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  • Alcohol and anxiety.

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    Old 04-12-2009, 12:21 PM   #1
    Join Date: Oct 2007
    Location: USA
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    Alcohol and anxiety.

    Hello guys,

    I'll start from the begging.

    I'm an 18 year old male and for the past 2-3 years I've been suffering with anxiety but recently I've been getting a lot better.

    I have a question about alcohol, but first of all, when my anxiety was at its worse, I started to get fast heart rates so I went to my doctor with this and I had some ECG tests done. The ECG came back fine but it picked up a fast heart rate which was because I was anxious when I was having the ECG done.

    My cardiac doctor scheduled a heart echo scan and a 24 hour ECG tape. I've had both tests done now and I'm awaiting results, my cardiac doctor before the test assured me that their was nothing wrong with my heart and he was only doing these tests to put my mind at ease. I'm still waiting for the results from both of these tests.

    Ok, now on to the alcohol part.

    Before my anxiety was at its peak, I was a social drinker with my friends, I'd go to clubs and bars and drink alcohol, I could drink about 5 pints every time we went out and I wouldn't notice any cardiac symptoms at all, so I could go out with friends and drink alcohol without any problems and best of all I could enjoy my self.

    One day I was bored and I decided to do some Googling on how alcohol effects the heart, then I started to learn about the heart and how it works etc, then the next time I went out drinking I felt my pulse and I felt that my heart was beating pretty fast (over 100BPM) and this sent me into a panic attack and I never drank alcohol again.

    About 7 months after that event, my anxiety started to clear up and I started going out to bars and clubs with my mates but I DIDN'T touch alcohol, I just drank soft drinks.... When I settled back into it I thought I'd try a drink with alcohol and when I did, I put my hand on my chest and felt my heart beating pretty fast and I noticed that it was doing frequent missed beats and beats that felt like 'half-beats'. Bearing in mind that I was anxious even before I started to drink the alcohol because I had social anxiety, and when I started to drink the alcohol I felt even more anxious because I was thinking 'what if this causes another panic attack etc'.

    So my question is, do you think it was the alcohol or anxiety causing these skipped beats? I know that alcohl does increase heart rate, but I don't know if it should increase heart rate over 100BPM.

    I'd just like to be able to socially drink with my friends again as I feel it'd help me get my social life back on track and I might even start to enjoy my self again.

    Any advice/information is GREATLY appreciated.

    Thanks very much.

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    Old 04-13-2009, 02:52 AM   #2
    Buzzy bee
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    Join Date: Apr 2009
    Location: Leeds, uk
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    Re: Alcohol and anxiety.

    See i am differnt. i can go out and know i can be anxiety free by drinking alot that night, and the constant spaceyness soes not seem anywhere near as bad. The thing is if i drink alot the next day i am just about bed bound with the spacey feeling and can guarantee panic attacks. Alchol is a sedative which is ok for the very short term but remeber its a depressant, next day you will feel so much worse.

    Old 04-20-2009, 10:20 AM   #3
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    Join Date: Nov 2008
    Location: england
    Posts: 39
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    Re: Alcohol and anxiety.

    I think it was the anxiety causing the skipped beats.You are associating the alcohol with heart problems.I do the same and i also use alcohol as a way of calming myself before i enter social situations but i'm a lot better now i think.Bit of a vicious cycle.
    Right ok think about it,before going out i would be anxious,my heart rate would increase,i would drink to try and subdue the anxiety and as you say alcohol increases heart rate a little.I wouldnt really notice while i was out but i would think of how i would feel once i got home,anticipatory anxiety.Would be in bed with my heart racing,take me ages to sleep and the next day i'm just fighting the panic.
    I wasnt always like this,it happened once and my thoughts took hold of it and im associating alcohol with a fast pulse.We do it to ourselves.I hope you get 100% well soon,you are so young,believe in yourself be strong and dont let anxiety ruin your life.Best wishes.

    Old 04-23-2009, 05:36 PM   #4
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    Location: PA, USA
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    Re: Alcohol and anxiety.

    I used to be able to drink everyone under the table and still feel fine the next day. When my anxiety started up again I noticed that I was getting a lot of skipped beats and my anxiety was way up the next day and the day after that. When I would lay down after drinking the spinning that I had drove me nuts because I was so worried it was something serious and I constantly would be checking my pulse and it would race pretty bad. I'm at the point where I can't really even drink anything at all which is terrible because it's really nice to have a "social" drink when we go out with friends, but I'm so scared it will cause anxiety I won't risk it. My doctor said that anxiety can be provoked by too much drinking. I wish that anxiety wouldn't take so much enjoyment out of life.

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