Hangover Anxiety: Dealing With the Fallout After a Night of Fun
After a night of revelry featuring alcohol, many individuals may experience a hangover—an unpleasant reminder of indulgence. Yet, beyond the physical discomfort lies another unwelcome guest: hangover anxiety. This unique condition often surfaces in the wake of alcohol consumption and leaves individuals grappling with feelings of unease, restlessness, and an overwhelming sense of worry or regret.
What Is Hangover Anxiety (HANGXIETY)?
Hangover anxiety refers to the psychological distress or unease experienced after consuming excessive amounts of alcohol. It's a phenomenon characterized by feelings of worry, regret, restlessness, and sometimes even panic or heightened anxiety levels following a night of drinking. This condition often coexists with the physical symptoms of a hangover, which may include headache, nausea, dehydration, and fatigue.
Why Does It Happen?
Not surprisingly, the most commonly reported symptom of alcohol withdrawal is anxiety. While it makes sense that sometimes people may be coming to terms with regrettable choices they made while intoxicated, that is only part of the story. When you consume alcohol your brain gets flooded with a neurotransmitter called GABA, also known as the neurotransmitter that makes you feel calm and relaxed. When the alcohol leaves your system your brain's response is to decrease its production of GABA. Thus you have less of the neurotransmitter in your brain that is intended to help you stay calm and relaxed. If someone is already prone to anxiety or panic, this effect is especially pronounced.
Addressing Hangover Anxiety: Strategies for Relief
If you’ve ever suffered from hangover anxiety, you’ve probably wondered what you can do about those anxious feelings. Treatment may include a combination of preventive steps and strategies targeting both physical and mental health, such as:
- Mindfulness and relaxation exercises – Simple breathing exercises or meditation can help regain a sense of calmness and balance.
- Hydration and nutrition – Proper hydration and a balanced diet can significantly alleviate the physical and mental aftermath of alcohol consumption.
- Cognitive Behavioral Techniques: Evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be used to address the underlying thoughts and emotions contributing to hangover anxiety. By reframing negative thought patterns, individuals can find relief and develop coping mechanisms.
- Consider reducing alcohol use: Sometimes the discomfort and anxiety associated with a hangover are enough for someone to decide that they want to re-evaluate their relationship with alcohol. Reducing or limiting alcohol use can greatly reduce the amount of anxiety one experiences the next day. Sometimes just cutting back a little bit can make a big difference in your mood and physical health. For others, they love the way they feel once they have cut alcohol out completely.
Specialized Support for Anxiety and Substance-Related Issues
At Coping Resource Center, we’re committed to guiding our clients through mental health challenges like anxiety, as well as other alcohol and substance-related concerns. Whether your goal is to reduce your use of alcohol, manage your symptoms, or cut alcohol out completely. Our therapists are well-versed in the most cutting-edge treatments and offer comprehensive strategies to manage your concerns. Contact us today for the support you need to navigate these issues with confidence.