We drink because we are anxious, we are anxious because we drink. It’s like a neverending feedback loop from hell.
Remember that 4am terror? Waking up in the pre-dawn light feeling like the world is going to end. Anxiety, thirst, nausea, horror, what a great way to start the day!
The trendy term “Hangxiety” might be cute if you’re a college freshman, but it goes way beyond this for the chronic drinker. We drink to lessen our anxiety, but in the end it makes it far worse. You might feel like you’ve lowered your anxiety in the short term, but drinking increases the body’s production of cortisol, a stress hormone. Once we’ve entered this crazy feedback loop of alcohol and anxiety, it’s hard to remember which came first. Regardless, the vast majority of alcoholics who quit drinking report a massive reduction of anxiety.