We have all heard, at some point, the term “blacked out”. What exactly does it mean? A blackout is a partial or total memory loss caused by abusive alcohol consumption. While long-term memories remain unaffected and intact, excessive alcohol intake disrupts the brain’s ability to shape memories. This phenomenon is called a “blackout” and is commonly associated with an alcohol addiction.
Someone struggling with an addiction may not realize they have a problem. Not only do they often deny being in a drunken state, but a blackout does not raise any alarm in their minds. They simply sleep it off and go on about their normal routine – which often finds them drinking heavily again the next day.
However, the effects of drinking so much that you blackout – especially if this is a common occurrence – can be astronomical. Whether you choose to drink during the day or at night, it’s never a good time to blackout, and here’s why.
Being Blacked Out Affects You More than You Realize
Even though it may seem harmless, like you are just going to sleep, blackouts can lead to more serious issues. To reach this stage, it typically takes a lot of alcohol consumption at a very rapid rate.
Here’s what can happen:
- Depending on the amount of alcohol you consume, your memory loss could become a more permanent condition as you move from losing short-term memory to being unable to form any new long-term memories.
- You may wake up with bruises and possibly broken bones from falling into walls, furniture, and hard floors.
- Your relationships can become distant – at best – as loved ones are likely to become agitated with your behavior and addiction.
- You may become weak and fatigued and begin to lose weight rapidly as your liver starts to shut down.
- Your blood pressure may rise as your heart fights to stay healthy. You may even experience a stroke or worse.
- Your pancreas can also become toxic.
- You may wonder why you keep getting sick but your immune system may be weakening, making you a prime target for disease.
Your Blackout is Your Loved Ones’ Burnout
Although your husband, wife, child or best friend may seem like a terrible nag, your struggle is their struggle too.
Here’s what’s going on with your loved ones while you’re blacked out:
- They worry about your health – liver damage, brain damage, heart disease, diabetes, hurting yourself in your dark state, etc.
- They can become frustrated with your lack of ability to remember anything.
- They most likely have to take up the slack especially if you have kids together.
- The kids often miss out the most because they just want to play with you!
- Even if you don’t have kids or a spouse, your friends can be heavily affected when they need to lean on you and you aren’t around.
- They likely endure a tremendous amount of stress as they continue to worry about how your alcoholism will affect your lives together now and in the future.
As you can see, now is not the best time for you to be blacked out. Nor is ever. Blacked out stages are dangerous and can take a toll on yourself and loved ones. Do you find yourself in this state often? Alcoholism may be the culprit and drug and alcohol education along with rehab or individual counseling may be needed to help you with your addiction recovery.
If you are not sure where to turn, contact us and we can connect you with someone who can help.