Does withdrawal cause anxiety? (+9 Tips to cope)

The current blogpost will be answering if withdrawal causes anxiety. We will also be checking out the other effects of withdrawal that a person might go through. Finally, we will be listing some tips that you can use to deal with the anxiety caused by withdrawal.

Does withdrawal cause anxiety?

Yes, withdrawal causes anxiety. If you are trying to detox from a certain substance which you might have been addicted to for a good amount of time, you might experience numerous withdrawal symptoms, of which anxiety is a major one.

The main reason for the anxiety experienced during withdrawal is because your mind and body are both seeking homeostasis after your bout with the addiction. Due to these, you might experience a range of mental as well as physical effects.

Other effects of withdrawal

Apart from anxiety, withdrawal can lead to a number of other effects on the body, both physical as well as mental. Some effects of withdrawal that you might go through when you are trying to detox from a certain substance have been shared in the following section.

Feelings of depression

If you are trying to detox from a certain drug or substance that you have abused, you may experience feelings of depression aside from anxiety. You might feel that all the joy has been sucked out of your life and may look unhappy all time.

You may also experience crying fits and episodes as part of your withdrawal symptoms mainly caused by depression. This is again the mental and physical struggle of your body seeking homeostasis.

Changes in eating patterns

You may also experience changes in your appetite and eating patterns while going through withdrawal from a harmful substance or drug. For instance, you might find that your appetite has tremendously gone up and may eat constantly.

Some people also tend to eat certain things as a way of directly coping with the cravings. On the other hand, other people may experience a complete shutdown of appetite and may find it hard to eat in a healthy pattern again.

Problems in cognition

Withdrawal not only affects your emotions and your body but also your cognitive abilities. You might find that it becomes more and more difficult to concentrate on a particular task. If you are a student, you might find your homework piling up.

If you are working somewhere, you may even experience a dip in your performance as a result of not being able to focus and concentrate for long periods of time. During this time, it is important that you seek emotional support and the help of your friends and loved ones.

Fatigue and tiredness

You may also experience fatigue and tiredness as a result of detoxing from the substance or the drug. Often, the substance that you might have been abusing before might have been the source of your energy.

However, when you are detoxing from a certain harmful substance, your body might show instant fatigue and tiredness. During this phase, you might be tempted to go back to using the substance again, but these feelings will eventually go away soon.


Apart from losing the energy of the drug or whichever substance you were abusing before, the tiredness and fatigue that accompanies withdrawal is because of the intense sleeplessness that you might experience.

You might find it difficult to start sleeping or might also find yourself constantly waking up after you fall asleep. This not only leads  to physical fatigue in the long run, but also leads to problems in cognition.

Sudden and recurrent mood swings

Sudden mood swings are also positively related to withdrawal symptoms. You might sometimes feel very confident about everything being in your control. In these times, you might show impulsive and reckless behaviors.

On the other side of the coin, you may also go through a low dip where you feel that nothing is achievable and everything is pointless. In these moments of highs and lows, it is important that you take the help of your friends and your loved ones.

Cravings for alcohol and drugs

You may also experience a lot of craving for the substance that you are detoxing from. Other than that particular substance, you may also crave other substances like alcohol and drugs for the feelings of high that they may give you.

Lack of motivation

Another mental effect of withdrawal from a certain harmful substance is a lack of motivation. You might lose your inspiration and motivation to do certain things. You may also feel that you have no energy to get up and be productive during the day as a result of the withdrawal.

Anger and irritation at others

If you are going through a withdrawal, you can also be expected to show a lot of anger towards others. You might find that you are too easily irritated and frustrated at the actions of those around you.

Tips to deal with anxiety caused by withdrawal

If you are going through a withdrawal and as a result are experiencing a lot of anxiety, you can use the following tips to cope.

  • Keep practicing your self-care routine since this is the best way to deal with any type of stress. Self-care can be anything that is fully dedicated to improving your mood and your mental strength. You can also use a self-care buddy for this.
  • Another way to cope with anxiety caused by withdrawal is to work out regularly. Physical exercise releases hormones like dopamine and serotonin which give you a natural high. This not only helps with the anxiety, but also helps with the cravings.
  • You can also try your best to eat a healthy diet full of nutrient-dense foods. This is important since addictions can often interfere with your physical health. You can also seek a nutritionist’s help for a carefully curated diet plan.
  • Another technique that you can use to cope with the anxiety caused by your withdrawal is to maintain a daily journal. Journaling not only proves to be a great venting tool but can even be used to keep track of your trigger factors and your symptoms.
  • When you are going through a withdrawal, emotional support in the form of friends and loved ones becomes very important. Apart from the emotional support they give you, your friends can also help in increasing your accountability.

If you are someone who does not have close friends or loved ones to lean on, you can always join a support group which can be found physically or even online. You can even take the help of online forums where you might get a lot of useful information.

  • While you are going through a withdrawal, remember to take it easy on yourself. It can be difficult to manage withdrawal and work or school, so consider taking a break. Take time to rest and heal and completely rejuvenate.
  • You can also use relaxation techniques and exercises to calm yourself down whenever you are experiencing anxiety attacks. There are many exercises you can use, like deep breathing, mindfulness activities and even grounding activities.
  • If you are finding it very hard to deal with your anxiety and your addiction, you can try going to therapy. In therapy sessions, you will find a healthy space to vent and express yourself. You will also learn new and efficient coping strategies.
  • Finally, it is important to remember that these feelings are temporary and will go away. You can keep reminding yourself of this through affirmations, by creating a vision board or by listening to a self-help audiobook.


The current blogpost has answered if withdrawal causes anxiety. We have also checked out the other effects of withdrawal that a person might go through. Finally, we have listed some tips that you can use to deal with the anxiety caused by withdrawal.

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