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Alcohol has a direct effect on brain cells, resulting in poor judgement, difficulty making decisions (procrastination) and lack of insight. Nutrition problems which often accompany long-time alcohol abuse can be another contributing factor, since parts of the brain may be damaged by vitamin deficiencies.

What is an Alcoholic Blackout?

 

Alcohol has a direct effect on brain cells, resulting in poor judgement, difficulty making decisions (procrastination) and lack of insight. Nutrition problems which often accompany long-time alcohol abuse can be another contributing factor, since parts of the brain may be damaged by vitamin deficiencies.

There is a misconception about alcoholic “blackouts” with the majority of people believing that a “blackout” is a state of unconsciousness. You could be driving, walking, working or engaging in activities that require concentration and the effects of alcohol consumption take over rendering you with temporary amnesia. The potential consequences of a blackout are frightening.

People who experience blackouts suffer an impaired ability to decide and judge, or possess minimal or no control at all over their impulses. The occurrence of an alcohol induced blackout can be unpredictable both in severity and in timing. They can last for a few minutes or for much longer. There are stories of people having blackouts for up to a week and getting up to all kinds of behaviour.

According to medical researchers, when an individual experiences an alcohol induced blackout, his consciousness remains throughout the period, but he does not have complete recollection of what happened during that time. What transpired was not captured by the brain for recall.

What is Alcohol Dementia?

Those suffering from dementia may have very little ability to learn new things, while many of their other mental abilities are still highly functioning. Along with the decline in cognitive skills, sometimes noticeable personality changes take place. Many alcoholics suffer with mood disorders exacerbated by the use of alcohol.

Confusion may be the most obvious symptom of dementia, but this confusion is also accompanied by obvious memory problems. Those suffering from dementia may remember in great detail events that happened years ago, but are not able to recall events that took place in the past few minutes.

Many of us may say: “I had a senior’s moment” or “I have a lot on my plate and can’t remember everything!”  The truth of the matter is, we are in denial.  If we drink too much, the probability of alcohol dementia is on the horizon until we do something about our alcohol dependency.  The liver is forgiving but the brain is not so forgiving and alcohol dementia is irreversible.

Check out this medical web site for the warning signs for Alcohol Dementia

Alcohol, street drugs and prescription drugs all have one thing in common; they deplete your body and brain of essential natural chemicals, many of which keep you emotionally stable. They fire off excessive amounts of your brain’s neurotransmitters and endorphins, leaving near-empty sites in the brain.

Many alcoholics may have a limited back-up of natural chemicals in their brains even before using alcohol. The ability to use alcohol as a “quick fix” strongly appeals to alcoholics with unstable brains and nervous systems.

The unavailability of normal amounts of essential brain chemicals is most likely the reason that most alcoholics embrace ongoing alcohol abuse. It is their drug of choice to satisfy their serotonin and dopamine neurotransmitters.  Alcoholics who stop using alcohol to feed their unstable emotions will still experience cravings, depression, anxiety and unstable moods. Without the buffer of alcohol, they feel the full brunt of brain and nervous system changes that their alcohol abuse has caused.

Without embarking on a program of physical repair, feeling good is not just around the corner and uncomfortable symptoms linger for years if not treated. Mental, emotional and physical damage caused by excessive amounts of alcohol, will take time to adjust and heal. Counselling, Nutrition and Brain Chemistry supplementation will help speed up recovery.

Alcoholism is a disease of the emotions and it also kills brain cells.  You can help yourself with Tyrosine, Glutamine, Magnesium Ultra Potent, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin C.

Email me, Wendy Perkins, Specialist Addiction Counsellor for a free alcohol dependent assessment at counsellor@scoastnet.com.au or visit www.couragetochange.com.au