Alcohol Withdrawal Anxiety

Alcohol Withdrawal Anxiety

Alcohol withdrawal anxiety is a common problem among recovering alcoholics, and it may be one of the reasons that some alcoholics never find the courage to quit. Recent research is showing that alcoholism and anxiety are heavily linked, although many alcoholics start drinking in order to quell basic anxious thoughts and fears. For some people, the actual drinking and intoxication causes anxiety, while for others, alcohol withdrawal anxiety is the real problem and is why many people continue to drink.

Alcohol withdrawal anxiety is very normal, and many people experience mild anxiety when they’re withdrawing from alcohol, whether it’s the first or fiftieth time they’ve gone through withdrawal. Even far-apart bouts of heavy drinking can lead to increased anxiety as the body detoxifies itself of the alcohol over the next day or so.

Dealing with alcohol withdrawal anxiety may be one of the best ways that people can learn to stop drinking, as knowing how to deal with alcohol withdrawal anxiety will leave many people better equipped to actually stop drinking. Here are a few different ways to deal with alcohol withdrawal anxiety:

Don’t go through it alone

Many times, alcohol withdrawal anxiety is worse in people who are going through withdrawal on their own. While detox can be terrible even if you have a great support system, it’s even worse when you’re alone. If you’re ready to stop drinking or have a friend who needs to stop drinking, find some support and stick with it through the withdrawal symptoms.

Learn relaxation techniques

Many consistent drinkers are functional enough when drinking that they can learn relaxation techniques even when they’re drinking and can implement those techniques during withdrawal. This may not always work, but techniques like deep breathing, stretching, and visualization may all help reduce alcohol withdrawal anxiety during the period of detoxification.

Seek professional help

In the case of individuals whose bodies are more used to being saturated with alcohol than not, alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be serious and potentially fatal. In fact, individuals with a very high blood alcohol level should be weaned off of the alcohol gradually rather than taken off cold-turkey, which can induce a host of unpleasant or harmful symptoms, including panic attacks and even heart attacks. If you know someone who is going to have a very hard time going through detox, seek professional help or help that person get admitted to an alcohol rehabilitation center, where they will be able to get monitoring and extra help through the detoxification process.

Alcohol withdrawal anxiety after detox

Many times, people find that after they have gone through detox, their alcohol withdrawal symptoms disappear. For some, though, brain chemistry is actually altered by years of heavy drinking, and these changes can cause anxiety symptoms later on in life. If you find that you are still anxious after alcohol withdrawal has been completed, you should continue to learn more relaxation techniques and seek professional help.

Often times, a combination of medication and therapy is enough to treat the anxiety symptoms of those who are recovered or recovering alcoholics. Seek out a therapist in your area who is familiar both with alcoholism and anxiety disorders, and you may be able to use cognitive behavioral therapy or other forms of therapy in order to help get past the anxiety problems brought on by alcoholism.

If these steps don’t work, seek out other types of therapy, including psychotherapy, that might help you work through your anxiety and its causes. Eventually, you’ll be able to work through your anxiety and cope with anxiety symptoms without having to turn back to the bottle.