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Many people drink alcohol to relax and unwind, some use alcohol to relieve the symptoms of anxiety in stressful situations, or to help them socialise.

Whilst it is not uncommon for alcohol to come into the equation during times of anxiousness, stress and uncertainty, excessive and prolonged drinking can lead to the worsening of an already existing anxiety related condition.

Alcohol can also trigger the onset of a new anxiety related disorder.

Anxiety can be mild, moderate or severe. At its worst it can be debilitating and extremely frightening. Alcohol may seem to calm episodes of acute anxiety, but the truth is it causes imbalances in the brain’s chemistry that in the long run will make the symptoms much worse.

If you or a loved one are suffering from an anxiety related disorder and have a problem with alcohol, our expert team of multidisciplinary professionals at Delamere can help you to make a full and lasting recovery.

At Delamere’s purpose built treatment and behavioural wellness facility, not only will you undergo intensive treatment to help heal the root causes of your problems, we will also equip you with the tools to manage your condition and enable ongoing recovery for the rest of your life.

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Causes & symptoms of anxiety

You may be familiar with the term ‘fight or flight”. Well, this is essentially what anxiety is. The brain, for whatever reason, perceives danger and prepares the body and mind to either engage in battle or flee from the situation.

In anxiety related disorders the brain falsely perceives danger. Our thoughts are formed from our senses: sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. In an anxious person’s mind the senses can be distorted or trigger a traumatic memory. The brain reacts to this ‘perceived’ danger by entering a period of overactivity, releasing numerous chemicals into the body that create a number of anxiety related symptoms

It is not fully understood why anxiety disorders develop, or why it only affects certain people. There are however some recognised causes of anxiety that are clinically proven to be contributing factors, one of which is excessive alcohol use.

Common causes of anxiety include:

  • Past trauma or current trauma experiences
  • Substance abuse
  • Genetics ( history of mental health issues in the family)
  • Stress
  • Reaction to a major life situation such as a bereavement, relationship breakdown or job loss (1)

Whilst the cause of anxiety resides in the brain and in our thinking, the symptoms of anxiety present in our body and mind. This ‘reaction’ results from a concoction of powerful organic chemicals being released by the brain to prepare for ‘fight or flight” mode.

Physical symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased sweating and body temperature or flushing
  • Tremours and shaking
  • Dizziness
  • Increased breathing rate and inability to control breathing
  • The need to urinate more
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Hyper alertness
  • Insomnia
  • Agitation

Psychological symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Uncontrollable racing thoughts
  • Feeling unable to get any air into your lungs and suffocation
  • Feeling of impending doom (feeling something really bad is about to happen)
  • Inability to focus or concentrate
  • Fast cycling of random, uncontrollable negative thoughts
  • The feeling of needing to escape
  • Fear that there is physically something wrong with you and that you are about to die
  • Unable to rationalise the way you are feeling
  • Dissociation from reality

The symptoms of anxiety do pass, your body can only sustain fight or flight mode for so long. After an anxiety attack you may feel very tired.

In the midst of an anxiety attack it can be very difficult to pinpoint what set it off. In those that frequently suffer from anxiety, known as generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), even a subconscious reaction can trigger an anxiety attack.

It is important to understand the symptoms of anxiety and why they are happening. This may help you to understand that this is a genuine mental health condition and seek the appropriate medical and therapeutic help and support.

Types of anxiety disorder

There are variations of how anxiety can manifest from one person to another. Full blown anxiety related disorders come in a number of recognised associated behaviours.

Whilst the behaviours may vary, they tend to be coping mechanisms for the same illness, or associated to a specific type of anxiety.

Types of anxiety disorder include:

  • Hair pulling
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Panic disorder
  • Skin picking
  • Agoraphobia
  • Social anxiety
  • GAD (generalised anxiety disorder)

Does alcohol help or cause anxiety?

Much like many other mental health illnesses there is no quick fix. This is why many turn to substances such as alcohol, drugs and prescription medications. They want the traumatic feelings of anxiety to stop – immediately.

Alcohol, drugs and prescription medications only ever provide a temporary solution to a complex problem such as anxiety and depression. As soon as the effects of alcohol wear off the symptoms of anxiety return.

In cases of frequent or binge drinking to deal with anxiety, the symptoms of anxiety not only return but are also exacerbated. Experiencing anxiety after drinking alcohol is due to alcohol causing disruption to the brain’s chemistry and causing a further depletion to the organically produced chemicals that are essential to helping us feel in control, balanced and rational.

No matter how hopeless anxiety may seem and how long you have suffered from it, we guarantee you that alcohol (or any other substance for that matter) is not a solution.

In both the short term and long term alcohol will only make anxiety worse.

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Alcohol related anxiety

If you only experience anxiety after drinking alcohol, it stands to reason that alcohol is the cause of your anxiety. Hangovers and alcohol withdrawal symptoms, whilst two very separate conditions, both include symptoms of acute anxiety.

Alcohol not only interferes with your brain’s chemistry and depletes serotonin levels but it also severely dehydrates you.

Binge drinking can cause you to feel dizzy, anxious, nauseous, shaky and agitated the following day. These symptoms (depending on the amount of alcohol you have consumed) can last all day and be very difficult and unpleasant to tolerate.

When withdrawing from an alcohol dependence, anxiety is one of the overriding symptoms that presents. Alcoholic withdrawal anxiety can last for days, sometimes weeks after you have stopped drinking.

Alcohol withdrawal induced anxiety can however be managed by undergoing a full medical alcohol detox. This will not only diminish or eradicate your anxiety symptoms completely but will also minimise other alcohol withdrawal symptoms to safe and manageable levels.

Any alcohol detox programme should be immediately followed by a comprehensive rehabilitation programme to unearth and treat the root causes of problem drinking and any co occurring illnesses such as anxiety or depression.

Successfully treating anxiety and alcohol

When treating anxiety and alcohol, it is vital that these two conditions are treated simultaneously for the best long term outcome. Treating one condition but not the other will inevitably lead to relapse of both conditions.

Not only must the person undergo comprehensive treatment to heal the root causes of their problematic use of alcohol and their anxiety disorder but they must also acquire tools to enable them to adapt and change their thinking.

Thinking influences the way that we feel, so in order to change from feeling anxious to peaceful, the individual will need to learn and implement the tools of recovery that enable them to consistently achieve this.

Overcoming alcohol and anxiety with Delamere’s help

Alcohol abuse and anxiety are two very distressing conditions. At the severe end of the spectrum both can be debilitating and life threatening.

A sufferer of both anxiety and alcohol addiction can find themselves in a never ending cycle of drinking to relieve anxiety, with the anxiety and drinking becoming progressively worse.

The good news is that no matter how hopeless the situation may seem, Delamere offer an effective treatment programme that is adapted to your specific treatment needs. Most importantly, it works!

Our multidisciplinary team of medical, psychotherapy, counselling and holistic professionals work closely together to ensure that all bases are covered and treated comprehensively.

By undergoing one of our bespoke inpatient treatment programmes for alcohol and anxiety, we can show you how to live a life free from anxiety AND alcohol.

We use evidence based treatment methods, combined with innovative and thoroughly researched holistic therapies to bring about a dramatic change in perception and thinking in each of our guests.

Rob Dawkins
Rob Dawkins
February 11, 2021.
Wonderful staff, an amazing facility and the best treatment centre. I would highly recommend Delamere. From the moment I walked in to the day I left i felt supported and at ease. A fantastic staff team round the clock, always someone there when you need them. A highly specialised program is run daily with expert councillors on hand to support.
Colin McClymont
Colin McClymont
February 10, 2021.
Delamere Rehab Clinic is a bespoke, purpose built facility, which has been well designed and finished to a very high standard. It sits in over six acres of well maintained grounds and has a welcoming, tranquil, calm feeling throughout.The bedrooms are comfortable and well appointed , the food is excellent ,catering for a wide variety of tastes ,and made to order if the menu isn't to your liking. Delamere has a modern, holistic approach to addiction recovery, with an experienced team of well trained mentors and therapists, which makes the daily sessions informative, engaging and motivational. Everyone at Delamere from the CEO and Clinical Director, the Mentors and Therapists, to the Administration, Catering and Domestic staff, are all dedicated to meeting your individual needs during your stay. I am happy to recommend Delamere to anyone looking for a top class addiction recovery rehab clinic.
Hugh Wilson
Hugh Wilson
January 26, 2021.
Excellent treatment centre, works on the root of the issue rather than just treating the symptoms. It was lovely to have a holistic approach rather than just a 12 step based program. A lot of the councillors and phycologists are in recovery themselves, and the mentors also have a wealth of first hand knowledge to offer. The facilities themselves are very modern and the rooms are well presented and comfortable. It has lovely grounds and even boasts a well equipped gym. The kitchen staff were happy to meet any dietary requirements and the food was excellent The magaging director even does some of the group therapy sessions and they seem to be very focused on not only tailoring care to suit the person but on the indivials ongoing recovery. They have a caring and attentive nursing staff as well as a phyciatrist, so that any medicinal needs are well monitored and detox can be as comfortable as possible. What really makes this place stand out is they treat you like adults, there is a degree of trust you rarely find in facilities such as this. I found this environment to be open and honest and ask only that you return the courtesy. A lot of other places treat you as children or subjects to be broken down and rebuilt. There is a strong emphasis on sharing trauma and discussing it in a non judgmental environment which led me to the realisation that I was not alone. There is also a strong emphasis on community, the lounge areas provide you with the opportunity to meet other guests outside of therapy and form bonds of fellowship sadly lacking in other facilities. This well rounded approach makes Delemere a unique centre in the UK and is a fantastic choice whatever the scope issues you have.
James Dominiak
James Dominiak
November 18, 2020.
Delemere has changed my life. From the moment I walked through the door broken they looked after me and helped me be put back together. The staff and facilities were brilliant and they helped me through a very difficult time in my life.
Alex Hawke
Alex Hawke
November 15, 2020.
From the initial contact with Admissions manager Alex, through to Martin and his team.... at no point did they ever make me feel on edge despite many coming in having preconceived ideas regarding recovery. Displaying sympathy and compassion on arrival regardless of situation or medical condition is a great starting point. From the face to face daily sessions regarding therapy and recovery around substance dependency, to food and an emphasis on healthy eating.... I was continually surprised at their pursuit towards guests improving daily, striving and succeeding. Providing the best level of care, without prejudice, to all who come in through their front door. Delamere is amazing, Martin and his team ensure that you get the best level of care around the clock, without any hesitation, regarding immediate medical advice/medications with their 24/7 nursing team as well as Healthcare team. Coming to Delamere to help treat a long term medical condition was a choice I would highly recommend to anyone who is struggle through day to day life, especially with the world at unease regarding the impact the Virus has had.
michael watson
michael watson
October 31, 2020.
If you're looking for a treatment centre look no further - Excellent addiction treatment, therapy. personal development and great food. The staff were amazing.
Ian Benson
Ian Benson
October 29, 2020.
Delamere has literally saved my life. Great staff and 24/7 care. Medication is given at a professional level and the food is amazing. 3 meals a day. Nothing is rushed and the staff make you feel at home. The rooms are really modern and comfy. When I came to Delamere I was in a really bad place due to alcohol, they've turned my life around. I advise anyone with alcohol or drug problems to go to Delamere. Thank you to Martin and all the team.

Furthermore, our Delamere team affords extremely high levels of support throughout the whole process. We also provide practical support to assist you in transitioning your recovery from inpatient, back into the community and in achieving your goals.

Call our team of experts today to find out exactly how we can help you or a loved one to make a full recovery from anxiety and alcohol and live a life you never dreamed would be possible

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