Today I was wondering if my general not-feeling-so-crash-hot was due to recent colds and tummy infections, or was it possible to get alcohol withdrawal while going cold-turkey. I decided to consult Dr Internet. Clicking the first link that came up while searching “alcohol withdrawal” I got the following helpful advice (emphasis mine):
Alcohol withdrawal syndrome is a POTENTIALLY LIFE-THREATENING CONDITION…
I’m not sure what it said after that because my hypochondriac-prevention response kicked in, and I lost the ability to read for a few minutes until I calmed down a bit.
In essence: yes, there is such thing as alcohol withdrawal. These are the famous DTs I had heard about, and they effect heavy drinkers. Their central nervous system going into a hyper-excited mode because their bodies have been compensating for the shear amount of alcohol they have been saturating in. By way of compensation and to maintain equilibrium, their bodies have been mass-producing an amino acid that gives the feeling of excitability. No more alcohol means that the body is now has excessive amounts of this amino acid, and the body goes on an excitement bender. Symptoms include shakes, sweating, anxiety, nausea, insomnia, and headaches. And hallucinations.
I haven’t had any hallucinations (except for that creepy rabbit who keeps telling me the world is going to end, but he’s always hanging around), but I’ve had some form of the others for the past week or so.
Incidentally, the DTs stands for delirium tremens, which is apparently Latin for “shaking frenzy.” As a friend used to say to me: if you’re going to say something, say it in Latin. It make everything sound better.
Final note: Wikipedia also includes a bunch of colloquial names for the DTs, including: “the horrors”, “the bottleache”, “quart mania”, “ork orks”, “gallon distemper”, “barrel fever”,”the shakes”, and “the fear”.
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