Recovery from addiction to alcohol can be a difficult process both mentally and physically. Alcohol has a depressive effect on the body and the mind. This means that alcohol causes brain function to slow down significantly. It even alters the way the body’s nerves and nervous system communicate with one another, essentially changing the actual chemistry of the body and the brain.
Once the central nervous system becomes accustomed to the presence of alcohol, then it has to exert more effort to keep the brain aware and functioning and to keep the various nerves working effectively and communicating as much as possible. When these alcohol addiction exists along with anxiety, this is known as a dual diagnosis. One condition can have a negative effect on the other in a number of ways. When anxiety begins to affect an individual on a regular basis, it becomes a chronic condition. It is considered a mental health issue; however, as with any chronic psychological condition, it’s harmful effects are experienced by the body as well as the mind.
Alcohol Addiction Weakens The Body
According to a 2018 report based on the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, it is estimated that 15.2 million people in the United States ages 12 and above have suffered from some disorder directly related to alcohol use within the past year. Less than 2% of those diagnosed received treatment for their conditions. This is the type of situation that creates a fertile breeding ground for the effects of alcohol abuse to ravage the body. Alcohol effects can include:
- mood swings
- distorted and blurred perception which can lead to accidents and injury
- hypertension (high blood pressure)
- loss of ability to reason and make good decisions
More serious effects include liver disease, various types of cancer such as liver, esophageal, throat, and colorectal cancer, heart disease/stroke, and hepatitis. Extreme cases of alcohol abuse are responsible for alcohol poisoning which is accompanied by seizures, nausea/vomiting, mental confusion and loss of bodily control, hypothermia, etc.
Anxiety Harms More Than Just The Mind
Anxiety is defined as excessive, constant, intense fear and worry about common everyday life situations. Anxiety can lead to:
- inability to concentrate
- failure to form coherent thoughts
- memory loss
Severe cases or chronic anxiety can lead to serious physical issues such as increased heart rate, exhaustion, nausea/vomiting, etc. It is reported that anxiety has also been found to affect or be directly responsible for conditions such as cancer, heart disease, anorexia, bulimia, and more. Looking at the effects of each of these conditions, it is easy to draw parallels and see how one condition exacerbates the other.
The extreme stress placed on the body as it goes through alcohol withdrawal (commonly known as detoxification or detox) is made worse when the brain is experiencing anxiety. When the body and mind are in discord both conditions are affected, making it more difficult to recover from them.
How Can These Two Conditions Negatively Impact One Another?
Because anxiety can lead to alcohol abuse and alcohol abuse brings on anxiety, the two can have a very negative effect on each other as the individual begins to go through the recovery process.
As the body and mind experience the detox phase, anxiety will be at its worst bringing on depression, fatigue, and increasing the physiological effects that come along with the detox process such as heart palpitations, difficulty breathing, headaches, nausea/vomiting, panic attacks, etc.
However, this does not me that recovery is unattainable. On the contrary, recovery from both is quite possible and can be achieved with caring, professional help that will see you through every step of the way. Your body and your mind are not your enemies, despite what you are going through.
They are essentially being held hostage, and it is time to get the help you need to set them free so that you can take control of your life. Help is available, recovery is absolutely possible, and your future can be happier and more productive than you ever thought possible. Don’t let another day slip away.
We are ready to help. We are here 24 hours a day, seven days a week, waiting for your call. Do the best thing you have ever done for yourself – pick up the phone and call 877-497-6180 today. We look forward to helping you take control of your life so that you can make it everything you’ve always wanted it to be.