Alcohol & Anxiety

The Wellbeing Doctor

I'm an NHS Clinical Psychologist (in training) sharing practical evidence-based ideas for looking after your mental and physical health.

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🍸It’s no secret that alcohol and anxiety are fickle friends!⁠⠀
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🍷A glass of wine can provide a much needed sigh of relief after a stressful day at work or be the key to transforming you into the social butterfly you always knew you could be on a big night out.⁠⠀
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🍹But what happens when the effects wear off? ⁠⠀
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🥂Unfortunately the chemical changes in your brain which helped you nail that Abba Karaoke last night without any inhibitions, also inhibit the amount of serotonin in your brain which can lead to increased anxiety and low mood. Pair that with all the anxiety-inducing physical symptoms of a hangover (headache, sickness etc), a night of terrible sleep as your body tries to process the alcohol and a patchy memory of last night’s events, and you’re left with a perfect cocktail for increased anxiety. ⁠⠀
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🍺This can easily become a vicious cycle whereby the more we drink, the more we NEED to drink for the alcohol to have the calming effect we’re looking for – leading to more anxiety in long run. So we’re drinking more to counter-act the increased anxiety we have which the alcohol is likely causing in the first place! ⁠⠀
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🍾So next time you notice yourself going through an anxious period, be mindful of your drinking habits! We all need a toolkit of strategies to help us cope when we’re feeling anxious and, if alcohol is the thing you tend to pull from your toolkit most often, it’s time to try something new! ⁠⠀
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The Wellbeing Doctor

I'm an NHS Clinical Psychologist (in training) sharing practical evidence-based ideas for looking after your mental and physical health.

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