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The Worst Treatment For Anxiety - Alcohol

Mar 4, 2008
Many sufferers of anxiety unwisely seek the "treatment" of alcohol as a temporary solution to anxiety. However, this is the worst solution to a common problem that an individual can seek. One reason alcohol is a popular solution is because people correctly believe that minor stress, unlike anxiety disorder, can be lived with without medical treatment.

As we all know, stress is just a part of our everyday life and one has to cope with occasional mental highs and lows. This can be learned as well. Having said that, many people who suffer from anxiety might find that living with stress is more difficult than it seems so they go after a temporary fix or solution. Beer, wine, Tequila and various other alcohol beverages offer a cheap and fun treatment and for a while it does seem to ease the pain.

Alcohol is a powerful depressant and so can take away some feelings of anxiety. However, alcohol can also be addictive and can result in dangerous physical side effects if a person consistently becomes drunk. Studies have also shown that consuming too much alcohol can lead to an irregular heartbeat and a lowering of blood sugar which will actually increase the symptoms of anxiety.

Some people buy alcohol to temporarily escape their anxiety - which is the same if they would purchase a large dosage prespriction without any advice from their doctor - and in the long run this could be extremely harmful. Even worse, person can become very dependent on alcohol.

There's also another problem when a person suffering from anxiety starts getting relief from alcohol or any addictive, temporary forms of substances, like self-cutting, smoking or OTC pain relievers, they are not treating the problem of anxiety itself. The main reason to use these quick fixes is to escape the real cause of anxiety and they even risk their health doing it. The same can be said to certain extent when anxiety is treated with prescription medication like Valium or Xanax.

Many psychotherapists (according to the father of psychotherapy Sigmund Freud) believe that we maintain anxiety in our lives because of previous trauma. Therefore, whenever we observe something in the present that reminds us of past traumas, anxious feelings continue to arise.

Depressing or stimulating the mind with drugs, alcohol or various sorts of addictive behavior only muffles the pain, but it doesn't confront or resolve the real issue or the source of anxiety.

With alcohol especially - as many people drink wine and beer casually - not to escape anything particular, but for pleasure, they are many times unaware that they are actually feeding an addiction and their primary reason for drinking is anxiety, although it can be a very mild form of anxiety.

Only in the case of alcoholics is the addiction ever made manifest; in the case of people who drink enough to escape the pain but never get totally drunk, the truth of the matter may not be realized for years to come.

If you believe you may suffer from anxiety and an alcohol addiction to boot, test yourself and see how many days you can go without drinking.

If you start to go through withdrawals, or find the anxiety increasing to an abnormal level, then you may need to seek help in overcoming the addiction and treating the anxiety disorder, not avoiding it.
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