Anxiety re alcohol related fears - British Liver Trust

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Anxiety re alcohol related fears

Straightface profile image


Hope you don't mind me asking the question but I just wondered if anyone else had driven themselves mad by googling symptoms and then convincing themselves they had every one of them.

I have one spider nevi (which has to be magnified to see) but I now think I have cirrhosis.

I sometimes feel like I am going mad. I know I should not be like this but I can't seem to shrug all these fears off.

I am going to make an appointment at doctors to get checked.

I feel perfectly well apart from all the anguish I am putting myself through.

Just wondered if anyone else was like me and how they managed to overcome it.

thank you

22 Replies

Hello I am in the same boat. I feel like I drink to much and I was terrified years ago everything was fine. Now I started drinking again 5 months ago and I’m afraid within this 5 months I did damage

hi Lisadell

So sorry to hear that. You say you have done damage, Do you mean with your anxieties or with your health.

Depression and anxiety is a terrible thing

Hi Straightface

I can totally relate to you my old dad used to say you'll be dead in a week according to Dr Google 😀 and I'm still here nearly 3 years later. I had everything going I now just rely on the specialists.

Keep well.

Hayley xx

Hi bintcliffe

Yep your dad is right. It is all doom and gloom on dr google. I suppose I should not take it all in. So glad that you are keeping well.

Thank you so much.

You keep well too xxxx

Unfortunately the vast majority of the folks on here we see who have health anxiety tend to be people who are aware they have been drinking too much and then do as you do i.e. hunt out every teeny possible symptom and convince themselves they have cirrhosis.

Fortunately for folks where alcohol has been the issue the answer and route to better health is alcohol cessation, for some this realisation comes a bit too late but for most folks where booze is the problem, sobriety is the answer.

Get yourself checked out then make the positive lifestyle changes required to prevent anything from happening to your liver, as i've said to you before a single microscopic spider naevi (even if that's what it is) is not enough to indicate cirrhosis.


Hi Katie

Yep you are right. I thank you for your reply.

It is hard to think straight sometimes when the anxieties take over.

It doesn't look like one on the pictures as It is a small star shape with four lines radiating from it,but I can't think what else it could be. Wish I could and then I could stop worrying. Maybe someone might have an idea

Many thanks

Get the anxiety under control as it seems you are worrying and the drinking will not help with that at all. If you think you have Cirrhosis you would have more health issues than what you are worrying about, but please go see your Gp for the help/questions you want before it really gets out of control and stay away from Google, it really isn't your friend unless you want to know what the capital of Mongolia is........its Ulaanbaatar by the way lol. All the best.


Laura009 profile image
Laura009 in reply to Ashw88

🤣🤣You are a fountain of knowledge Ash .... whats the population?

FlyingArrow profile image
FlyingArrow in reply to Laura009

Population! 😅👍

Ashw88 profile image
Ashw88 in reply to Laura009

Well the figures these days are awfully political so I cannot give a definitive answer to such a conundrum 😉😂👍oooooo I say I impress myself sometimes, not often but sometimes lol 🤣🤣

Laura009 profile image
Laura009 in reply to Ashw88


Straightface profile image
Straightface in reply to Ashw88

Thank you for your reply Ashley. All you say makes sense. I suppose I would have more symptoms. As you say google is not my friend. You take care too. Many thanks

If you’ve recently stopped or cut down alcohol as your title suggests, it’ll be an anxious time anyway. It’s a cruel irony that drinkers think they need alcohol to relax, but the stress is caused by their dependence on alcohol in the first place.

When I first quit, I wasn’t particularly worried about health, but I was agitated and restless. When a drinker quits, they suddenly have a lot more free time, which is great but means more time to fret about any worries. Those feelings go within a few weeks (as long as they stay quit).

By all means speak to your GP, but if you can use the new extra time in other ways, that may help too.

Thank you so much for your reply.

Yes it certainly is the worst time to try and quit. I can't get out much for covid either so that doesn't help either.

I just wish i could stop all this health anxiety. Just so wished I had never googled symptoms. As everyone says it is the worst thing you can do, but once it's in your head it's very hard to put it out.

Like you say hopefully it will pass.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Hoping you keeping well

Hi there - according to Google I should be long gone. When I went to a specialist for stomach issues and he wanted me to have an endoscopy but first an ultrasound but said to me "how long have you had that spider vein on your chest" to this day I cannot see it. Of course I googled and thought the worst. I had the endos and ultra and was told very mild fatty liver and no sign at all of cirrhosis. That was 4 years ago.

Anxiety is a bummer and needs a kick up the btm. But you are not alone so don't worry.



Hi Gwen

Thank you so much for replying.

Was it a spider nevi you had on your chest.

I feel in such a bad place at the moment. I don't want to worry my family so am trying to deal with it on my own which is very hard.

You are right it is such a bummer.


Please try and make an appointment with the doctor for some simple tests, you are worrying yourself unnecessarily over a tiny dot that you've admitted you can only see with a magnifying mirror and which you've also said doesn't look anything like the pictures of spider angioma you've seen online.

You are going round and round in circles here reaching out to everyone and anyone who has had a skin blemish - only a doctor can tell you if you really have anything to be concerned about.

Please seek medical help and get the simple tests done which will let you know if there is anything at all untoward. The more you try and convince yourself that this teeny blemish means something the more symptoms you are going to develop just because stress can cause symptoms - real or not to become worse.

I am trying to be supportive rather than bossy here but we can only support via our experiences and in that we are probably not the right folks to reassure you because our experience is either as patients with liver disease or loved ones of those who have liver disease and we don't know yet whether you do or not because only a doctor can tell you that.


Hi Katie. Thank you so much. I know you are being supportive and I really appreciate that. You are completely correct in what you say. I guess I am just frightened of going to see doctor. It is driving me mad and I know that is the only answer. I will try a get the courage to go. Thank you for all your kind support. Take care xx

Hi, yes a nevi were his words and when he wrote to me after consultation he reported a spider nevi on my chest - but laughingly also his report said and 2 on my back - well he must have x-ray vision because my back was covered completely with a t-shirt and he did not look at it!!!!!!!!

hi sunnysmile

Thank you for letting me know. You made me feel better.

At least that gives me hope that spider nevi can appear and not mean cirrhosis. (can't think how he can have seen the others, maybe he has got x ray vision)

I will try now to stop worrying because as someone else kindly pointed out, you can think yourself into other symptoms as as well , which is what I am starting to do.

I so thank you, and hope that you are keeping well


I’m going through this now. It’s frustrating.,

Alcohol changes levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, which can worsen anxiety. In fact, you may feel more anxious after the alcohol wears off. Alcohol-induced anxiety can last for several hours, or even for an entire day after drinking. Using alcohol to cope with social anxiety disorder can be dangerous.

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