anxiety.

Alcohol anxiety is something you can avoid, by just saying no to alcohol. However, if you decide to drink, it’s your decision whether you think that the risk is worth the rewards. At the very least, you can take measures to ensure the day after your anxiety levels can be managed somewhat. If you know that you will be drinking, then be prepared and make sure you have some support at the back of your cupboard.

You can get inspiration from articles on the Calmer-You blog pages, or follow us on Twitter, or Like our Facebook page.

Click here to get your FREE Anxiety Toolkit

Before you take any remedies, it is recommended that you seek advice from a doctor or chemist. And, if you really can’t cut down, then it’s best to seek advice from your Doctor about alcohol dependency.

I would love to know in the comments what you do to manage you alcohol intake, and if it helps. And, please share with anyone you think could use this information.

Next check out this podcast episode about alcohol anxiety:

Apple Users Click here

Android Users click here


References
Thanks to Paul Dooley, writing in Anxiety Guru, who spells out the 6 reasons why those with anxiety issues have a harder time than most dealing with a hangover.
http://www.anxietyguru.net/why-alcohol-causes-anxiety/
https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/check-the-facts/health-effects-of-alcohol/mental-health/alcohol-and-mental-health
http://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/social-anxiety-disorder/social-anxiety-and-alcohol-abuse
http://www.anxietyguru.net/why-alcohol-causes-anxiety/
http://www.bachflower.com/rescue-remedy-information/
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/10/26/month-off-booze-could-prevent-later-life-illnesses_n_8387134.html

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75 Comments

  1. Rachel Hardiman

    Hi I suffer from serious anxiety and self hatred the morning after drinking. I have completely abstained from alcohol for long periods of time. However I enjoy beer and wine and after months of abstinence I always feel deprived.
    So what I do now is take activated charcoal (AC) before the 1st drink. I also take gaviscon to line stomach. I leave at least an hour either side of the AC as it will disable the effect of any other potion. I will take dioralyte to balance electrolytes. Even with all this I may still wake with hangover headache, heart palpitations, dread, shame, fear. I regularly are milk thistle complex and drink lots of water.
    Trying to protect the organs while indulging in the treat of a few glasses of wine and beer over probably 6-8 hours is worthwhile but I would love to know how to prevent the morning after shame, fear, and physical discomfort.

    Reply
    • Ada

      This is 100% me. I wake up and instantly feel like I probably did or said something embarrassing (even though I didn’t) and I can’t stop the excessive anxiety.

      I’ve also abstained for long periods of time and it greatly helps but I do feel like I’m missing out when I do. I think I just want to try to change my thoughts around that so I don’t feel like my life is missing something when abstaining, but instead gaining peac.

      Reply
      • Katelyn

        1-2 Benadryl before bed, (generic name Diphenhydramine HCL), it negates the side effects of those 4-6 drinks and helps you sleep it off and wake up ready to go. If you feel like you drunk-texted or said something wrong with the other people also drinking around you, don’t worry too much about it. I think most people understand we can all act different under the influence. That’s why there is always an “Uncle Bob” or “Aunt Jane,” that is either ‘dancing on the tables’ by the end of the night or ‘wearing a lampshade.’ I would always drink with a friend if going out to drink in public to a party/wedding/club. We would make sure we did not start to ‘look drunk or act sloppy’ in the public-eye since we know how we really act sober. The best advice: When out in public drink until you feel the buzz (no more than one an hour). If you want to drink more, go home with your close friend or someone you really trust and have a few more. Unplug the Alexa in the hotel room, (I never trust those things), and plug-in your mobile device to charge and DON’T TOUCH IT THE REST OF THE NIGHT. Drunk-texting and drunk photos are way worse than dropping an “f-bomb” or telling one of your good friends know how much you hate her misogynist-fiance who treats her like crap” in drunk conversation. An occasional honest drunkard in company is more acceptable than publicly disgracing yourself for life.

        Reply
  2. Jimmy

    Thanks for this great article. Very helpful and relieving!

    I suffer from somataform anxiety (hyperchondria) which means I internalise symptoms as being more dangerous then they are. Recently I have binged more then normal and the next days have spent frantic hours googling every symptom to the point where I was sure I had kidney failure, liver failure and heart arythmia. I had no “real” symptoms that even required concern and even started taking my temperature very 10 mins, drinking electrolyte drinks and force urinating. (Just the anxiety and dehydration playing tricks.)

    Your article was really helpful in reminding me “oh yeah, I am having “hangxiety” and I am not going to die!”

    Thanks again 🙂

    Reply
    • Chloe B

      Thanks for sharing that Jimmy. Glad this article helped! x

      Reply
      • Karl

        Reading that article made me feel so much better about myself, thank you! Suffering with OCD, but alcohol brings out the symptoms described in your thread, damn you alcohol, damn you anxiety! I hope one day I’ll beat my anxiety disorder and function like a ‘normal’ human being! Thanks again.

        Reply
        • Phuong

          Wow, after reading you guys post, I feel a little easier. I thought I was the only one that feel this way. I too feel that I did something wrong or said something stupid (even though I didn’t)

          Reply
  3. Dylan

    I’ve been drinking on and off since I was 13 but as of 2016 I started waking up and cracking at least 3-4 beers before getting out of bed other wise I am panicked, ears ringing , stomach hurts and my breathing is extremely difficult in my throat , once I drink it all goes away, so in guessing it could he depression aswel? I like the thought of excersising to help with it all but if I quit, would this anxiety and depression ever go away? Cause its scaring me to the point there is no point in life if I have such trouble with reality , and I truthfully don’t want to try a bunch of antidepressants or rely on them, maybe hard exercise could help get me back? I also smoke cigarettes aswel and I do notice my first cigarette is where the anxiety, and fear feeling with breathing starts but it last for hours!

    Reply
    • Andrew

      This is a late reply, so you may never see it, but maybe you will, or maybe it will help someone else. I’ve experienced similar symptoms and because of that, I quit drinking for months at a time. During that time, I noticed that I didnt experience those feelings at all anymore. Once in a while, when I felt the urge to drink, I would sometimes feel anxious, but nowhere near as much as when I was drinking. I would ride out the urge until it went away and the next day, I felt better. Way better than the nights I ended up giving in to drinking. I also smoked, and I found that by not smoking the next day, which can be difficult, I didn’t experience as much anxiety. Quitting alcohol is tough; some people find a middle-ground that works for them, but I’ve found that giving it up completely prevents a lot of these feelings and also helps with feeling less depressed. Exercise is a good habit to replace it with and if you stick with it, the benefits are much better than what you get from drinking. Best of luck to you.

      Reply
    • HeartRace

      I hate that I have such a high tolerance. I can drink up to 3 bottles of wine throughout the day & sometimes I’m totally fine, other days like today, my heart won’t stop racing, I’m sweating, muscles are cramping, dizziness. The shame & guilt are also terrible. I feel like I do all the right things…have an energy drink, eat during, drink water during but today, if I do anything other than lie in bed, my heart is racing through the roof. I already have high blood pressure & I’m scared to have a stroke! So I’m just gonna lie here & keep hydrating. I really need to just stop. 1 is too much & 1000 is never enough.

      Reply
  4. john

    Thanks all for sharing and what a great article ! Jimmy thanks for the “hangxiety” story , and I’ll admit I had a serious bout with it recently, to the point of actually going to the emergency room thinking that I was suffering a heart attack. I had binged on red wine the night before at a dinner party. Woke up the next morning and the anxiety was just absolutely through the roof, then the heart palpitations, cold sweat, shaking, nervousness….you get the picture. Yeah, 5 hours in the hospital having tests run just for peace of mind, but this article and your stories really help me realize whats going on here and how preventable this it. Thanks so much.

    Reply
    • Margo

      Wow, 3 bottles is a lot. I have done that too and I don’t know why I do it. Then the next day I can’t relax at all. My muscles are spastic, my heart races and I have the feeling of impending doom. I want to stop but have not been able to. So nice to know I am not the only one that experiences these symptoms. I have friends that drink more than I do and it doesn’t seem to affect them the same way.

      Reply
      • Chloe B

        Hope you can get some help and support and know you are not alone x

        Reply
  5. Char

    I seem to get the anxiety symptoms 2 days after drinking and I seriously struggle to control the physical symptoms, shaking, body feels rushing, feeling of dread and fear even tense jaw and tight throat

    Does anyone have any advice on how to control or deal with the physical symptoms

    Reply
  6. Marcus

    I’ve been drinking since 16. It turned heavy in my mid twenties. I can’t remember when I started experiencing anxiety, but its triggered by performance anxiety. Of course you’re not going to be your best self a day after heavy drinking, but I let it bother me too much to the point I talk myself out of going places and talking to people for fear of embarrassment or to avoid potential drama. I experienced the heart palpitations and everything, but I think it’s all mental. Some days are better than others, and the older you get the more alcohol wears on you. The only fix is to drink less and eventually hang up my shot glasses. 🙂

    Reply
    • Ad

      This is me all over I can’t even leave the house before having a few can sometimes wake up and start drinking get the same as you stomach hurt can’t breathe hate it.

      Reply
  7. Paul Rizzo

    I have never had anxiety until recently (year 36 of 37 years alive). Opened a business and am under a ton of new stress, and am a stuffer, so I have difficulty addressing my stress, I subconsciously pretend it’s not there. So I don’t actively feel stressed out. I have always been a binge drinker. So 1-3 times per week, I’ll drink until I’m quite drunk, like 8 drinks or so. Anyway, I had my first full blown panic attack when I was 36 and didn’t know what to do. It began after a relatively quiet night of drinking. The next morning, I physically felt fine, no hangover symptoms really. I felt strange in my brain though, apathetic. I wasn’t interested in anything, and started to feel disconnected from my body, like a divide between my mind and body, and it scared me, right into my first panic attack. We were on vacation in MX, so I had very few options for help. The attack passed, with the help of my wife and breathing, but I couldn’t figure out why it happened. It’s 5 months later and I have had the beginnings of 3 more panic attacks, but I can stave them off with breathing and mindfulness. This is VERY important for everyone to know if you don’t already, breathe as deeply as you can, pause, then exhale slowly. Focus in your mind on something you enjoy, or something benign. I like to picture (this is dumb but) a sheep running in circles, jumping over a fence. lol. It’s so odd to try and imagine this that I forget about my racing heart and apathy. Anyway, this article helps A LOT! I think I’m to an age, and have done enough damage to my brain receptors with binge drinking that after a night of imbibing, my serotonin is super low in my brain, which explains the apathy. I have realized that every panic attack begins with this feeling of apathy, and that every feeling of apathy comes with a hangover. I got to the point where I was drinking to overcome anxiety from drinking! So, the way I see it, we’ve got a few choices. 1. Stop drinking. If you’re experiencing anxiety post-drinking, it’s time to hang it up because your brain doesn’t like it. 2. Drink, but take anti anxiety medication the next day. Realize that this damages the liver more, but is a good solution. 3. Drink less when you drink. This may not really help though is alcohol is interfering with your serotonin. Anyway, sorry for the rambling. I just wanted to share my experience, and consequent revelation. I have been sober for a while and not a hint of anxiety. I love whiskey, so I’ll have to drink for taste here on out, instead of effect.

    Reply
    • Phuong

      Thanks for sharing. I’m vacationing in MX right now and am having post drinking anxiety.

      Reply
      • Kait

        I can also really relate to this! I can never seem to figure out why I feel so anxious and guilty after a night of drinking. It doesn’t even have to be much could literally be a shot or one glass of wine but the anxiety is always there! Maybe it’s cause I am underage but even so my parents wouldn’t care even if they k ew I was drinking. I get these terrible thoughts in my head calling myself a bad person for drinking and it seems none of my other friends experience this. I usually avoid drinking because of this feeling but it’s good to k ow there are other people who experience this

        Reply
    • Toby

      This has just happened to me on holiday in Venice. I’m glad I’m not alone. I also made the mistake of having a coffee first thing in the morning which I believe would have made it much worse. I had a panic attack and had to leave the restaurant at lunchtime, colours were brighter, I was light headed and being around many people was putting me into bad place. Finally overcame it, but I sadly think that it’s a message from my body saying that enough is enough.

      Reply
  8. Ani

    I’ve been drinking for 17 years.. mainly binge drinking. About 5 years ago I started to get “holiday heart”. It’s horrible. I’m fine during the initial passing out after drinking, but once I wake up (usually middle of the night) I can’t fall back asleep until the following night. If I try to fall back asleep I’m jolted awake with severe heart palpitations and it feels like I’m dying or going to have a heart attack. The last episode was the worst yet and I ended up going to the ED. It was the following night and I still was having a hard time falling asleep and ended up having a panic attack. I thought I was having a heart attack. All tests checked out fine and they gave me Ativan and fluids. It helped a lot, but that was a couple nights ago and I’m still having tightness in my chest, neck and shoulders. I know that I’m going to be ok tho.. I just have to wait it out. I’ve obviously been abstaining from alcohol since and been taking a multivitamin with extra vitamin D. I’m so tired of doing this to myself. I hate it. Why can’t I stop?? Thinking of trying AA.

    Reply
    • Dyffrin

      Hey Ani,
      I feel ya! I feel like you were describing me. I have noticed that it starts 2 or 3 days after binge drinking. I wake up in a state of panic and feel like I’m going to die. I say the same thing: Why can’t I quit? It’s strange, sometimes I have no intention of drinking, but before you know it. I’m drunk again. And a couple days after dealing with anxiety attacks. I stopped drinking for a while and the anxiety was becoming a memory. Once I got drunk the anxiety attacks returned. If I can’t quit on my own I will seek help. It’s not worth it!

      Reply
    • David Ryan

      Hey. You may have baseline anxiety which is the root cause of you feeling like you have to drink. Just remember they your problems are still there when you sober up,, and now you have less money and feel like shit. I’d probably see someone about whatever is causing you to drink.
      Hope that helps.
      Dave

      Reply
  9. Brenda

    My experiences are similar to Ani’s, where I drink some, then fall asleep fine and wake up in a total state of disarray. Sweating, heart pounding to where it feels it will explode out of my chest, irrational thoughts, and incredible fear… Fear of what I’m.not sure but considering I’m already under a lot of stress I think the alcohol is provoking the intense panic. I turn on my light and practice belly breathing which helps but it takes a while, usually takes me at least a half hour to calm down then an hour to get back to sleep. The first attack I had I thought I was dying and I actually accepted it, I just wanted the incredible terror to end… And all of mine have come after drinking. Not even a lot provokes it. This has never happened and I am 38 so I guess your body changes, I will not be drinking anymore.

    Reply
  10. Lee

    Thanks for this. Omg I’m so hungover right now. I’ve had 2 hours sleep and every time I drink I get about 2 hours sleep I hate it. I wake up with such horrible thoughts about so many horrible things and I can’t stop it. I suffer with anxiety anyway and have done for about 3 years. Its a constant battle but when I’m hungover it’s through the roof so ur article really makes sense to me. I would say I drink about twice a month but I consume so much in them nights. I don’t no when to stop and I really go for it. I have a lot of stresses at home and when I’m out in a club the more I drink the happier and more confident I become. Waking up like this. Is it worth it? No way but I can’t stop. Everyone around me in the clubs friends aswel all drink so much so it’s so hard not to. I don’t no if I’ll ever stop. I’m turning 30 in a few months so I think it’s really time to think hard about this. I can’t stand this anxiety..

    Reply
    • Chloe B

      Thanks for your comment Lee. Stopping may not be easy but you CAN do it if you really want to. Tjhere is support out there such as AA. It might be worth looking a ways to reduce your hangover – drinking more water, making sure you’ve eaten something etc. Good luck

      Reply
  11. Seth

    Literally this helped. Everytime I’m hungover it feels like I have a brain tumor. I feel dizzy with a headache and neck ache. I get angry when people tell me “Are you okay?” when I’m having horrible anxiety. I shake really bad too! I get into my hypochondriac state and even if I pop a pimple, I search online what I’ve done and I feel like I’m going to die. I’m calming down even by typing this. Thanks for Helping the anxiety die down and I am finally able to relax myself.

    Reply
  12. Robyn E Heins

    This has been happening to me lately, and giving me insomnia which give me more anxiety and make me feel like I’m going crazy! It’s a vicious horriable cycle. I have cut all caffeine out of my diet and I’m finding it So hard to cut out all alcohol. I enjoy having a few drinks with friends but I’m afraid to! It’s now effecting me for 2-3 days and I can’t sleep, I’ll jolt awake every 20-30 min all night and have horriable thoughts! I’ve not been drinking but after being a social drinker since high school (I’m 37) it is a part of who I am. I enjoy making fun drinks and entertaining….. I hate This! And I hate how terrified I am!

    Reply
  13. Franklin

    Excellent article! I have read countless pieces on alcohol and alcoholism, but this article was direct, nonjudgmental, and truly helpful. I was in AA and sober for ten years. I began drinking wine only and very moderately when I began a new relationship. Three years later when he dumped me out of the blue (I see now he was a covert narcissist with a new source of supply) my drinking increased dramatically. A year later after I was planning to reboot my life by moving back with my Dad to the city I grew up in, his wife abruptly divorced him and kicked him out (he is 88 and wheelchair bound with Parkinson’s). I turned into an all day, every day drinker after that. That was the first time in my life I ever actually woke up around 8:00 AM and made a stiff gin and tonic to calm me down. My life was so hellish I had to move back in with my exhusband because I had no work (gave away my work because I thought I was relocating), no money, became seriously ill, and become literally too sick and too broke to live alone. Now I drink only in the evening, if at all, and my health and sanity is improving. One thing I have found surprisingly helpful with the alcohol issue is I am actively trying to quit smoking with Chantix and it is a helpful medication. I absolutely HATE drinking alcohol if I am not smoking, I literally cannot choke down even half of a drink! So if I don’t smoke, I don’t drink. It has given several four or five day runs of not smoking or drinking. I am still taking Chantix and plan to quit entirely soon, meaning the anxiety and depression associated with drinking too much will be banished!

    Reply
  14. Chris

    Great article. I began drinking in my early teens and was a binge drinker all through my twenties. Around 30 is when my massive hangover anxiety started. After a night of drinking, I would wake up with such bad anxiety, I would literally want to crawl out of my skin. To stop the feeling, I would find whatever alcohol was left to drink away the anxiety. This was the start of my alcoholism which led me to eventually two detox admissions and treatment. I recently had a slip and was going through crazy anxiety and came across this article – it is a great reminder that it is the alcohol that caused anxiety, i am normal and it will pass. For me it abstinence is key as to avoid the dreaded anxiety.

    Reply
  15. Patrick

    I’ve suffered anxiety since 2004. It was life situation induced and probably about the time I started drinking heavily. I’m now a classic binge drinker on a daily basis. Back in the day I was the life of the party but now just an embarrassment. What I can’t stand are the shakes in the morning. Yesterday a bottle of wine before work fixed it, hardly ideal, but hey. Then a couple of sneaky scotches during the day. I convince I hide it well and still function but fear I’m letting myself slide and people can actually tell or I just reek of booze. Tried it again this morning with a bottle but didn’t work, made it worse so yet another sick day. Am on SSRIs and benzodiazepines, the combination I know stupid but sometimes I just need to find the right zone to function. My life situation is screwed right now, I know I’m not practising the best behaviour to deal with it, am a bit lost and numbing it out always feels the best option.

    Reply
    • Chloe B

      Hi Patrick – I really hope you can get some help for this. Therapy and AA meetings. You can do this.

      Reply
  16. Dan

    Hi, all of the above experiences have really helped me understand and relate to my condition and how to deal with it.
    I’ll be honest, if someone ever told me they had experienced anxiety or had a panic attack, I would think to myself that they are either obviously depressed and not coping well with life or a massive hypochondriac!! How ignorant of me.
    I didn’t realise they were experiencing heart palpitations and scary uncontrollable episodes of their heart ‘thumping’ out of their chest, sleep problems, high blood pressure, breathing difficulty, feeling as though you’re going to pass out, stomach cramps, sweating, muscle tension, lethargy.
    All of these symptoms I have recently experienced and I honestly thought I was going to die (now who’s the hypochondriac!?)
    I’ve been to my doctor and had multiple tests: blood samples, blood pressure/heart rate, ECG, urine, chest X-Ray. All have come back as normal, except my blood pressure which seems to always be constantly raised just higher than acceptable (148 over 92). I believe I suffer with anxiety. My doctor has given me a course of a Beta Blocker tablet called Propranolol to help lower my blood pressure and hopefully make me feel more calm and less tense. So far, it has helped. My heart seems to not ‘thump’ as hard and I’ve been able to get off to sleep easier. However, I do hope that with time and understanding, I can come to terms with the anxiety and not have to rely on a tablet.
    I have recently experienced some difficulty at home as my dog passed away which was very traumatic. I have also just started a new job which involves working in a more pressurised environment and different shift pattern to what I’m used to. Therefore, more stress.
    However, I’m 34 years old, (and by the way, I’ve noticed that most people dealing with similar issues are of similar age??) and I’ve always enjoyed socially drinking but to excess. I’ve never been a ‘great’ drinker anyway as I’ve never known when to stop. I think that now I am older and well out of my twenties, my body is telling me to stop or at least massively cut down on my alcohol consumption. Also, I need to generally be kinder to myself, ensure I get enough sleep as I think that tiredness plays a big part in all of this too.
    This is what I propose to do to help myself. Something has got to give and I know I definitely do not want to feel the way I have the past couple of times this has happened.
    I hope what I have written can help others and they can relate to what I am saying and gain some comfort and understanding to this health issue.

    Reply
    • justcallmelush

      I’m sorry about your dog, Dan. I know what this is like.My sweet girl passed away too. Loved her more than anything. Bless you.

      Reply
  17. Simon

    Hi,
    This article and shared expiriance has been the answer to my problem that I tought were asosiated with totally different things. Finally I understand whats going on.
    About a year ago I started having anxiety and panic attacts. Back then I didnt assosiated them with alcohol at all and thought that my stressful work is causing them. I was drinking heavily at weekends and milder drinking at workweek. I could not sleep because I had such fear and anxiety, it was horrible. Laying wake most of the night with cold sweat. Also had pain in chest and trouble breathing so constantli thinking I was going to die.
    I made a decision to cut alcohol few months back just to try if it makes things better. And it did! With two weeks anxiety and panic attacs were gone. So I was sober over a month until I slipt and had a very heavy drinking night out. Next day anxiety was back. So now I have had a drink few times but since after every time the symptoms are back it is just not worth it. Planning to stay sober in future.
    Im 27 years old and started drinking at very joung age.
    Hope it helps others.

    Reply
    • India

      Wow I’m going through the same exact thing! I quit smoking and drinking! I’ve been to the hospital about 15 times in 2 months. Thinking imma die! Fear of a lot of things I have no control over! They said I was fine. Idk what to think anymore! I be having chest pains they’ve done EkG’s each time they come back normal! I feel worse since I quit the alcohol and cigarettes. Idk I just can’t wait to get better! I wish I’ve never smoked or drank Ever! This is so not a good feeling and it’s only been 2 months

      Reply
  18. Jamile

    I can totally relate to you guys iam extremely plauged with aniexty panic attacks i dont drink alot but lately i have to counter act my aniexty i really am more of a pot smoker well was but because of fear of having attacks i stoped now i just drink like every 4 days or so but the day after i is terrible its like aniexty comes back with full force i honestly thought i was alone so i really appreciate reading these comments but i really want to stop having these terrible attacks i feel like im going die i cant eat somtiimes fearing that it will bring on a attack please any advice will be greatly appreciated thanks

    Reply
  19. Donna

    I’m so pleased I found this site. I’m sat currently with the worst anxiety I think I’ve ever experienced. Just reading some of these replies has helped to calm me down, I was considering getting a taxi to A&E. I spoke to aa earlier and have my first meeting tomorrow. I’m nearly 38 and can’t continue this way.

    Reply
  20. Tina

    After the holidays, I have been really numb on my right arm when I drink alcohol and my mouth starts to get dry. I am an average drinker. Anybody body know what this mean? Also, what are some ways I can prevent this before going to the doctors and drinking.

    Reply
    • Chloe B

      Probably good to check with your doctor on this one Tina x

      Reply
    • Ad

      I suffer with anxiety really bad and my right arm always feels numb it’s a pain in the arse

      Reply
  21. Leo

    Wow I can’t believe how much I can relate to these comments. I’m 34 years old male, I tried to quit alcohol after feeling bloated from an indulgent Christmas. I made it 15 days and felt good and I avoided a lot of temptation. Then I decided to drink wine and followed with Brandy. The next day I had severe anxiety bordering on a panic attack and felt lingering anxiety now 2 days later. This feels like the final straw for me. I never wish to feel this away again. Generally life is good and only ever spoiled by alcohol binge drinking, at home. I’m encouraged by the other comments here, it seems to me in my mid 30s if I can’t control alcohol I must stop drinking it. I’ve had many embarrassing drunken moments, more than I care to remember and I used alcohol to get over social awkwardness and escapism. I don’t trust myself to drink responsibly socially anymore and now I feel I can’t even “enjoy” a drink at home in the evening. Abstinence is very challenging but the fear of anxiety will hopefully help me to quit. Alcohol is a vicious circle and it seems to hold power over nearly everyone I know to some extent . If you are reading this hungover and feeling anxious please remember “This too shall pass” it’s all chemicals making you feel anxiety and you will get over it very soon. Good luck to us all!

    Reply
  22. Ali

    I have been a mod/heavy drinker in the evenings after work and on weekends, mostly vodka beer for years. I woke up around 6:30one morning after drinking and felt just fine About 9:30 I felt faint and then as I was going to have a heart attack went to ER and ekg blood work ammited ect. all checked out well. I was treated with chlordiazepoxide for a few days. It’s been almost 2 weeks and for the most part I have felt fine, I would like to have champagne or wine with dinner defiantly stay away from hard Liuqor bc I’m scared about feeling the way I did. But I’m getting married soon and would like to enjoy champagne for my wedding honeymoon ect. What are my chances of getting another tremor if I have some drinks in moderation meaning not everyday. I have felt better not drinking everyday and have lost weight also not drinking so much. I do have hydroxyzine I have prescribed for panic attacks if needed have not taken them yet.

    Reply
  23. Ali

    I have been a heavy drinking for years mostly beer and vodka, after work in the evenings and weekends at night. For the first time, after a night I had heavy drinking and the next day woke up felt fine (never get hangovers) around 6:30am around 9:30 I felt faint and very fast felt panic as if I were having a heart attack. I went to ER ekg, BW and was ammidted on fluids everything checked out fine. I was treated with Chlordiazepixide for a few days. It’s been about 2 weeks and I have felt well. And haven’t had any major alcohol cravings, however I would like to have champagne and wine every now and then NOT every day not worth the feeling I had gojng to the ER. But I am getting married soon and would like to enjoy tastings wedding honeymoon ect. But I’m worried about getting a tremor agin. Are my chances high or would I be okay with moderation ? I also have Hydroxyzine for panic attacks if needed, but I haven’t needed anything so far.

    Reply
  24. peter

    i tried the Rescue Remedy, it give me the worse anixty, i later found out it was mostly alcohol, even some shampoo which has 1% alcohol, could drive me anixty

    Reply
    • Cynthia

      I believe they make a rescue remedy for children and animals too that is glycerin based instead of alcohol. Give that a try!

      Reply
  25. Nick

    Thanks for this article and all the comments. I am 42 and have been a moderate drinker for about 15 years. Recently I have had the same symptoms in the middle of the night after having 5 or more drinks the night before, rapid heartbeat, cold sweats, strange thoughts, dwelling on certain things over and over, feeling like I’m going to die. I quit smoking two years ago and felt better but now this happens every couple of weeks and it’s horrible. I’ve never considered myself to be anxious or prone to anxiety but I guess the alcohol brings it out. If I have one or two beers it’s fine but I think I’m going to stop drinking for a while and see what happens. It sounds like there’s really no cure for this feeling but it’s reassuring to know that I’m not alone. Thanks for the info and advice.

    Reply
  26. Anita

    Oh my gosh I am at a loss for words after reading all the comments as they all pertain to me. I was only a social drinker and then about a year ago after hitting some really really really hard times I turned to alcohol…and not to mention I suffer from anxiety attacks but thank goodness I haven’t had one in years but now since I’ve been drinking daily I notice they are coming back and I just want to go back to social drinking. I’ve had many embarrassing drunken moments, more than I care to remember!!!! I am wondering if that is even possible to try to go back? I tell myself I am not drinking tonight and bamm always do and every evening and during the day on the weekends into the night. I feel light headed a lot, shaky, dizzy, wake up with the heart palpitations. This is so not worth it and wish I could just bring me back. I’ve also gained weight from drinking. Thank you for the info and advice everyone.

    Reply
  27. Rather not say

    Hi, I’m 17 I’ve been drinking properly for about 3/2 years now. I’ve had anxiety for about 5 years which started from smoking weed (I don’t anymore). I’m really hungover right now and along with the hangover I’ve got really bad anxiety, I’m worried I’ve gone crazy, I keep having intrusive/unwanted thoughts and I also suffer from depersonalisation which is a disorder where you feel detached from yourself/reality. My best friend committed suicide October 2016 and after that I really started “drinking away my problems” ive cut down now though but I mostly feel unhappy. I want happiness in my life which I do get allot but I’m never complete I always go back to the same feeling of anxiety and a struggle through life. I do love life and have much love for people around me I just hate the feeling of anxiety and depression.
    Have a wonderful day/night people felt to share my story of anxiety.

    Reply
  28. Elenor

    Well, I don’t know what to say other than what you folks are saying completely explains my feelings and emotions exactly. I have always been sensitive to alcohol not needed a lot to put me in a stupor. However, we lost our Daughter aged 26 very suddenly and I feel completely devestated, but have used this poison for a crutch and believe me it’s not good. Had x2 Detox then went back to it again. My anxiety is awful, can’t sleep, concentrate, can’t do anything other than Shake, Sweat, then feel cold and feel paranoid. I hate myself and feel worthless and that my loved ones would be better without me and my horrid burden of this wicked Devil called Alcohol. But still I do it and hide it – time after time. Now I also take Diazepam (left over from my loss but none left now – and sometimes Tramadol, this sends me into a worse synario – any help would be appreciated – but really and truly we all know what we have to do. For me it needs to be complete abstinence, I then feel in control and can function at my best. My Doctor has no time for me!! I have been to support groups, but trying to juggle a job hinders going (I do not want to go to AA as I found myself worse for it). I love my family, my other Daughter and wonderful Son and I should do it for them, as they struggle immensley but do not use what I do for this so called Crutch, which really is a obstacle. Instead it is alienating me as they can not bear to see me in the state I get and the embarrassment I cause. Why oh Why can’t I be like other people and just have a couple and be happy = instead its to blackout and no memory. Palipitations beyond explanation and this awful feeling of doom.

    Reply
  29. Elenor

    To Rather not Say,
    Please kick it now – you are so young and unlike me in my middle ages, so you are not as addicted, but it will really take hold and all the other things that come with it. No one has really mentioned the ‘dry retching’ and itching and you can’t concentrate on anything. It will all escalate and only get worse. I think there are certain people who can not control having a few drinks and enjoying them and fall into the category of absusers. Very often it can be inherited, I do have family members who have no alcohol control. I only wish I had knocked it on the head years ago. However, one can not look back, but yet again I am still doing it (drinking), I hope I can gain the strength to do it before it burys me, and in turn hurt my loved ones further.

    Reply
  30. amie

    I can relate to everyone but mine tends to a little different. I drink and i make stupid decisions and i do make a fool of myself i do everything from crying, lying, fighting and just making a show of myself. its the next day i get really anxious so much i cry,I’m afraid of everyone and everything, i fear ever bumping into people and i i spend days beating myself up on how much i am a mess. ive been so bad with hangovers that i have overdosed and rushed to hospital just to try and escape,ive done the quitting drink and made it to 70 days then i slip, i don’t know what to do as once i have a drink i can’t stop and i go overboard. can anyone share some light on what i should do please, i am 28 and ruining my life, my relationship and won’t go to University for weeks after i go on a drinking session. ive ruined family events ,am so ashamed of myself an tend to tell my past history to any strangers drinking and then i loose contact as I’m embarrassed. any idea on whats wrong with me? any help is appreciated please, i think I’m at rock bottom or getting close

    Reply
    • Chloe B

      Really sorry to hear you’re struggling Amie. You’re not alone. please seek some help. Have you tried AA? x

      Reply
  31. Lou Appleby

    I used to have a couple of glasses of wine in the evening most nights then this went up to a bottle a night and even two at a weekend. What I didn’t know then was that I was suffering with anxiety but hadn’t yet been diagnosed.
    I now only have a couple of glasses at a weekend and sometimes the next day I have the sensations as I used to and sometimes these can last a couple of days. Does anybody else get these still?

    Lou

    Reply
  32. Emma

    Each and everyone of these comments ring so very true to me. I have been an Anxiety sufferer for the best part of 16years now (I’m 34) and it is crippling, especially as the most of you after a heavy night painting the town red! I have tried all alcoholic drinks to see if any lessen the ‘morning after the night before’ effects to to of no avail. This article is bloody awesome, I now see I’m not the only one, totally understanding the feelings of those written above may (fingers crossed) help the next time. Brilliant article, I’m going to pin it to my home screen in the hopes that when the next hangover hits I’ll find some solace in others comments.

    Reply
  33. Cay

    Two years ago, I woke up after a concert and went to the ER because I thought I was having a heart attack. That turned into anxiety and panic. I was put on an anti-depressant and give anti-anxiety for “emergencies”. Fast forward to a month ago, the last day of my vacation I woke up at 6am with a resting heart rate of 128. This turned into a week-long anxiety attack. I went to numerous doctors, got a stronger anti-anxiety med and practiced self-care. Started to feel better. Went out on St. Patrick’s Day and had a set back. I had about 5 beers over 4 hours – so not what I would call an excessive St. Patty’s Day. Woke up in the middle of the night with elevated heart rate, cold sweats. Ended up going to the ER two days later because I felt like I was dying. Went back to self-care and meditation. Yesterday, I went to a party and had 4 drinks over 4 hours (again, not what I would call excessive) but it happened again last night. It is very helpful to see that I am not the only one who feels this. A majority of my social life revolves around drinking and bars and hanging out with my friends. I am going to try the suggestions above, but I think deep down I know, that I just need to call it quits after one or two drinks or call it quits altogether.

    Reply
  34. Dane

    Very informative article. For the past five years I’ve had anxiety issues. And every once in a while something bad would happen and it would get worse and I’d start drinking a little more often. Until it got to where i was always worrying about something and I got to where I was drinking every day, about a year ago. I’d have a few drinks and not worry. Then I started having panic attacks when in public. Speaking with people would make me so nervous and I could not explain where this new anxiety had come from. I couldn’t go to work, couldn’t talk to strangers at all, couldn’t see a doctor because I’d have a panic attack, my blood pressure would spike, I’d freak out and leave. I’ve been afraid to quit (because I worry about everything) and I’m afraid of withdrawal. But last month, I ran out of money and whiskey for 3 days and i had no choice. And surprisingly, it wasn’t bad. The first night I had trouble falling asleep, simply because i was sure i was gonna wake up a nervous, shaky mess. But i didn’t. The next night, somehow, after the whole day had passed, the liquor store was closed, and drinking wasn’t really an option, it was the best I’ve felt in years. Naturally, it didn’t stick. The next morning I found some work to do and was drinking again that evening. But thats when I realized that alcohol seemed to be causing the anxiety. I’ll be broke again this month, so I plan to taper off, hopefully. If it weren’t for the anxiety, I’d just quit. But I literally get anxious about the fact that I might get anxious. Like if I have to be somewhere tomorrow, ill have a panic attack today because I’m worried about having a panic attack tomorrow. Anyway

    Reply
  35. justcallmelush

    I have been drinking every night for I can’t remember how long. Not an awful lot and never to the point of feeling drunk even slightly. But nevertheless, two or three drinks every night. Never any bad effects. They helped me to sleep. I always sleep really well too and wake up stretching and feeling refreshed. Can only remember one hangover, when I was 21! I am 64 now.
    Okay, suddenly (I can almost time it to the minute) the Tuesday before Easter this year, I had been awake maybe 2-3 hours and got this awful shakiness, slight queasiness, one sided headache (over one eye) By the way I have zero history of headaches or migraine, and none in the amily as far as I know.
    I was also getting a really scary nervous feeling like I was about to jump out of my skin -like I’d drunk 10 coffees! Wanted to burst into tears, couldn’t face food, breathing increased, and got heart palpitations. I checked my pulse and my heart was literally missing one beat out of every 10. I had been going too hot, then too chilly, and breaking out into a sweat when I did anything.
    I love to go for country walks, and haven’t een been able to do much of that the last 2 weeks.
    This came back every day. The last 2 days I have been ravenously hungry and as soon as I start to eat a meal I feel full and bloated….the weirdest feeling.
    That’s 2 weeks now. I thought it had to be a virus at first…..still don’t know if it is or not. But it is something I haven’t had before.
    But the telling thing is, as soon as I have even a tiny drink in the evening I start to feel fine again, like -what was that fuss about all day long? (I never do drink alcohol in the day, so the evening is the first time all day.)
    This is scaring me now.
    I am going to try an experiment in the morning. I am going to have a drink when I get up, before my coffee, then another afterwards. If I start to feel fine and those symptoms which have bugged me for two weeks aren’t there, it is obvious what my problem is. In that case, sadly I will have to quit all alcohol. I’ll get some Milk thistle and take that, along with any supportive herbs, and drink lots of sparkling water which I love to drink anyway.

    Reply
  36. Joseph

    Hi, I’m Joseph just turned 28 a month ago. I been an alcoholic ever since I turned 21, vodka is my poison. Due to heavy depression I started to drink everyday (about half a litter of vodka) throughout most of last year and beginning of this one. It wasn’t until about a week ago that after a night of drinking I woke up with this irregular heartbeat as if I had just been scared senseless or just had done cardio. It started to trigger my axiety to a level that I never had suffer before. Fast forward, four days ago I went on a binge (about 2 bottles and about 6 beers) ignoring the fact that I still felt the irregular heartbeat. I woke up feeling fine the heart flutter was still there but it was not any worse than it had been for the last week. I went on about my day it wasn’t till around noon that I felt this rush of anxiety come over me and take over. I was in a public place so I took a seat on the side walk hoping that it would go away. It didn’t it got worse I started to feel my heart almost come out my chest ! My legs and arms started to feel numb and I was completely light-headed. I was sure it was a heart attack. In fear, I rushed to the ER they checked my blood pressure and heart beat everything came out fine. The Dr asked me about my mental state and habits. I told him that I have always suffered from depression and alcohol was just my way to cope. He told me what I had suffered was a panic attack and that I had to reduce my stress and alcohol consumption because that was the reason anxiety was being triggered.
    In all it’s been two days since my fist panic attack, yesterday I suffered another one while trying to eat . Felt like once again I was going to have a heart attack and die. I’ll end this by saying that this is the worse thing I have ever felt in my entire life and doing research it seems like only one way to go about it. Two days in and with no sign of relief. I know I have to quit for good! Take it one day at a time and hope for a light at the end of the tunnel. As I sit in this dark room with all the symptoms we all have shared I know this a turning point of my life. I hope that anyone reading this has the strength to over come it. God bless y’all .

    Reply
  37. Soberish

    I used to get anxiety the morning after heavy drinking when I was about 24 and 25 years old. It was awful. I couldnt leave my room. However I am not sure that I can lay all the blame on alcohol. That was a tough time in my life so I was generally prone to anxiety as a result of my life circumstances. Nowadays at 36 I dont get much anxiety after heavy drinking. My life is generally much more in order and happier now. But I do get the physical effects of a hangover around having blocked sinus, headaches, light sensitivity and feeling shit and tired. I have no time for this anymore. I dislike the thought I have damaged my body by my choosing. So I have been abstaining for lengthy periods. Have done 2.5 months now and dont feel like drinking anymore. I might go back to it again but only light drinking for the taste and mild buzz but I just dont feel I get much from it in exchange for the loss of health, time and money.

    Reply
  38. Sofia

    Hi, I’m 19 and this just happened to me for the first time. I got hammered off crown last night, and today I thought I was asphyxiating from some kind of unknown allergy. I tossed and turned all night. It’s day 2 and I still feel the tightness in my chest, heart palpitations, etc. I am not a regular/heavy drinker… it is much harder for me, a minor, to obtain alcohol; but when I do, I go hard. However, I noticed most of the people in the comment thread experiencing this for the first time are clear into their 30s with several years of moderate/heavy drinking under their belts. Is it really a matter of time/age? Could it possibly be attributed to the type of alcohol? (Dark, Light, etc?) I’ve been hungover before, but this feels like straight withdrawals… when I’ve been hungover in the past, the last thing I want is more alcohol in my system. Yet now, all I’m craving is a few shots to ease the nerves. Thanks for the article by the way, it helps to know you’re not alone… nor are you a paranoid hypochondriac.

    Reply
  39. Karen

    I am so glad I found this website. Like many of you, I thought it was just me. I don’t drink all that much. Occasional glass or two of wine. But every once in a while, like last night, I have a couple of heavy pours of vodka martinis. I have a love-hate relationship with martinis. Every time this happens I say never again. It’s not worth it. But eventually I indulge again and pay this hefty price. Last night, I was home with my husband, and two adult sons. Nothing happened. Nothing usually does. But, I wake up in the middle of the night full of anxiety, shame, embarrassment. Full on anxiety attack with the sweating, shaking, and anxious thoughts. I was up most of the night drinking chamomile tea trying to calm myself down. 6-8 hours after drinking, I feel it is safe to take a xanax and that will help. Also, the sun comes up. But, due to the hangover effects and lack of sleep, I will most likely feel cruddy for a day or two. Thank you to the author of the article and for all of you brave individuals for sharing. It has helped me this morning. I am very grateful.

    Reply
  40. Lorenzo

    This article had me so relieved and reading all the other stories made me feel me feel way less lonely! I always wake up after a night of drinking knowing the panick will kick in so ill drink anything just so i can shake the anxiety away if not ill take my inhaler so many times because ill keep on thinking im not breathing right or barely breathing then ill start hyperventilating all day and ill be so shaky thinking im legit going to die smh worst feeling ever . You ain’t alone

    Reply
  41. Manoj Kumar

    What can lead you to stop alcohol or drug before any serious medical damage is as of my experience go for another attractive cause ie religion or any other spiritual influence which can very easily divert the immense energy of our mind. Provided that we must understand the value of being a part of this active universe but for a very short while say for around 80-90 years or so…
    Before leaving this wonderful show of existence we should live the life to fullest and longest experiencing every colour, every rythem, every feel of the nature closely and try to put in our contribution.
    Understand science, the beautiful truth of evolution…
    See.
    There could’ve been millions who could have been there in place of you, there couldve been millions who could never be in existence, but you r lucky that nature has put u in place, in the senses, you r able to read this. Millions of them are not lucky that can understand that “self realisation” is the key….

    Reply
  42. Michael

    Hi, I have suffered with anxiety and panic attacks for over 20 years now, only my wife knows about my disorder, over time I have managed to conquer this and live a normal life even though there are certain things I will not entertain doing, ie, flying, large stadium gigs, football matches, I’m pretty good at knowing my limits, however, all of this Anxiety comes flooding back after a nite on the drink, the only real place I can control it is within the safety of my home, the day after is a right off basically, If only there was a pill you could take to make yourself anxiety free after a night out, a hangover I can handle, I’ve put myself in so many difficult situations than I can remember after drinking over the years, I know the easy answer is to not drink but i don’t see what social life I would have without the release of a little drink now and then, I’m also a sucker for peer pressure, none of my friends and family know about my disorder which is quite remarkable when I think about it, they just think I don’t like flying, if I do do something that involves large crowds I usually use alcohol, I feel I can do anything when I am drinking, the next day though everything comes crashing down. Great website.

    Reply
  43. Chemistry

    This is going to be really long but I hope it is helpful for someone. So I am a 25 year old female and have recently started to feel anxiety and other effects after a weekend of drinking. I started drinking around 17 and have gradually increased the quantities and frequency of when I drink. Around 23 years old I was drinking almost every day of the week but due to the known facts of addiction and health effects I have limited myself to drinking only about three nights a week. However, I binge drink when I do drink (about 6 or 8 beers per night of drinking). Also, two years ago I began taking a potassium sparing diuretic (spironolactone) for hormonal acne. It worked great on my acne but it causes birth defects so I have recently stopped taking it. Now, with diuretics they are basically flushing your system forcing your kidneys to pass a lot of electrolytes from your body through urine. A potassium sparing diuretic does the same thing but has your kidneys “spare” or retain potassium while passing the other electrolytes (calcium, magnesium, sodium, phosphate, chloride) from your body. Alcohol is a diuretic which is why you pee so often when drinking. So after drinking, your electrolytes are very low. Electrolytes are essential for every function in your body, from controlling blood pressure to muscle contractions (think heart beats or twitches) to production of certain chemicals in your brain (serotonin, etc).

    After doing a lot of research about the effects of stopping spironolactone and drinking alcohol, I realize that the anxiety, heart palpations, depression, and other effects are due to electrolyte imbalances. Specifically, since stopping spironolactone I have begun experiencing anxiety after a weekend of binge drinking. I believe my kidneys have been conditioned over the past couples years of taking spirinolactone to continue to retain potassium, resulting in high levels of potassium in my body, which is known to cause heart palpations and feelings of limb numbness. But when I drink, all of the other electrolytes are flushed out and at low levels.

    Each electrolyte, whether high or low levels, has known effects which are associated with their function in the body. One of magnesium’s responsibilities is to produce the neurotransmitter GABA which has been coined “nature’s Valium” due to its calming effects. My worst side effect of drinking is the anxiety the next day, so I believe my magnesium is very low. I plan to begin supplementing magnesium when I drink, and possibly some other electrolytes depending on the continued side effects, to see if this relieves the next day effects caused by drinking. If you have any other specific effects after drinking I would look it up in relation with the necessary electrolyte for the function. These are some examples of the major roles of each electrolyte:

    Calcium: helping with muscle contractions, nerve signaling, blood clotting, cell division, and forming/maintaining bones and teeth
    Potassium: helping keep blood pressure levels stable, regulating heart contractions, helping with muscle functions
    Magnesium: needed for muscle contractions, proper heart rhythms, nerve functioning, bone-building and strength, reducing anxiety, digestion, and keeping a stable protein-fluid balance
    Sodium: helps maintain fluid balance, needed for muscle contractions, and helps with nerve signaling
    Chloride: maintains fluid balance

    So really, I believe, you need to get your electrolytes back in balance to feel right again. Now, if you are drinking heavily everyday I don’t believe taking vitamins will completely relieve you. You are likely causing a lot of harm to your nervous system and other organs that can only really be helped by stopping or majorly reducing the frequency and amount of alcohol you ingest. I am not a doctor but I do have an advanced degree in chemistry so I believe my research is sound but if you have the option and availability to see an actual doctor regarding any of these effects, I would highly suggest doing so. Also, if you decide to try using supplements be sure to start slow and get a handle on the changes it causes to your body. I wish everyone luck with this problem! And I do believe abstinence is the best solution, I however would like to see if this research can help me and hopefully some of you!

    Reply
  44. Heather

    I have had anxiety off and on for 10+ years. I just recently linked it to alcohol. I have struggled with alcohol abuse for years. But, after a stressful year of almost getting divorced, getting pregnant and losing the baby, then a move to the country. I was finally able to link my extreme anxiety to alcohol after days of binge drinking. I knew I had a problem when in recent weeks, I would have to start drinking earlier and earlier to ease the shakes and uneasiness I was feeling. Then, twice this week I have had symptoms so bad that it has ruined my entire day! I can’t even function. I drink one or two beers (I only drink beer) at lunch time to get relief. I am afraid of withdrawal symptoms, so I’m trying to gradually decrease my intake. But, we all know how difficult that can be. I’m so glad I stumbled upon this site and read everyone’s stories. It really gives me hope that I can get through this. I’ve already ordered Rescue Remedy and talked to my family about holding me accountable for how much I drink every day. Baby steps, I guess.

    Reply
  45. Aly

    I just returned from my Bachelorette party and have experienced hangover anxiety for the first time (aged 27). This article and your post specifically have been extremely helpful, as I also recently took Spiro. I am going to load up on the Electrolytes and hope this feeling goes away soon. As much as it sucks, it’s nice to know that we’re not alone.

    Reply
  46. Sheila

    Wow!….I’m so shocked. I have the same thing!!!!! I am a mother who’s been going through hell..and my only way to not stress is with beer. I’m sick of it. I want to not drink. I can function but I’m mostly confused all day and I feel like I’m dying. The anxiety has gotten so bad an ambulance had to take me to the er the other day. I was driving and I had to pull over. My sister called 911. I couldnt feel my arms and feet and I cried and cried so hard. I seriously thought i was having a seizure. Come to find out there wasn’t even anything wrong with me. It was just a panic attack. I felt so stupid. I feel it everyday. I really hate it. I have medw but i dont want to take them. I know i need to quit for the sake of my sanity amd for my kids. It’s been so bad I’ve been getting them even while drinking. 🙁
    Anyway…thank you so so so sp much for this site. You really eased my mind. I was seriously asking myself this morning if there was anyone out there like me. Apparently there are! Thank you guys. God bless you’ll and I hope we all get better.❤

    Reply
  47. Chelsie

    Its unbelievable how much people suffer from the same feelings after a night of drinking! Wouldn’t it be nice just to wake up like some people and act like nothing is wrong? I’m so envious of people like that. But a night of drinking has me on my death bed the next day. Even when I’m drinking…I dread the hangover even before it starts! Its constant..and my girlfriend is one for socializing and drinking so it’s hard to quit cold turkey (I’ve done it before) but I still got anxiety. So I thought ..what’s the point of quitting if I still feel this way? Then got back into drinking. But I realize now, I need healthy hobbies when quitting. So,heres to anyone thinking its time to either slow down tremendously or even quit ? I’m right there with you.! Let’s do this! We are not alone and it’s ok.

    Reply
  48. Shanelle

    This article is me. It’s currently 2:10am and I’m sitting in my living room after waking suddenly sweating, rapid heart, neasuea and panicking. I’ve been out with friends and had 2 glasses of wine. This anxiety has got so out of hand that tonight has confirmed I am to stop drinking. It’s even happened to me after 1 glass before. I just have to accept that it’s not going to get better. This feeling is not worth the drink. I’m sick of it.

    Reply
  49. rob

    I’m so happy I stumbled across this site! After heavy indulgence during my birthday weekend I feel absolutely dreadful today. Palpitations, dread, guilt, headache, nausea etc. I’m coming to terms with the fact that, whilst my friends and partner drink just as heavily as me, the anxiety that alcohol causes me makes it in no way worth it. I am going to abstain for as long as possible although I am quite worried about withdrawal from this weekend. Maybe that’s just the anxiety talking… Thank you to everyone for your honest and heartfelt comments. It has been very comforting on what has been a very difficult and horrid day. It is good to know that I am not the only person who feels like this and I hope that visitors to the site after me can find some comfort too.

    Reply
  50. Odes

    Appreciate everyone’s comments, both comforting and sad to know I’m not alone.

    While I don’t get crazy physical reactions, the mental shame or “cringe moments” I call them stay with me for years after. I can be sitting in my car sober and then remember something stupid I did or said from 5 years ago on a night out.

    After a heavy night of drinking, I’ll usually sleep for 12hrs plus because I just cannot face myself or the day.

    I am usually dehydrated, nauseas and fatigued after a big night, but it’s the cringe moments that get me every time. Particularly bad hangovers include the sweats, tight chest and palpitations.

    Like a couple have said already, I wouldn’t consider myself a regular drinker (maybe two big nights a month max), but when I do, I make a night of it- no couple for me.

    Haven’t quite hit my 30s yet, so perhaps a solid 12 months of no alcohol is on the cards.

    Reply
  51. Hill

    This is totally me as well. I feel like once the panic finally wears off after a few days and I’m back in a happy state of mind, I give in to drinking again. Every time I feel as though it will be different but it never is… I drink to excess and am left with the same feelings of extreme panic and shame. I know quitting will be the best for me but I am pretty sure I cannot do it on my own and need assistance. This forum really does help. Everything described is exactly how I feel. Nice to know I am not alone because I’ve tried to reach out to friends and they don’t really understand it since they do not feel anxious the next day like I do.

    Reply
  52. K

    Hanging right now with extreme hanxiety. These posts have calmed me down. First big night this year and was anxious before i even drank but wanted to go out and have fun now I’m feeling guilty for drinking so much and have palps and feel bad about myself. I think its time to start cutting down and just drinking a few till I get the buzz. Did significantly better last night in anticipation of how it would feel today. Just keeping thinking it will pass and trying not to let myself think its going to ruin my day and week- my natural train of thought. Deep breaths and some rescue remedy. Thanks guys for sharing

    Reply

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