Now that science has given us information about what it means to feel "hanged," get ready to understand what "anxiety" is. In a new study, researchers at University College London suggest that shy or introverted people are at greater risk of experiencing it.
First, take a moment to think about one of the biggest reasons people drink alcohol. Simply put, what effect does the drink have that attracts so many of us?
Alcohol leaves a strong impact on the brain, activating the reward system and releasing dopamine. As a result, your stress levels, inhibitions, and negative feelings tend to decrease significantly. In simpler language, we love the "buzz" we get from our favorite drink when we want to let go.
People who experience social anxiety may see one more difference than others. When they consume alcohol in relevant situations, these temporary effects can help them relax and be much more sociable than they usually are. The key word here is "temporary," which brings us to the next morning.
Everyone knows the nausea, the headache, the tiredness and other physical symptoms that accompany the hangover. But the new study suggests that timid drinkers face the worst of emotional symptoms – namely, a significant increase in anxiety during a hangover, also known as anxiety.
"This is a hallmark of social anxiety, where people have characteristic or dwelling rumination after a social event," said Beth Marsh, the study's first author, Inverse. "You almost really re-run the experience in your mind with the kind of negative prejudice that comes from being shy or socially anxious."
Having repetitive negative thoughts like "Oh, I should not have said that."Or"Oh, that made me sound stupid.They are examples of post-event processing. While people with social anxiety disorder (SAD) already experience it more than others, Marsh believes that alcohol can worsen.
This is because drinking also affects our memory, making it difficult to remember how certain events happened or if they happened. So when you remember the night before during a hangover, an anxious mind tends to fill the gaps in your memory with negative things.
This can lead to a harmful cycle of alcohol dependence, which can become dangerous over time. In fact, previous research has suggested that 28% of people diagnosed with SAD also suffer from alcohol use disorder.
While more research is needed to validate what researchers are speculating, these findings may spark a much-needed conversation about the pressure to be extroverted.
"It's about accepting to be shy or introverted," Celia Morgan, a professor of psychopharmacology at the University of Exeter, who designed the study, told VICE. "It can help people get away from the heavy use of alcohol, it's a positive trait, it's okay to be quiet."