For her, alcohol and anxiety are not a good combination.Alcohol and anxiety often go hand-in-hand. Anxiety can be a debilitating mental illness that can keep a person from living a happy, healthy life. With alcohol being a depressant, some people may find that alcohol calms the nerves and allows the person to function normally. This can be an extremely dangerous combination with how the disease of addiction progresses. The brain begins to see alcohol as the solution to the problem with anxiety. But it can begin to make the person’s life highly unmanageable and even cause more anxiety. Know that if you’re suffering from anxiety and alcoholism, there is a way to recover.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is something that actually happens to all humans, and it’s part of our basic survival skills. The part of the brain that developed first in human evolution was the amygdala, which is also known as the mid-brain as well as the lizard brain. It holds our most basic, primal instincts. When a threat is present, anxiety occurs. It was meant to help our ancestors when they were hunters and gatherers. Some of the different effects that happen in the body during anxiety are:

  • Adrenaline flows through the body
  • Pupils enlarge to help a person have better vision
  • The person may sweat as a way to preemptively cool down the body
  • Heart rate increases to pump more blood through the system
  • The mind moves much faster than normal so a person can make split-second decisions.

When the potential danger is gone, the brain deactivates these effects, and a person returns to normal. For someone with an anxiety disorder, the brain doesn’t return back to normal. What’s worse is that the person’s anxiety can be triggered for no reason at all. This can make a person live in states of irrational fear that hold him or her back from living a normal life.

How Alcohol and Anxiety are Partnered

In this day and age, most people are no longer living in hunting and gathering societies, but this part of the brain that triggers anxiety still exists. The stresses that occur and become overwhelming can be anything to do with work, school, bills, relationships and people or situations in general. Whereas most people can go to a holiday party for work or a family wedding, this may be extremely frightening for someone with social anxiety. The person’s mind may race constantly where they can barely hold a conversation because their mind is wondering what the other person is thinking, if other people around are judging what he or she is saying, or the person may be worried about the future. In order to tame a person’s social anxiety, they may get drunk before even going out into public, which is when alcohol and anxiety starts to become a problem.

Getting Help for Alcohol and Anxiety

Alcohol and anxiety no longer have to run your life. Here at Beaches Recovery in Jacksonville, Florida, we specialize in dual diagnosis treatment. This means we have a staff who understands both mental illness as well as the disease of addiction. We want to teach you coping mechanisms for dealing with your anxiety that have been proven to help many people who struggle with alcoholism. While early recovery is difficult when you’re not able to lean on alcohol as a crutch, you’ll begin to see that many of your stresses and fears are situations that you can get through sober. With the support and care of our staff as well as your peers, you’ll begin to live a much better life. If you’re ready for that new life call 866-605-0532.