Saturday, July 30, 2011

Seven Days Sober: Withdrawal Symptoms, Pt 1

It is usually recommended that those who wish to stop drinking consult their medical professional and proceed under medical care.  Withdrawal from alcohol can kill you.  However, that doesn't mean that everyone must undergo a medical detox in order to stop drinking.  

Generally, the more you drank and the more often you drank, the more important it is to have a doctor involved in the withdrawal process.  This topic could run to several pages, and I will likely have more than one post on it.  Today I will list the basic symptoms you may experience during the first few days of sobriety.

Withdrawal Symptoms:

Mild to moderate psychological symptoms:

  •     Feeling of jumpiness or nervousness
  •     Feeling of shakiness
  •     Anxiety
  •     Irritability or easily excited
  •     Emotional volatility, rapid emotional changes
  •     Depression
  •     Fatigue
  •     Difficulty with thinking clearly
  •     Bad dreams

Mild to moderate physical symptoms:

  •     Headache - general, pulsating
  •     Sweating, especially the palms of the hands or the face
  •     Nausea and Vomiting
  •     Loss of appetite
  •     Insomnia, sleeping difficulty
  •     Paleness
  •     Rapid heart rate (palpitations)
  •     Eyes, pupils different size (enlarged, dilated pupils)
  •     Skin, clammy
  •     Abnormal movements
  •     Tremor of the hands
  •     Involuntary, abnormal movements of the eyelids

The symptoms below are dangerous. If you begin to feel anything like them, you should get help immediately.  Also, if you have ever had one of these symptoms during a prior attempt at sobriety, it is imperative that you seek medical help before proceeding. 

Severe symptoms:

  •     A state of confusion and visual hallucinations (delirium tremens)
  •     Agitation
  •     Fever
  •     Convulsions and seizures
   

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