Fort Wellness Counseling

How to Overcome 'Hangxiety' (Post-Drinking Anxiety)

hangxiety

Thought the consequences of drinking heavily were merely physical? Unfortunately, you’ll have to think again. ‘Hangxiety’ (aka post-drinking anxiety) is a hangover symptom for approximately 22% of people under the age of 30.

What is Hangxiety?

While hangxiety isn’t an official diagnosis, it describes the common experience of post-alcohol anxiety (which is caused by alcohol’s effect on the brain). Basically, alcohol functions like an anti-anxiety drug, and it stimulates the same brain receptors (called GABA receptors) that are activated by other anti-anxiety drugs like Xanax and Valium.

For this reason, many people feel less anxious and more relaxed when they drink alcohol. However, as the alcohol begins to exit your system, a sort of pendulum effect occurs. Essentially, your anxiety circuits start working overtime to compensate for being suppressed.

However, your brain circuitry is just one piece of the puzzle. Other hangover symptoms — including dehydration — have also been linked to increased anxiety.

Hangxiety Symptoms

Because hangxiety doesn’t have a formal diagnosis, there is no concrete set of symptoms. However, general hangxiety symptoms include:

  • Irritability
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Headaches
  • Chest pains
  • Apprehension
  • Upset stomach
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Thought rumination
  • Unexplained body aches
  • Feeling restless or ‘on edge’
  • Persistent, uncontrollable feelings of worry

How to Get Rid of Hangxiety

So, how do you get rid of hangxiety? Allow our anxiety therapists to explain:

Treat the Physical Hangover

The first hangxiety cure is to treat the physical hangover itself. Generally, that includes rehydrating, sleeping, eating a healthy meal, and taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications.

Skip Certain Substances

Many people have a cup of coffee the morning after drinking in order to shake the post-alcohol grogginess. However, because caffeine is a stimulant, it actually makes your hangxiety feelings worse.

Practice Self-Compassion

Don’t beat yourself up for last night’s decisions. Instead, try to be gentle with yourself. Remember that everyone makes mistakes and that you deserve kindness and forgiveness.

Try Relaxation Techniques

If your anxiety becomes overwhelming, relaxation techniques can help. Our favorites include:

Anxiety Therapist Fort Worth

So, how long does hangxiety last? Rest assured that post-drinking anxiety subsides within 24 hours. However, if your symptoms of chronic worry or stress persist, speaking with an anxiety therapist Fort Worth can help.

At Fort Wellness Counseling, our anxiety therapists use a variety of modalities to treat many different anxiety disorders. Contact our team to discover how we can serve you.

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