Does Alcohol Cause Anxiety and Paranoia? Signs and Treatment

December 17, 2021
Anxiety and Paranoia
Anxiety Treatment
Does Alcohol Cause Anxiety and Paranoia? Signs and Treatment

When you are feeling anxious, you might reach for alcohol to make you feel relaxed. In theory, that would be the case because alcohol is a sedative and a depressant that affects the functioning of the central nervous system. In this article, we will read does alcohol causes anxiety and paranoia?

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How Does Drinking Alcohol Affect Anxiety?

A short time after taking it, you may feel like you are unwinding and your mood may be lifted. In fact, if you are taking medication for anxiety, alcohol may give you the same effect of reducing it and relaxing you. Taking an alcohol drink once in a while is harmful if your health care provider does not give you the go-ahead. The problem is that if you drink often or a lot, you will build a tolerance to alcohol. This means you will want to drink more or more often which will worsen rather than help your anxiety. Drinking a lot often can also trigger other mental problems as well as physical ones. Mentally, you can start to lose memory, have blackouts, or even have brain damage. Physically, you can develop problems such as liver damage.

How Does Drinking Alcohol Affect Paranoia?

As is the case with anxiety, a little alcohol once in a while does harm. However, if it becomes a crutch for dealing with paranoia then it can cause a bigger problem. Drinking a lot of alcohol frequently can cause different alcohol psychoses. It can make a person who has a tendency to be suspicious become paranoid. The medical term for this kind of paranoia is alcoholic paranoia or alcohol-induced psychotic disorder. It is a kind of delusional jealousy syndrome. Interestingly, it is found almost exclusively in male alcoholics who believe that their partner is being unfaithful. Alcohol hallucinosis is another prevalent form of psychosis that is induced by alcohol. It manifests with vivid hallucinations, fear, and delusions to do with people with intent to kill or harm in other ways.

Anxiety and Alcohol Addiction

How Alcohol Worsens Anxiety and Paranoia?

When you take a drink, you will feel relaxed. It will go into your blood and give you a feeling of relaxation. However, after it has been processed by your body and it is out of your system, you will feel as anxious as you felt before. You may feel even more anxious than before if you took a lot of alcohol because the crash will be harder when the high ends. What happens with many people is that they start drinking more or they drink more often to get that high and ease the anxiety that wears off when sobriety returns. They start to use alcohol to cope with anxiety which is dangerous. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), approximately 15 million adults in the U.S, or seven percent of the population have a form of anxiety known as a social anxiety disorder.

Using alcohol to deal with social anxiety disorder can be a dangerous practice. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), about 7 percent of Americans have this form of anxiety. They drink to cope with anxiety which leads to alcohol dependence. The same research showed that 20 percent of those who have social anxiety disorder are alcohol dependent. The percentage of those who have anxiety and have developed alcohol anxiety is bigger when those who have other forms of anxiety disorders. The same is true in regard to paranoia. Alcohol can cause and exacerbate alcohol paranoia, alcohol hallucinosis, and other types of alcohol psychoses. Almost always, dealing with alcohol dependence resolves or significantly reduces the paranoia.

Proper anxiety treatment can help you with alcohol anxiety. Click the button below to book your appointment.

Signs of Alcohol Dependence

Apart from wanting to drink when you are feeling anxious, other symptoms that you are dependent on alcohol or developing dependence are:

  • Want to drink alcohol first thing in the morning to face the day.
  • Want to drink alcohol even if you will not have to face whatever causes you anxiety.
  • Drinking five or more drinks every day.
  • Need to take more alcohol to feel relaxed which leads to being able to tolerate more and more alcohol.
  • Being unable to stop drinking until you are completely drunk or blacked out. You cannot stop at a drink or two.

Those who have a drink or two a day such as with a meal can occasionally overindulge and get away with it. They may suffer a hangover after drinking too much over the weekend or at a party. However, as a person with anxiety, you will make up not only with a hangover but also anxiety that you will want to stop with another drink.

Can Alcohol Increase Anxiety?

Taking the above into consideration does alcohol cause anxiety, the answer is yes, alcohol can increase anxiety. The reverse is also true. Those who are alcohol dependent can develop anxiety. It can be caused by what they have to do to hide the drinking, the cost of it, or other problems related to it. Perhaps you have recognized that you have a problem and you are working on stopping alcohol dependence. Increased anxiety may be one consequence of the withdrawal. If you have been drinking a lot and you stop suddenly, you may see symptoms of alcohol withdrawal such as:

  • Sweating
  • Elevated heartbeat
  • Trembling hands
  • Nausea and/ or vomiting
  • Seizures
Alcohol Anxiety

Treatment for Anxiety, Paranoia and Alcohol Addiction

Having found the answer to the question of does alcohol causes anxiety and paranoia, you want to get help for yourself. This may be for anxiety or for anxiety and paranoia related to alcohol dependence. You can get the help you need from Mango Clinic. Based in Miami, Mango Clinic offers walk-in care services and also long-term care on appointment.

The clinic has a team of mental health care providers who handle mental disorders like anxiety, psychotic disorders like paranoia, and alcohol dependency. Depending on your medical history and severity of the problem, treatment may be done with therapy only or medication may be prescribed for it. Your progress will be monitored during review appointments.

Contact us at Mango Clinic for alcohol anxiety treatment or click the banner below to book your appointment.


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