does drinking cause panic attacks

Alcohol’s diuretic effects can also contribute to dehydration, as your body expels fluids faster than you replace them. Alcohol disrupts the natural cycle of sleep stages, which typically alternates between non-REM and REM sleep every 80 to 100 minutes, between four and six times a night. After a night of drinking, you may enter a deeper sleep than usual as soon as you fall asleep and spend less time in REM sleep. As the night wears on, you experience less deep sleep and more light sleep, leading to sleep disturbances and poor-quality sleep. When you drink alcohol, it’s absorbed through the stomach and small intestine and moves into your bloodstream.

The relationship between alcohol and anxiety

  • A variety of somatic symptoms can occur, including sweating, shaking, and chest pain.
  • Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder that involves multiple unexpected panic attacks.
  • A review of studies published in 2012 found that anxiety disorders and alcohol use disorders often occur together.
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Someone who experiences multiple panic attacks for no apparent reason may have panic disorder, a form of anxiety. There are no specific studies that suggest that one type of alcohol can affect anxiety levels more than other types of alcohol. While some people may believe that wine and beer may cause less anxiety than hard liquor due to its alcohol content, this is not true. It’s not necessarily the type of alcohol you drink that can affect your levels of anxiety, but rather anxiety is related to the amount and frequency of alcohol use.

Alcohol can lead to withdrawal symptoms

Drinking alcohol can exacerbate your anxiety symptoms and make you more susceptible to panic attacks. Alcohol-related panic attacks occur most frequently in people who have co-occurring mental health disorders or a history of chronic alcohol abuse. Waking up after a night of heavy drinking can sometimes come with a fuzzy memory or uncertainty about what exactly happened when you were under the influence. “Blacking out,” or experiencing mild to complete memory loss after heavy drinking, can also occur. It’s not uncommon or unexpected to feel regret when this happens—you may feel regretful about what you said or did to others, or nervous that they will judge you for your behavior. These feelings can naturally increase overall feelings of anxiety in daily life.

does drinking cause panic attacks

Is Anxiety Associated with Alcohol Tolerance and Dependence?

But people who have a phobia can experience phobia-related triggers that lead to a panic attack. For example, someone with trypanophobia (intense fear of needles) may experience a panic attack if they have to get their blood drawn for a medical test. For some people, the fear of having a panic attack is often enough to trigger one. During a medically supervised detox, doctors and other support staff will work to minimise the intensity of all the symptoms mentioned above to make the process as safe as possible. Making lifestyle adjustments that are directly linked to your alcohol consumption can help make adjusting your drinking habits a lot easier.

In fact, studies which have looked into the brain images of excessive drinkers found huge abnormalities in the brain’s amygdala [3]. There has been no study that says that one type of alcohol causes anxiety more than another type of alcohol. If you think that you are experiencing some form of anxiety, then it is important to get the help you need. You can start by speak to your local GP or to a member of the team at OK Rehab. If you think that you are suffering from any type of anxiety, then it is important to seek the right kind of help.

Why Do You Feel Anxiety After Drinking Alcohol?

  • Alcohol relaxes upper airway muscles, increasing the likelihood of the airways collapsing and more sleep apnea episodes, leading to more sleep disruptions.
  • Unfortunately, more and more people are drinking above recommended levels across the UK and the rest of the world.
  • Most people across the UK drink alcohol on a regular basis but keep their alcohol consumption down to recommended levels.
  • If you already suffer from mental health issues such as anxiety, then you might find that drinking excessively only leads to a worsening of your symptoms.
  • Alcohol has other effects on your body that contribute to feeling tired and sluggish the following day.

This will also lead to more long-term damage which will affect your physical and mental health, which might only lead to more anxiety and panic attacks. At this type of clinic you will undergo detox (if needed) and engage with a therapist who will listen to you and help you develop the skills you need to stay sober. An intensive treatment programme will also include educational presentations delivered by therapists, access to a fitness programme, and complementary therapies such as equine therapy. A skilled therapist will assess your anxiety levels and panic attacks and be able to create a treatment plan that addresses these issues. Remember to show kindness to yourself if you feel embarrassment, guilt, regret, or shame after a night of drinking. Research has shown that self-compassion helps reduce anxiety and depression symptoms.

Food sensitivities, allergies, intolerances and anxiety

Some panic attacks have signs that can resemble a physical problem, like a heart attack. If you have chest pain, trouble breathing or lose consciousness, does drinking cause panic attacks seek emergency medical care. The main difference is that certain stressors often trigger anxiety attacks, and they may build up gradually.

does drinking cause panic attacks

Adverse Effects of Disrupted Sleep