Is There a Connection Between Anxiety and Alcoholism?

Connection between anxiety and alcoholismAnxiety is one of the most uncomfortable feelings to have because we’re essentially locked in this state of confusion – of not knowing what to do – but feeling as though we need to act immediately in order to solve whatever it is that we’re worried about. Like a deer frozen in headlights, our mind puts us in panic mode while throwing logic out of the window; it is for that very reason that many people turn to substances. In 2016, a young woman shared her story with anxiety and alcohol via Tonic, a website that provides entertainment and stories related to mind, body, healthcare and more. She stated,

“…For years I’ve struggled with an anxiety disorder that went largely undiagnosed and it manifested in the form of panic attacks…I wanted to be liked, included, and the same as everyone else…alcohol became the perfect device for soothing anxiety and turning off my mind.”

As it turns out, drinking to relieve stress and anxiety isn’t that uncommon; a 2017 study published in the journal Alcohol emphasized that alcohol can indeed reduce symptoms of stress-related disorders (such as anxiety) temporarily – but the problem comes when addiction is developed. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) states that 15 million adults in the United States have an anxiety disorder, and there are several signs that alcohol is being used to help reduce the symptoms of this condition:

  • Drinking four or more times in a week
  • Having 5 or more alcoholic drinks in a day
  • Not being able to stop drinking once a person has started
  • Needed a drink in the morning in order to get “going” for the day
  • Feeling guilty after drinking
  • Having a friend, coworker, family member or other relative express concern about a person’s drinking habits

Since alcohol is typically considered a socially acceptable activity in today’s society, this can make alcoholism much more difficult to detect. If you have a loved one who may be struggling with alcoholism, speak with a professional from Cumberland Heights today.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.