19 doctors weighed in:

Can alcoholism contribute to an anxiety disorder?

19 doctors weighed in
Dr. Steven Reidbord
Psychiatry
15 doctors agree

In brief: Absolutely

Although alcohol usually relieves anxiety in the short term, heavy or chronic use often increases anxiety.
This is especially true during alcohol withdrawal, with anxiety, racing heart, sweating, etc. In addition to alcohol's physical effects, many alcoholics are anxious about losing jobs and friends, getting into legal or financial trouble, etc. Alcoholism is not a calm existence at all.

In brief: Absolutely

Although alcohol usually relieves anxiety in the short term, heavy or chronic use often increases anxiety.
This is especially true during alcohol withdrawal, with anxiety, racing heart, sweating, etc. In addition to alcohol's physical effects, many alcoholics are anxious about losing jobs and friends, getting into legal or financial trouble, etc. Alcoholism is not a calm existence at all.
Dr. Steven Reidbord
Dr. Steven Reidbord
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Harris Cohen
In addition, some people with an underlying anxiety disorder may self-medicate with alcohol to achieve a feeling of calmness, which may lead to an alcohol problem in the future -- sort of a chicken/egg situation.
Dr. Jeffrey Roth
Addiction Medicine
4 doctors agree

In brief: First things first

Anxiety is not diagnosable while the alcoholic is still drinking.
The first step is recovery from alcoholism. Attendance at alcoholics anonymous will provide contact with others who have learned to use their anxiety productively rather than suppress it with alcohol.

In brief: First things first

Anxiety is not diagnosable while the alcoholic is still drinking.
The first step is recovery from alcoholism. Attendance at alcoholics anonymous will provide contact with others who have learned to use their anxiety productively rather than suppress it with alcohol.
Dr. Jeffrey Roth
Dr. Jeffrey Roth
Thank
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