Nausea, headache and fatigue are normally the first things that come to mind when you ask someone to describe a nasty hangover, but everyone is quick to forget the psychological effects of a big night.
You probably know these “psychological effects” better by their colloquial names such as a case of the grog horrors, hangxiety or the Sunday blues.
These phrases are normally used amongst friends while trying to piece together the night before and they tend to go down best over bacon and eggs with a side of premature complaining about how shit everyone is going to feel in a few hours time.
But, after all the lighthearted banter is all said and done, it is important to note that they are real phenomenons and that for many people these phrases are shorthand for a loss of control over the previous night, the following day and their relationship with alcohol.
If you still don’t quite know what I’m talking about or you’ve never heard these terms used, there are two main types of hangxiety; The Guilt and The Fear.
When you bail on plans, normally brunch, family or exercise related due to feeling so sick you can’t move or in some cases because you haven’t gotten home yet. You know that you shouldn’t have said yes to the plans in the first place and now you’ve upset people you care about by disappointing and inconveniencing them last minute. Not only does this cause tension and anxiety but it also makes you feel guilty about not being able to live up to your commitments.
When you don’t remember what you did or said the previous night and more importantly whether it was good or bad. You spend half the day avoiding your phone because it might contain incriminating evidence and you tiptoe around people you love out of fear that you either embarrassed yourself or offended them. The Fear makes you feel ashamed (even if you have no reason to be) and it forces you into a state of anxiety.
So, how do you stop or at least mitigate these feelings?
Stop drinking altogether. Not only does this stop the onset of the grog horrors completely, it means you’ll definitely remember the events of the night before. This will also allow you to look back and compare how different you feel with and without alcohol as an influence.
If you plan on having a lot to drink, organise the following day accordingly and don’t plan to tick off your entire bucket list. On the other hand, if you have something you know is important on the next morning, drink accordingly and listen to yourself when it is time to stop.
So, whether you’re gearing up for a silly weekend or you’ve just woken up on the wrong side of the bender. If you find yourself with a bad case of the grog horrors, use them to examine your relationship with alcohol and how it might be impacting other aspects of your life and mental health.
If you are struggling with your relationship to alcohol or you just need a yarn, text or call TIACS on 0488 846 988 to chat to a qualified psychologist.