can anxiety be caused by alcohol? alcohol can temporarily reduce symptoms of social anxiety – which is the reason many turn to it. Alcohol can also increase anxiety, irritability, or depression a few hours later or the next day. Even moderate amounts of alcohol can affect one’s mood and anxiety level.
Drinking alcohol to reduce anxiety – does it help?
people believe that having an alcoholic drink will help them feel more relaxed. However, if you’re experiencing anxiety drinking alcohol could be making things worse.
How does alcohol affect anxiety?
Alcohol acts as a sedative so it can help you feel more at ease. It may make you feel more socially confident at a party or help you forget your worries.
However, these benefits are short-lived. When we drink alcohol it disrupts the balance of chemicals and processes in the brain. The relaxed feeling you experience when you have your first drink is due to the chemical changes alcohol causes in your brain. The alcohol starts to depress the part of the brain that we associate with inhibition5.
But these effects wear off fast and the pleasant feelings fade. If you rely on alcohol to mask your anxiety problems, you may find you become reliant on it to relax.