Last night was great, wasn’t it? Except you don’t remember much of it, because you spent it in a daze. And now, all that alcohol in your system is making you feel queasy. You want to throw up, but the thought of getting out of the bed is making the headache worse. The head throbs as if being hammered on the inside, and everything is making you feel increasingly uncomfortable. Then suddenly, you spring right up, as if remembering something utterly nonsensical from the previous night. Did you do/say it? You groan, kick the sheets and get up anyway — overwhelmed and distressed, anxious even, of what you may have done the previous night.
If all of this reads familiar to you, know that there is an urban term to this obnoxious feeling — it is called ‘hangxiety’, a mix of hangover and anxiety. Independently, both anxiety and hangover are terrible. While one makes you feel mentally out of control, the other takes a toll on the physical health. Together, it’s a dangerous combination.
With alcohol in the system, people suffer from bouts of confusion and blackout, and when the body starts flushing it out the morning after, an increased sense of anxiety, stress, shame and guilt washes over. And it is a feeling that many people have experienced from time to time. Though, it is more common in people who are otherwise prone to anxiety and depression in their regular life, hangxiety has been seen even in people who do not show such tendencies.
Experts say that alcohol takes over and slows down the nervous system, triggering you to become less inhibited and behave in ways you otherwise wouldn’t. The next morning, though, as it makes its way out, it messes up with the feel-good hormone serotonin and makes you feel uncontrollably sad and generally negative. Also, while it is believed that alcohol induces sleep, it also makes you wake up all shaky and sweaty, as the body’s withdrawal mechanism is kicked in.
In fact, according to an interesting study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, researchers asked people about their levels of anxiety before, during and after drinking alcohol, and found that the shy ones had more anxiety the morning after than people who were not all that shy.
So, if you are someone who suffers from bouts of anxiety, it is advisable to drink in moderation so as to not feel hangxious the next day.
But, for some reason, if you are feeling it today, there are some things that you can do. You can begin with the basic hangover cure: water. Drink a lot of it, because alcohol can make you feel dehydrated. Have bananas, watermelons and soups, so as to get the body going. Your hangxiety, however, will take some time before it leaves you. Check with a professional so as to come out of this state quicker.