Does Alcohol Really Have an Affect on Our Anxiety and Depression?
Alcohol is a depressant, and even small amounts can sometimes give you the blues. WebMD reports that that almost a third of people with major depression also have a problem with alcohol - although it appears that depression leads to drinking, rather than the other way around. Teens who have suffered a major depression are twice as likely to start drinking as teens who haven't. And drinking does affect impulse control, which can lead to the kinds of repercussions-including loss of relationships, jobs, money-that would make anyone depressed.
So a glass of wine now and then is no big deal, but if you're turning to alcohol every time you hit a rough spot, you will end up making yourself feel worse in the long run. Using alcohol to cope with social anxiety disorder can be dangerous. Alcohol changes levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, which can worsen anxiety. In fact, you may feel more anxious after the alcohol wears off. Alcohol-induced anxiety can last for several hours, or even for an entire day after drinking.
Those who suffer from social anxiety may find certain social situations unbearable. It’s common for people with social anxiety disorder to drink alcohol to cope with social interactions. Doing this can lead to a dependence on alcohol during socializing, which can make anxiety symptoms worse.
If you feel you are someone who may be self-medicating and having difficulty eliminating alcohol or any other additive substances from your life, talk to your doctor about support groups, therapies, medications, or herbs and check out Stresscenter's Attacking Anxiety and Depression Program which can help aid in your recovery.