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Readers Respond: What Were Your Toughest Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms and How Did You Cope?

Responses: 12862


Updated September 22, 2012

To Blue

I know what lack of sleep feels like. Insomnia is a terrible thing to have. I have dealt with insomnia most of my adult life. I have also drank most of my adult life. Is there a connection? Absolutely. Most people believe, myself included, that alcohol helps sleep. Of course it does but only short term. It makes you pass out and even if you do sleep through the night, it is a disruptive sleep and you wake hardly rested, and hungover to boot. I was also hooked on sleeping pills, a z-drug that works like a benzo. Finally I got rid of both fighting through the withdrawal, and today, 9 months sober, my sleep is the best its ever been. Your body will regulate itself over time, its been so used to having sedatives in it. Be strong, fight through the withdrawals , and you will feel awesome before you know it.
—Guest Marilyn

To: remmus

Throwing up is part of the withdrawals. He needs to drink a lot of fluids (sports drinks) and eat something light (soup & crackers) even if he throws up. The rest of the withdrawals is a lot of emotions. He needs to ride it out. Read the posts about other withdrawals to help you out. Your a good daughter for being by his side. You might mention that there is AA to help him out to get and stay sober. It is free! Do not go buy him booze even if he asks for it. It does not help the withdrawals it will just make him go through it all again. Hugs to you Clue

To: Claude

Ask yourself honestly and deeply inside why you still have the need to drink when things in your life are geting better. Only YOU have the answers. Have you become addicted? Is it just for the pleasure of having a drink? Are there some problems still in your life that upset you? Why don't you try to stop drinking for a week or more and see what answers will come to your mind. It is being sober we can see things much clearer about our past and present time. Give a go and see how you feel. If you are coming onto this site, no doubt, you are looking for an answer to the WHY. I wish you to find it, and start you "new" life without all the problems that booze creates. Good luck. Keep posting, keep sharing, it helps. Yvan.
—Guest Yvan

To remmus

Your father gets very ill when he quits, at the same time he has no money for a doctor. That, remmus is not good news, and he refuses treatment. Going cold turkey is painful, very hard to go through. Well, you know. If he accepts to do something about it and achieving sobriety, I can only suggest one possibility: cutting down slowly, it doesn't matter how long it could take, as long as he is determined to do it. At the same time, he could start taking supplement as magnesium, vits B, drinking lots of fluids, and eating small quantities of food regularly. In his case, if he really wants to stop drinking, a treatment would be the best. Read here, there are many advice about withdrawals and how to ease the pain. I can only wish your father and you the best, and for him to come out of the vicious circle of quitting and relapsing. All the best. Yvan.
—Guest Yvan


My dad has been an alcoholic for a very long time now, but sometimes he quits for a week and Gets terribly ill and cannot keep anything down and i t scares me so much. He has no money for a doctor and refuses to get treatment but I get scared when he has withdrawals! I don't know what to do. Please help
—Guest remmus


I go without drinking 3-4 days and then I drink again. The insomnia is what gets me. I'm already taking Celexa and a mild benzo called Serax, I still don't sleep! I started drinking wine almost daily 2 years ago when my company went bankrupt, went from 1 to 2 small bottles of wine after a car accident this past October. After 3 days of not drinking I had a 6 pack of Amstel light yesterday and today. I don't care for beer so I'll try to taper that off by drinking 3 tomorrow, 2 the next and stop completely. Is a 6 pack of Amstel light equivalent in alcohol content to a bottle of wine? Hmmmm...
—Guest Blue

Started drinking after 2yrs sober

The symptoms are scary..I just came back after 2 yrs of job loss and other losses that threw into a deep depression. Now I have a job...things are going better and I started drinking again. Why ?
—Guest Claude

Start today

I have made the decision. Today is the first day of a new beginning. my son will be so happy! Ive recently have shown all the signs. One day at a time. I have developed enlarged red blood cells. Thank God he gave me a sign.
—Guest guest

To Duffy

Yes going cold turkey can kill. Seizures can cause heart attacks. It is a fact. Surf the web, you will get information how to stop drinking safely. If you have decided to go cold turkey, my only advice is, if things get bad or worse, seek medical help. I suppose you have read posts here from people withdrawing and the physical suffering that can occur. I went cold turkey last year, I ended up in hospital vomiting blood non stop. I could have died if I had been on my own. I wish you the best in your recovery. Read as much as you can here, there are a lot of advice shared by many of us about withdrawals. Yvan.
—Guest Yvan

To James Duffy

Im sorry to all those I scared with the grim story of withdrawal. It is a complex process that can be life threatening when done without medical treatment. It depends on many factors, how long you have drank, your medical history, your age, gender, etc. The chances of having life threatening withdrawals while under medical supervision are reduced dramatically. I am not a doctor but I have done a ton of research, I learnt a lot from my own personal experience and from others. Any concerns, talk to your doctor. It sounds like you have made the right step by coming onto this site. It has given me inspiration numerous times and it will be a source of inspiration to you also. Any problems you have or if you just want to vent we are all here for you. Good Luck.
—Guest Marilyn

To Fighting123

I'm so sorry to read you are still battling .. I read a quote today "Life is way to short to spend another day at war with yourself" and it reminded me of you. The war with addiction is wearing, destructive and ultimately futile. Feeding the beast makes me stronger, this is what I constantly try to remember when tempted more than 5 times a day to pick up. Come on Fighting, you want your life back, take it, say NO - the only things waiting on the other side are GOOD things, no sweats, no shakes, no anxiety or self loathing. Just say NO to the voice. Hug
—Guest Louise

It is Painful

Wow, I have been an alcoholic for over thirty years, binge pattern. Withdrawal? My symptoms are extreme anxiety, fear, panic, unless it's the weekend and I can snuff this out with a half pint of vodka. I work with people and computers, people are easy but the shakes hamper my typing.
—Guest statman

Just realized i have a problem

I was sure I was dying 3 days ago... I thought I had this under control. I am 33 yrs old and a foreman of a roofing company. I always thought I had it under control... worked hard and maintained for the most part. I take care of my elderly father (76) and my disabled brother. I have no control at the moment! and not sure I ever did, I went through something 3 days ago that scared the crap outta me. I drank for 4 days straight, with only eating for 1 day during my rampage, when it was all over.... it is hard to explain how I felt. I had no control over my body even though I was sober, I was seeing objects on the walls and in my carpets, I had the worst case of vertigo ever and couldn't lie down for about 2 days, I had convulsions and twitches which I had no control over, I was fading in and outta of consciousness for about 6hrs, my skin was crawling, panic, fear, no focus, blurred vision, didn't sleep for 2 days. I need help and I know it now! TY all for posting.
—Guest trying

Withdrawl kills

Started drinking when I retired. All day with people I got to know. Never used to drink much, now if I quit abruptly I die? do not believe this
—Guest James Duffy

Day 3

I am almost done with day 3. My Dr. asked 3 days ago if I was ready to quit drinking. I said yes. The withdrawals are minimal. I have continued to work out and I believe that helps. No cravings for alcohol. I fill my wine glass with diet 7Up
—Guest Roger

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What Were Your Toughest Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms and How Did You Cope?

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