If anyone has ever drank a lot on any particular night, then they probably know that the morning brings with it a horrible experience known as a hangover. However, a hangover is actually a way to categorize and lump together several symptoms that one experiences after drinking too much. This short series, ‘All About Hangovers’, will go over the causes and effects of a hangover, and how exactly it can be damaging to your body. After all, a hangover is essentially your body’s way of telling you to not drink so much…

Emotional symptoms of a hangover

Not all of the negative aspects of a hangover are physical (although those are certainly some of the most dangerous). Alcohol is a substance that can impact our emotions in heavy ways, while we are on it, and make us feel artificial happiness. However, taking away that substitutes can cause emotional challenges, which occur when one is hungover. People who are hungover frequently experience intense feelings of anxiety, and even depression, in some cases, depending on the level of alcohol consumption from the night before. This makes a hungover person quite lethargic, and can make it hard to reach a higher energy level until the body stabilizes itself. This can also make an individual highly susceptible to irritability, when they might not be, otherwise.

Some emotional symptoms of a hangover derive from circumstance, rather than from chemical effects. For example, many people experiencing a hangover may have intense feelings of shame and regret, but this isn’t necessarily caused by the effects of alcohol leaving the body (although it might be intensified by them). When individuals consume high amounts of alcohol, they tend to do foolish things, or at least things that they certainly wouldn’t while they were sober. When one wakes up without the artificial high energy that alcohol gives them, then the sober realizations of what they did the night before can cause negative feelings that contribute to the depression of a hangover.

How to treat a hangover

One thing that alcoholics are always looking for is a way to cure their hangovers. However, the simple truth is that the best way to prevent hangovers is to simply drink responsibly, or not at all. According to the CDC, an average adult male should never have more than 4 alcoholic drinks in a day, while women should not exceed 3. Another way that people get drunk too quickly is by neglecting to drink water when they are also drinking alcohol. Dehydration is one of the largest factors of a hangover, and so water should always be had in-between drinks.