Millions of Americans consume alcohol, sometimes in excess and occasionally to the point that they become heavy drinkers, dependent on alcohol, or develop alcohol use disorders (AUD). Some people have a co-occurring mental health issue, such as anxiety or depression. Nonetheless, people may become trapped in a cycle of alcoholism, depression, and anxiety whether they already have depression or develop it as a result of drinking excessively.
Almost 37% of people with alcohol dependency met the criteria for an anxiety disorder in the previous year, and nearly 28% met the criteria for major depressive disorder, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The prevalence of anxiety disorders was 29.1% and that of major depressive disorder was 11.3 percent among people who had alcohol consumption problems.
What Is the Alcohol Loop, and How Does It Affect Anxiety and Depression?
The majority of us is familiar with the idea of a loop from traffic circles or routes that round cities. The “cycle of addiction” chart, which depicts the alcohol loop and how someone caught in it alternates between using alcohol to cope with the depression brought on by heavy drinking, alcohol dependence or alcoholism, or alcohol abuse or AUD, and heavy alcohol use and depression, frequently with accompanying anxiety.
Can alcohol lessen anxiety or depression?
Contrary to popular opinion, alcohol does not in any way lessen the effects of sadness or anxiety. Does drinking alcohol the day after making depression worse? Absolutely. In fact, drinking alcohol to treat depression may trigger a relapse or cause suicidal thoughts. Also, studies demonstrate that drinking alcohol lengthens and intensifies depressive episodes. According to a study published in the journal Addiction, drinking alcohol while depressed increases the likelihood of getting either ailment. The researchers claim that this isn’t just a correlation and point out that the two illnesses are entangled in a cycle of reciprocating, causative association.
Does booze exacerbate anxiety? What about alcohol’s impact on anxiety? Does drinking alcohol make anxiety worse the next day? Absolutely. You drink because you’re anxious. As you drink, your anxiousness grows.
Alcohol, Depression, and Anxiety: A Vicious Cycle
Although they don’t go well together, alcohol, anxiety, and sadness are frequently combined. Very severe symptoms that interfere with a person’s daily activities can be brought on by deeply ingrained emotions, depression, and anxiety. According to Mark Jacob M.D.’s article “Alcohol & Depression” on Psych Central, between 30 and 50 percent of those with alcoholism also experience clinical depression. In order to feel “normal” and self-medicate, people frequently turn to alcohol. This could start out as one or two drinks but could turn into alcoholism. Alcohol accentuates the worst aspects of anxiety and sadness. It’s also true that people who are depressed or anxious tend to desire to drink more in order to deal with their symptoms. It is exceedingly challenging to break the pattern of alcohol use, sadness, and anxiety.
Getting Out of the Loop Is Hard
Nobody wants to be depressed or anxious all the time, especially since these conditions can periodically worsen to the point where having suicidal thoughts is a constant issue. It seems sensible that someone trying to break the vicious cycle of anxiety, also known as the cycle of alcoholism, depression, and anxiety, would view alcohol as the only readily available way to get rid of these terrible symptoms.
On the other hand, alcoholics who experience depression or anxiety as a result of the issues their drinking causes—and who relapse after trying to stop drinking to feel better—won’t be able to easily break free of the cycle. No, just wanting to be out of the loop isn’t enough. Also, it probably necessitates seeking professional assistance because, once your bad mood returns, it can be impossible to resist reaching for a drink. But it doesn’t work, and the cycle of drinking resumes immediately.
Self-medication results from drinking to feel normal.
Although drinking in public is socially acceptable, many people go beyond the point of moderate drinking and start to binge. Because of this, the definition of alcoholism is quite hazy. Despite the fact that many people abuse alcohol, not all of them are alcoholics. Those who drink excessively or frequently have hangovers, and there are many widely circulated “cures” for the dreaded hangover symptoms. In fact, until this starts to happen frequently, no one has any negative thoughts about someone who has a hangover. Alcoholism quickly develops after a certain point at which light drinking turns into excessive drinking and eventually out-of-control drinking. The development of alcoholism is a very precarious slope.
People frequently use alcohol to reduce their social nervousness. Although this is normal in society, it can easily turn into a problem. Regrettably, alcohol is addictive, much like any drug or chemical that alters mood. To achieve the same results, one needs to consume more alcohol as dependence worsens. What may begin as a few harmless drinks can easily escalate to regular bottle use just to get by. Sir Elton John, a legendary musician, has disclosed that he drank a bottle of Johnny Walker Black every day at the height of his alcoholism and before entering a drug and alcohol rehab facility. Consider using TalktoAngel to locate the top mental health experts online. This search engine for ” online counselor ” or ” psychiatrist near me ” might assist you in fi