Why do I al­ways feel so para­noid and anx­ious when I have a han­gover?

Women's Health Australia - - ASK WOMEN’S HEALTH -

Hang-xi­ety: it’s a thing! You know the usual symp­toms of a han­gover – the headaches, the nau­sea – but feel­ings of men­tal un­ease are also com­mon. And there are phys­i­o­log­i­cal fac­tors at play. “When your blood al­co­hol con­cen­tra­tion starts to drop (aka a han­gover), your brain ex­pe­ri­ences boomerang-like shifts in the lev­els of cer­tain chem­i­cals,” ex­plains psy­chi­a­trist Dr Aparna Iyer. For ex­am­ple, al­co­hol mim­ics the ef­fects of GABA, a neu­ro­trans­mit­ter that helps peo­ple feel re­laxed, which is why you might feel ex­tra chill while you’re drink­ing. But dur­ing the in­fa­mous next-day han­gover, the ef­fects are re­versed, caus­ing anx­i­ety to spike. Same with sero­tonin (the hap­pi­ness hor­mone). To avoid these lows, limit your drinks to just one or two (es­pe­cially if you have an anx­i­ety dis­or­der) and al­ways sip on wa­ter while booz­ing.

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