Anxiety And Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

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We have written about how alcohol is often used as a way to find temporary relief from painful feelings of existential anxiety. Psychologically speaking, alcohol seems like the ideal substance because of its intrinsic properties as a depressant (which doesn’t mean it makes you depressed but that it lowers neurotransmission levels in the brain) and because it’s widely available and more or less socially acceptable, unlike many other drugs that are illegal or carry social stigma and other aversive consequences in their wake.

The physiological reason that using alcohol for the purposes of lowering your anxiety is a bad idea is that you’re always going to pay for it on the back end. Symptoms of withdrawal of all drugs, including alcohol, are diametrically opposed to symptoms of intoxication, your body’s way of trying to regain equilibrium. In other words, you’ll notice that your anxiety skyrockets during the period while you’re hungover.

Many don’t make this connection though, they don’t view their anxiety as caused by the withdrawal symptoms of the substance they have taken, which can create a vicious cycle where they find it necessary to consume more and more of the substance in order to deal with these symptoms, which they believe is simply how they are without that substance.

Greetings I'm Michael, the owner of Evolution Counseling and the author of all the articles on this site. I got my master's degree from Seattle University in community mental heath counseling and have committed myself to advancing my knowledge of psychology and to evolving my own philosophical system ever since. In addition to the content on this site I offer online coaching using Skype. If you'd like to learn more about it click on the online coaching tab or if you think you'd like to set up a session send me an email at

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