Introverts experience more hangxiety after a night of drinking with friends

People drink more on holidays. They want to have more fun and it is a good opportunity to meet friends. Everyone is happy and cheerful and you don’t have to worry about work or anything. However, for some people there is something to worry about – hangxiety – anxiety during a hangover. A new study, led by UCL and University of Exeter researchers, found that extremely shy people are more likely to suffer from this condition.

Social drinking leads to both hangover and hangxiety to some people, especially if they are shy. Image credit: Benreis via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Alcohol has an effect of loosening people up. Shy people know that and, since they are struggling with social interactions, they tend to use alcohol to help themselves. Scientists studied almost 100 social drinkers with either high or low levels of shyness. It revealed that extremely shy people experienced slightly decreased anxiety after drinking about six units of alcohol. However, scientists also found that very shy people are more likely to suffer hangxiety than their extrovert friends. Which may explain, why people, who suffer from anxiety continue drinking more.

Alcohol consumption is dropping significantly, which is great from the standpoint of public health. However, while the overall results are getting better, people who suffer from poor health and wellbeing are still drinking more. This includes people suffering from severe anxiety. And they are the ones typically suffering from hangxiety the morning after. Hangxiety is not a medical term by any means – it is just a compilation of “hangover” and “anxiety”. It is a condition, when anxiety levels increase after a night of drinking – while drinking allows people to loosen up, it all gets even worse in the morning.

Professor Celia Morgan, one of the authors of the study from the University of Exeter, said: “We know that many people drink to ease anxiety felt in social situations, but this research suggests that this might have rebound consequences the next day, with more shy individuals more likely to experience this, sometimes debilitating, aspect of hangover”. This study also reveals that shy people, introverts, are more likely to develop problems related to alcohol consumption. Those participants of the study, who agreed to spend some days sober, reported positive effects. These fluctuations in anxiety are extremely stressful and people should be advised to stay away from alcohol.

Social drinking is decreasing, but some people still believe that they “have” to drink to have fun. This, of course, is not true. They should be able to enjoy themselves without seeking for external help.

 

Source: UCL


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