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Alcoholism and Social Anxiety

Discussion in 'Alcohol' started by tomservo, Jan 22, 2016.

  1. tomservo

    tomservo Member

    Have any of you ever suspected that your drinking habit is fueled by socializing, and perhaps social anxiety? I have recently noticed that when I am by myself, I rarely feel the urge to drink, but when I am around other people, I can't last very long before saying, "who wants a beer?" I never really thought of myself as someone with social anxiety until I noticed it's almost impossible for me to socialize without drinking. Thoughts?
    rEEzytheKiD and kassie1234 like this.
  2. loverman99

    loverman99 Member

    Alcohol is one of the ways people seek for a confidence. But that's a fake one. It won't help you in a long run. Instead, it would rather make you more attached to drinking. In bars or clubs people usually take some shots before approaching anyone. It's ok if you can do it on your own but not when drinking becomes a crutch.
  3. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

  4. Scooby Snack

    Scooby Snack Community Champion

    There was one summer long ago where I was doing an internship and I realized that I didn't need alcohol to have a good time. It was liberating, but since then I've backslid a lot. It can definitely be a huge crutch.
  5. rz3300@

    rz3300@ Senior Contributor

    I think I have always known that the two were tied together somehow, but I really cannot say that I know how. In my experience with drinking it was really avoiding the social scene that drive me to drink, which might be different than a lot of other people, so that would seem to fall in line with social anxiety. But I do not feel I was anxious, so maybe it is an internal thing. Who knows, I guess, but I can say that I am happier now, and that is all that matters to me.
  6. tomservo

    tomservo Member

    Ah yes, "liquid courage..." My friends and I used to call it "beer muscles." I think that is definitely a big part of it, but I think there's other aspects that play into it for me. Like, it's not that I never feel confident without it, but it definitely eases my nerves when I'm around other people. I think I'm someone who's easily agitated by others, and that plays a big role.
  7. loverman99

    loverman99 Member

    The right way to start socializing with people is making some steps out of your comfort zone. The further, the better. I recommend you doing that gradually. Eventually, you will realize you've become more confident. So, all your approaches will be alcohol-free.
    kassie1234 likes this.
  8. L_B

    L_B Community Champion

    Liquid courage I have used that in the past but it was never a good thing. You have to learn to step out of your comfort zone and realize that you don't need alcohol to make conversation or to relax. It is all about feeling confident. Once you work on your confidence you will feel about about yourself and it will make you feel more relaxed I a group atmosphere.
  9. kgord

    kgord Community Champion

    I think social anxiety and the desire to belong to a group...for social protection is the reason my son developed an SA issue. I think it is still something he has to work on...but at least it does not take over his life anymore. He is doing very well, and for that I am grateful.
  10. FuZyOn

    FuZyOn Community Champion

    I think social anxiety might be an issue for drinkers, but in your situation you probably say that out of habit. :p I suffer from social anxiety and I've been sober for a while, I never thought drinking was a way of me coping with anxiety, I just did it because I was addicted.
  11. Vinaya

    Vinaya Community Champion

    I started drinking when I wanted to socialize with my friends who had drinking habits. later,in order to socialize myself in the parties, I began taking more drinks. Yes, there was some social anxiety, I always felt that I will appear nerd id I did not drink in the part where everyone was drinking.
  12. Tremmie

    Tremmie Community Champion

    I actually think that I did drink in order to send a better time, specially around people I didn't like that much. Drinking made it so easy for me to socialize with other people outside that circle. Oh yes, I loved the buzz drinking gave me back then, because I was super shy back then and alcohol made me lose my inhibitions completely. Now due my brain damage I no longer need alcohol to talk as freely as I do about everything.
  13. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    Some people drink to "fill the void," while others drink to escape from something that's haunting them. So what you said does hold water. They may or may not be pressured into drinking, but it's true - many people who resort to frequent alcohol intake may be suffering from social anxiety and they're having a hard time coping up with existing social standards and/or expectations. It helps to be brought up in a home where moral values are taught and children get to see the essence of "existence" from an early age.
  14. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    That's basically what I had to end up doing. Anxiety can be a pain in the ass, but I feel like when you confront it over and over again, it breaks it down. Once you keep putting yourself in situations that make you nervous, but slowly realize that nothing bad happens when you do, it's easier to deal with them. These days I'm a lot more comfortable dealing with people because I've just put myself in those situations alcohol-free repeatedly.
  15. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    I do know some who have that social anxiety as they will always invite someone for a drink. As if they cannot have conversation without having a drink or two. Agree that it was just fake confidence and can be overcome through various approaches like mentioned about facing your anxiety and get over it slowly.
  16. bleblanc10

    bleblanc10 Senior Contributor

    I know a lot of people that have a lot of trouble "Being normal" in a social setting unless they have had a few.
  17. tomservo

    tomservo Member

    Wow, this was an overwhelming amount of responses – lots to absorb here. Thanks so much everyone! It's relieving to know so many others seem to know exactly what I'm talking about here. Thanks again!
  18. djolem

    djolem Senior Contributor

    There are many reasons for this and social anxiety is one of them but in some early adolescent ages when one's confidence is not at the highest level possible. I drink for different reasons and most of them are quite romantic so my problem is not a real problem currently. I stopped recently because I felt too tired and my sudden active love life was this close to suffer.

    I have noticed some young people looking me strangely when I go out and drink non alcoholic beverage. That is multi layer problem in my society but I think in many other as well. They all believe going out is synonymous to getting drunk which is again synonymous to having fun and good time. That is so very wrong.
  19. henry

    henry Community Champion

    Yep, I know exactly where you're coming from. That anxiety makes us drink faster and we usually get wasted in a couple of hours. We want to get a little loose and end up being the shame of the party.
  20. ccain

    ccain Member

    I think everyone at some point has had a drink to help them loosen up, and i agree it is more common in social situations, particularly where there are mostly strangers surrounding you. It takes confidence and courage to go into any situation not knowing anyone and to make contact with someone. "liquid courage" is a handy crutch but it does not help to form lasting bonds, and often does not lend the drinker a very good first impression. Rest assured social anxiety is a common problem, with the help of close friends and possibly a therapist (depending on the severity of the situation) it can be conquered so you feel confident and in control when you go into a new situation.