Hangovers are good for several different things. They will make your stomach uneasy, give you a headache to rival anything you’ve ever felt before, reconfirm the fact that you are never going to drink again, and give you hangover anxiety. If you are someone who is already naturally anxious or have been diagnosed with some sort of anxiety disorder, your hangover can possibly trigger extra feelings of stress that can be extremely difficult to control.
While hangovers are already bad, anxiety can cause several different issues that are related to your hangover. While some of these issues are caused by the hangover itself, others are caused by your anxiety. This anxiety can very easily affect the way that you feel. Here are the ways that hangover anxiety can affect how you feel and what it can do to your body.
Depression and Mental Health
The one thing we know for sure is that alcohol affects the brain. So, it’s no secret that it’s not very uncommon for you to feel a level of chemical depression and anxiety. This is due mainly in part to the fact that your brain is still trying to de-stress after all of the drinking you did. Whether it be from the dehydration or the neurochemical and hormonal changes, hangover anxiety and depression are extremely common and are something that needs to be addressed as the only way to help this type of anxiety disappear is time.
Paranoia and Pains
One of the more significant hangover anxiety issues is a feeling of being paranoid. You will often times believe that because of how you feel, something had to have happened. It doesn’t have to be something as severe as robbing a bank, but you will typically have a feeling that you ate ‘bad’ food that you normally wouldn’t eat, or you said something that you should not have said, etc. While feeling like this is natural, they are also able to become damaging, and you are having them because of your anxiety.
Hangovers are also notorious for causing all different types of pain. These pains that you are feeling while hungover are already distressing by themselves, but you may become fixated on them and what they may mean. Here are some of the more common types of hangover pains you may experience.
Headaches – If you are hungover, you are experiencing some type of headache. Whether it a mild one or a painful pounding that just won’t stop, chances are it is a very common sensation if you have anxiety. While stress headaches are often common if you are a highly anxious person, a hangover headache can make you think that there is something wrong with your head. This feeling can be aggravated if you are unable to remember the events of the previous night clearly, or at all.
Nausea – Nausea, if severe enough, can cause paranoia similar to having a bad headache. If you are so nauseated that you began to vomit, the chances are that you may be thinking it was something ‘bad’ that you ate, or you may be getting some type of stomach bug. If you are vomiting, this can also contribute to the dehydration that you are more than likely already experiencing as well. All of these conditions only lead to more stress on your body from all the additional physical strain.
Injuries – While not always the case, many times you will have injuries that you don’t even know you have until the next morning when your hangover starts, and you start to sober up. If this is the case, it can be very disturbing and frightening, as you probably won’t remember how they happened and can cause paranoia about getting into a fight or doing something extremely dangerous. If that isn’t bad enough, there is also an increased feeling of anxiety as there is no way of knowing how severe the injury may be. Severe pain in your ankle, for example, may be as little as a sprain, but it also has the possibility of being a broken ankle as well.
Memory Lapses and Confusion
When you have a hangover, you may also be a little confused and not able to remember everything that happened the night before. This can be both scary, as well as make you even more anxious. Even if you don’t feel confused, you may still not be able to think clearly. This can stem from either dehydration or a severe headache. No matter the cause, your inability to think may lead to unreasonable leaps in what you think happened. This kind of thought process can easily spiral into an attack of hangover anxiety.
Along with those lapses in memory, there is also going to be some confusion. When you can’t remember anything that happened leading up to you waking up with a serious hangover and all of the hangover symptoms can be very stressful and lead you to speculate what may have happened. This feeling of not knowing what happened will have you confused and guessing what may have happened.
Bad Decision Regrets
If there is anything that will contribute to your hangover anxiety, it is remembering any bad decisions that you may have made. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions and takes away your impulse control. This can lead you to do things that you would normally never think about doing. These can be anything saying things to certain people to getting into a fight and anything in between. This feeling of regretting your bad decisions can further increase the amount of anxiety you are feeling.
All in all, the reality around your hangover is there normally is less of a cause to be stressed than it may seem. However, with your initial thought process and irrational hangover thinking, you will more than likely stress yourself out and increase the amount of hangover anxiety you feel before you are able to figure out what actually happened. Just remember to take some deep breaths and try to let your anxiety and stress levels lower so that you can get through your hangover as quickly and smoothly as possible.