Alcohol Withdrawals – Signs and Symptoms

I wanted to share this information with you all, because I think it is incredibly important.

When I was 28 years old, I was already experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms from my drinking. At the time, I didn’t realize I was experiencing withdrawals at all. I didn’t even know that there was such a thing as alcohol withdrawal. I had assumed I just had some pretty wicked hangovers.

I did not realize that withdrawals were dangerous, often considered a medical emergency, or that they could be fatal. I did not know that I could suffer from seizures, hallucinations or die from alcohol withdrawal.

I was 28 years old, sitting in a treatment facility, when I learned just how dangerous my withdrawals had been, and I remember feeling nauseous. I couldn’t believe how much damage I had put my body through, and I probably still don’t know the full scope of the long-term impact my drinking will have on my life.

Today, I can’t help but wonder how many other people are out there experiencing the same symptoms and ignoring them because they assume they are just hungover.

This is why I share my story. This is why I am so open about my recovery. Not because I want your attention or applause, but because I simply want to help someone else avoid suffering the pain and despair of going through what I went through.

I just want to help others, just like the women who helped me.

I am not here to tell anyone they are, or are not, an alcoholIc or an addict. I am not here to judge you for your drinking habits, or any of your life choices for that matter. I am not here to tell “normal drinkers” that they should quit, or convince people that alcohol should be illegal. I am simply sharing this information with you in hopes that it will reach the person who needs it. I hope this information can be used educate friends/children/parents, or at the very least, start an open dialogue about the dangers of alcohol abuse.

If you read this information, and it reminds you of yourself, please do not be afraid to reach out for help. If you read this information and it reminds you of someone you love, please do not be afraid to share it with them!

There are 3 stages of alcohol withdrawal. If you are a heavy drinker, it is important to seek medical guidance and/or attention prior to quitting.

Stage 1

  • Anxiety
  • Tremors
  • Fatigue/Depression
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • High Blood pressure/Heart Palpitations
  • Insomnia

Stage 2

  • Confusion
  • Abnormal heart rate
  • Excessive sweating
  • Irritability/Mood swings
  • Breathing problems

Stage 3

  • High fever
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Death

Alcohol has an impact of the entire human body. What most people fail to recognize, is that the impact of alcohol remains long after the actual substance has left the body. Some damage, especially neurological, is irreparable. Some can be treated with medication or abstinence. WernickeKorsakoff Syndrome, also known as “Wet Brain”, is considered alcohol related brain damage and can leave a person permanently impaired.

Wernicke’s encephalopathy causes various symptoms, such as:

  • Confusion
  • Memory Loss
  • Loss of muscle coordination
  • Coma
  • Death

Additionally, Korsakoff psychosis may result from permanent damage to areas of the brain involved with memory.

Symptoms may include:

  • Amnesia or short-term memory loss.
  • difficulty comprehending basic information
  • Difficulty speaking
  • difficulty putting words into context
  • Vision problems
  • hallucinations

We have to learn to have uncomfortable conversations with the people we love. If we love them, we cannot be afraid to help them – even if it upsets them. You would be surprised how many lives are saved because someone had the courage to start an “uncomfortable” conversation! 💜

Xoxo,

~V~

3 thoughts on “Alcohol Withdrawals – Signs and Symptoms

Add yours

  1. I probably experienced those. I thought it was because I had gone without a cigarette for a while…

    Honestly I didn’t know about withdrawals from alcohol.. but it makes sense!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It was my epilepsy that made me afraid of giving up without trying to slowly cut down first (which was the recommended approach that my GP advised) – especially given that I’m still having problems with the hip I broke last April (caused by a seizure at the top of the stairs). I’m waiting for the femoral screws to be removed and they’re causing all the grief now, and my meds control me quite well, so I just decided to go for it.

    Six weeks later, I’m still sober. All that time and money wasted on alcohol is put to far better use now, and I no longer watch the clock for “beer o’clock” to roll round 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Congratulations! I am so proud of you! I have an app that estimates how much money I’ve saved since I quit drinking, and at day $1,735 I’ve got an estimated savings of $15,000!!! WOW! I get to spend that money on meaningful things today, like trips with my family or fun adventures with my daughter. Keep on going, my friend! It gets better and better!

      Liked by 1 person

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