Many people think that a drink or two of alcohol will help them feel relaxed and less anxious. However, alcohol can trigger panic attacks. This happens when someone is hypersensitive to alcohol. This means that their body is very sensitive to any changes that happen. People that are hypersensitive notice every tiny change in their body. If you are hypersensitive and suffer from panic attacks then these tiny changes feel like giant changes, which will make you feel overloaded, leading to an anxiety attack.
Alcohol and Its Effects
Alcohol does so many things to your body which can go unnoticed to someone without panic attacks.
Alcohol dehydrates you. When you are dehydrated, your body is more susceptible to having a panic attack.
Drinking (and the aftermath of a night out with drinks) will cause any normal person to feel awful. Someone who has panic attacks may feel even worse because of the hypersensitivity that usually happens with people who have panic attacks. Their headache, muscle aches, and generally low feelings can be amplified.
Increase Your Heartbeat
Drinking causes your heart to beat faster (despite the fact that most people think that it slows your heart down). The feeling of having your heart racing is intensified when you suffer from anxiety disorders.
Silly “Drunken Behavior”
Once someone has begun drinking, they do things without thinking about them. People who have anxiety disorders should be cautious when drinking because their senses are heightened and they may have an anxiety attack. Also, overanalyzing or panic regarding events that happened (or could have happened when you were drinking) are more likely when you cannot remember an event, or the details are not as vivid as they would have been, had someone not been drinking.
If by some chance you don’t have adverse reactions when drinking, there is always the possibility of becoming addicted to alcohol. Associating having a drink with feeling relaxed can lead to a dependence on alcohol. It can also lead to a cycle of drinking. You drink because you are depressed and as you drink you get more depressed. Heavy drinkers and regular drinkers are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression.
Alcohol is also linked to suicide, self-harm and psychosis. People lose their inhibition when drinking. Many cases of self-harm and violent behaviors have happened when people were not fully in control of their actions because they were drinking.
Drinking also affects your medication. You may find that you have side effects when alcohol is mixed with your medications. Some medications require that you do not drink at all. The strengths may increase, decrease, or not be effective at all. Always be mindful and have an honest discussion with your doctor about alcohol consumption before being prescribed medicines to treat your anxiety or depression.
If you know that you will be drinking, try to remember relaxation methods, such as deep breathing or meditation, which you can incorporate should you start feeling anxious. Just because you have anxiety attacks does not mean that you should not stop drinking entirely.