Understanding Hangxiety

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Hangxiety is a colloquial term combining the words hangover and anxiety. Also known as hangover anxiety, hangxiety refers to feelings of anxiety, nervousness, restlessness, guilt, and worry that some individuals experience after a night of heavy drinking. These feelings of anxiety after consuming alcohol may be more pronounced in shy individuals [1], those prone to anxiety, or individuals with a history of anxiety disorders.

Several factors contribute to hangxiety:

●       Alcohol's Effects: Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that can alter brain chemistry and affect neurotransmitters, leading to changes in mood and anxiety levels.

●       Dehydration: Alcohol is a diuretic, leading to increased urination and potential dehydration, which can contribute to feelings of anxiety.

●       Sleep Disruption: Alcohol disrupts sleep patterns, leading to poor sleep quality or a lack of restorative sleep, increasing anxiety.

●       Guilt or Regret: Some people may feel guilty or regretful about their actions or behaviors during a night of heavy drinking, contributing to feelings of anxiety the next day.

●       Social Factors: Social situations involving alcohol consumption can also contribute to anxiety, especially in individuals with social anxiety.

If you or a loved one need help managing your alcohol consumption, Avenues Recovery can help you on the road to sobriety.

How to Stop Anxiety After Drinking Alcohol

Here are some ways to limit anxiety from drinking:

●       Moderate Alcohol Intake: The best way to prevent hangxiety is to set limits on the amount and pace one drinks. Drinking less can help reduce the likelihood of experiencing anxiety the next day.

●       Stay Hydrated: Alcohol can dehydrate your body, which can contribute to feelings of anxiety. Be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after drinking alcohol to help minimize dehydration.

●       Choose Your Drinks Wisely: Some alcoholic beverages, particularly those high in sugar or caffeine, can exacerbate anxiety. Opt for drinks with lower sugar and caffeine content.

●       Eat Before and During Drinking: Consuming food before and while drinking can slow down the absorption of alcohol and help prevent rapid intoxication, which can contribute to anxiety.

●       Avoid Mixing Substances: Mixing alcohol with other substances, such as energy drinks or certain medications, increases the risk of anxiety and other adverse effects.

●       Practice Mindful Drinking: Be aware of how alcohol affects your body and mood. Pay attention to how you're feeling while drinking and make decisions accordingly.

●       Get Enough Sleep: Alcohol disrupts sleep patterns. Prioritize getting adequate rest, as sleep deprivation can worsen anxiety.

●       Stay Active: Engage in physical activity, such as exercise or a brisk walk, to help reduce anxiety and improve your mood.

●       Stay Social and Connected: Engage in social activities that don't involve alcohol. Spending time with friends, engaging in hobbies, and participating in enjoyable activities can help distract from feelings of anxiety.

●       Practice Relaxation Techniques: Deep breathing, meditation, yoga, and other relaxation techniques help reduce anxiety and promote a sense of calm.

●       Seek Professional Help: If you consistently experience severe anxiety after drinking or if anxiety is interfering with your daily life, consider seeking guidance from a mental health professional. They can provide tailored strategies and support.

●       Know Your Limits: If you notice that alcohol consumption consistently triggers anxiety, consider whether it's worth impacting your mental well-being. You may choose to reduce or avoid alcohol altogether.

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Is There a Hangxiety Cure?

While there is no specific hangxiety "cure", there are several strategies you can try to alleviate the symptoms and discomfort associated with it. Hangover anxiety often occurs due to a combination of factors, including dehydration, alcohol's impact on neurotransmitters, and lack of sleep. Here are some tips that might help:

1.     Stay Hydrated: Dehydration significantly contributes to hangover symptoms, including anxiety. Drink plenty of water to help flush out toxins and rehydrate your body.

2.     Eat Nutritious Food: Consuming a balanced meal can help stabilize your blood sugar levels and provide essential nutrients needed to recover.

3.     Rest and Sleep: Adequate rest is crucial for your body to recover from a hangover. Allow yourself to rest and get a good night's sleep.

4.     Avoid Caffeine: While reaching for coffee to combat fatigue might be tempting, caffeine can exacerbate anxiety. Opt for herbal tea or water instead.

5.     Practice Relaxation Techniques: Techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or mindfulness can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.

6.     Avoid Alcohol: The best way to prevent hangover anxiety is to avoid excessive alcohol consumption in the first place. Drink responsibly and pace yourself.

7.     Over-the-Counter Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or aspirin might help alleviate physical symptoms like headaches, which could contribute to anxiety.

8.     Talk to a Professional: If your hangover anxiety is severe or persistent, consider talking to a mental health professional. They can provide guidance and support to manage your anxiety.

How Long Does Hangxiety Last?

Hangovers typically last anywhere from a few hours to a full day. According to the Mayo Clinic [2], feelings of anxiety or unease can be a part of the hangover experience, especially when the body’s blood alcohol levels return to zero. Anxiety during a hangover can be influenced by the following factors:

●       Alcohol consumption: The amount and type of alcohol consumed can impact the severity of the hangover and associated anxiety.

●       Individual differences: People's bodies and brains react differently to alcohol and its aftereffects. Some individuals may be more prone to experiencing anxiety during a hangover.

●       Overall health: General health and well-being and any pre-existing mental health conditions can influence how a person responds to a hangover.

●       Hydration and nutrition: Dehydration and low blood sugar, common after drinking, can exacerbate anxiety. Rehydrating and eating nutritious foods can help alleviate these symptoms.

●       Sleep quality: Poor sleep during a hangover can contribute to feelings of anxiety and unease the day after a drinking episode.

What are Common Hangxiety Symptoms?

Common hangxiety symptoms include:

●       Feelings of sadness or dread

●       Feeling overwhelmed, concerned, or self-conscious about the preceding evening and excessively dissecting moments from the drinking episode

●       Encountering a sense of existential apprehension

●       Elevated heartbeat and a sense of agitation

●       Difficulty concentrating

●       Heightened sense of distrust or suspicion


What Is the Best Food For Hangover Anxiety?

Complex Carbohydrates: Foods like whole grains (oats, quinoa, brown rice etc.), whole wheat toast, and fruits provide a steady source of energy and can help stabilize blood sugar levels.

Bananas: Rich in potassium and easy on the stomach, bananas can help replenish lost electrolytes and provide a boost of energy.

Ginger: Known for its anti-nausea properties, ginger can help soothe an upset stomach. You can try ginger tea, ginger ale, or fresh ginger slices.

Eggs: Eggs contain cysteine, an amino acid that may help break down acetaldehyde, a toxic compound formed during alcohol metabolism.

Lean Proteins: Foods like lean meats, poultry, fish, and tofu can provide essential amino acids that support the body's recovery.

Leafy Greens: Spinach, kale, and other leafy greens contain vitamins and minerals that help combat inflammation and support overall health.

Avocado: Avocado is a good source of potassium and healthy fats, which can help replenish nutrients and stabilize blood sugar levels.

Coconut Water: Coconut water is rich in electrolytes and can help rehydrate your body.

Oats: Oats are gentle on the stomach and help regulate blood sugar levels, providing sustained energy.

Nuts and Seeds: These are rich in healthy fats and nutrients that support brain function and overall well-being.

Water: Staying hydrated is crucial for recovery. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to help flush out toxins and rehydrate your body.

Lorazepam For Hangover Anxiety

Lorazepam is a medication in the benzodiazepine class that is often prescribed to treat anxiety, insomnia, and certain seizure disorders. It works by enhancing the effects of the GABA neurotransmitter in the brain, which can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.

While some people might consider using lorazepam or other medications to alleviate hangover anxiety, it's essential to exercise caution. Benzos can have potential side effects, including drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, and dependency if not prescribed. Combining benzos with alcohol can also lead to dangerous interactions and exacerbate the depressant effects on the central nervous system.

If you're experiencing severe hangover anxiety, it's recommended to first focus on more natural remedies, such as staying hydrated, eating nutritious foods, getting rest, and engaging in relaxation techniques. If your symptoms are persistent or severe, it's advisable to consult a healthcare professional before considering any medication, including lorazepam. They can provide personalized advice based on your individual situation and medical history.

Get Rid of Hangxiety

Alcohol addiction and anxiety are often intertwined. Heavy drinking can cause hangxiety, while pre-existing anxiety may lead a person to drink. The best way to completely uproot hangxiety from your life is to either significantly reduce or completely avoid alcohol consumption. If you are struggling to limit your alcohol use, Avenues Recovery will help you assess the situation and provide needed guidance and support. We offer professional addiction treatment through both in-patient and out-patient programs. Take the first step in your journey to recovery and reach out to the Avenues Recovery community today!

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