What Are Blackouts? – Alcohol-related blackouts are gaps in a person’s memory for events that occurred while they were intoxicated. These gaps happen when a person drinks enough alcohol to temporarily block the transfer of memories from short-term to long-term storage—known as memory consolidation—in a brain area called the hippocampus.
- 1 Is it unhealthy to blackout?
- 2 Should you see a doctor if you blackout?
Is it unhealthy to blackout?
Even though a person’s inability to remember a drunk night can seem funny at times, it can actually become a very dangerous habit. Repeatedly blacking out can lead to changes in the brain’s functioning over time and can be damaging for a person’s memory.
Is blackout good for sleep?
What to Know About Blackout Curtains Medically Reviewed by on November 14, 2022 A quality night’s sleep leaves you feeling energized, refreshed, and prepared to take on your day. But many people struggle to get enough sleep. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 70 million Americans experience chronic sleep issues.
- If you suffer from or a disorder like insomnia, you can use blackout curtains to get a better night’s rest.
- Many people install blackout curtains in their bedrooms or other sleep spaces.
- This simple fabric can drastically improve the length and quality of your sleep, but it does have one potential downside.
Discover the purpose and pros and cons of blackout curtains. Blackout curtains are fabric drapes or shades that cover your windows. They block out sunlight and artificial light from passing cars, streetlights, and other sources. These shades can provide an extra layer of protection over blinds, which tend to have gaps that allow light to leak through.
With blackout curtains, you can sleep in near-total darkness any time of the day or night, even if you live in an urban area with light pollution. Many people use blackout curtains in their sleeping areas to reduce exposure to morning sunlight and other light sources. The human body produces in the dark.
This naturally occurring hormone helps regulate your body’s circadian rhythms, or natural sleep-wake cycle. Blackout curtains prevent light from disrupting the creation of melatonin, allowing you to fall asleep faster and keep snoozing longer. Across the globe, many people use blackout curtains to aid sleep.
Allowing shift workers and other people who need to sleep during the day to rest in darknessEliminating or reducing light exposure, which can disrupt your sleep and leave you feeling too tired during the dayHelping maintain your natural circadian rhythmIncreasing the privacy of your home at night Reducing your home cooling costs by shading your bedroom from summer sunlight
By improving the duration and quality of your sleep, blackout curtains can also enhance your overall health. Sleep affects every system in your body, including your cardiovascular, digestive, and nervous systems. Getting adequate rest reduces your risk of developing chronic health conditions associated with sleep insufficiency, like:
AnxietyCoronary heart diseaseDepression HypertensionMetabolic disordersObesity StrokeType 2 diabetesWork-related accidents
Blackout curtains can prevent these disorders and injuries by helping you consistently get a good night’s risk. Blackout curtains have few health disadvantages. However, manufacturers may produce blackout curtains or roller blinds using polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
Air and groundwater pollution Damage to the immune and reproductive systemsFormation of landfill gases, which can lead to landfill firesIncreased risk of developing brain and liver cancerLiver damage
The CHEJ recommends purchasing blackout curtains, drapes, and other window furnishings made from fabric instead of PVC to avoid these issues. How do you know if blackout curtains would help you? While everyone can benefit from less light exposure during sleep, blackout curtains are most valuable for people with sleep deficiencies and disorders.
Generally, most adults require seven to nine hours of sleep daily. Younger people require more sleep to support their development and growth. For example, a newborn should sleep 14 to 17 hours a day, and teenagers need eight to 10 hours. If you don’t regularly receive the recommended sleep for your age bracket, you may have a sleep deficiency.
This lack of sleep can cause symptoms like:
Decreased energyDelayed reaction timesFeeling like you can’t think or process information quicklyHeadachesIncreased anxietyIrritabilityLimited memoryPoor decision-making and risky behaviorsShrinking attention spanSleepiness during the day
Sleep deprivation builds up over time and can lead to more severe symptoms, including:
Dangerous or impulsive behavior Difficulty speaking Drooping eyelidsFalling asleep involuntarily for a few secondsHallucinationsTrembling handsTwitching eyes
Blackout curtains can help you get more sleep and reduce or eliminate symptoms of chronic sleep deprivation. Blackout curtains can improve your sleep by reducing light exposure, but they may not fully solve sleep deficiencies and disorders. Other strategies that you can use to boost your sleep hygiene include:
Banning smartphones and other devices that emit harmful blue light from the bedroomEstablishing a consistent bedtime routineKeeping your bedroom cool or warm enough, depending on your preferencesLimiting your consumption of alcohol and caffeine before you sleepStaying physically active during the dayTaking prescription medications that help you fall and stay asleep
Using blackout curtains and other sleep hygiene methods can help you experience deeper, longer, and more refreshing sleep. Sleep has a significant effect on every aspect of your health, so it’s worth investing in a few tools that will make your bedtime pleasant and productive. © 2022 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved. : What to Know About Blackout Curtains
Should you see a doctor if you blackout?
What should you do if you faint? – Let’s face it, this can be scary! More often than not, fainting will not lead to a diagnosis of a serious medical condition, but it is always best to call your doctor and get checked out. Your doctor will go over your medical history and perform a physical exam.
- If there is concern your fainting episode could be a predictor of something for more serious, such as a heart condition, you will likely receive a series of tests.
- Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) – records the electrical activity of your heart.
- Holter monitor – an EKG that detects abnormal heart rhythms by continually recording your heartbeat for up to 24-48 hours.
Tilt table test – monitors blood pressure and heart rhythm while table tilts at different angles. While it might be easier to just try and forget about your fainting episode, it is best to stay on top of it. Give your physician or cardiologist a call and get checked out.
What does it feel like before you blackout?
Search Encyclopedia Fainting is also called syncope. It’s a brief loss of consciousness. It lasts just a minute or two, followed by a quick complete recovery. This is typically linked with a loss of postural tone that leads to falling down or needing to lie down.
- In an otherwise healthy person, fainting may not be cause for alarm.
- But in rare cases, it can be a sign of a serious underlying health condition.
- Syncope is usually caused by a sudden drop in blood pressure or heart rate that causes decreased blood flow to the brain.
- Before fainting, you may have sweaty palms, dizziness, lightheadedness, problems seeing, or nausea.
In young people, the problem usually has no serious cause, though falls related to fainting can lead to injury. But in some cases, it can be due to an underlying heart problem that is more concerning. Triggers include:
Severe stress Fear or other strong emotions Standing for a long time Suddenly standing up Coughing very hard Dehydration or loss of body fluid Overheating Very rarely, stimulants, such as caffeine
Fainting in an older person, a person with heart disease, or during exertion, or while lying down can be a cause for concern. In any of these cases you should call your healthcare provider. It’s important to try to diagnose the cause of the fainting. Finding the cause may be difficult if the fainting was a one-time event. Serious causes include:
Fast or slow abnormal heart rhythms Coronary artery disease Severe heart valve disease Blood clot in the lung (pulmonary embolism) Low red blood cell count (anemia) or blood loss Medicine side effects Dehydration, although this is not very common
Most people who faint stay out a few seconds to less than a minute. If the person is unconscious for a longer time, call 911.Always let your healthcare provider know if you fainted.
What does it feel like when your about to blackout?
Understanding fainting Fainting happens when you lose consciousness for a short amount of time because your brain isn’t getting enough oxygen. The medical term for fainting is syncope, but it’s more commonly known as “passing out.” A fainting spell generally lasts from a few seconds to a few minutes.
- Feeling lightheaded, dizzy, weak, or nauseous sometimes happens before you faint.
- Some people become aware that noises are fading away, or they describe the sensation as “blacking out” or “whiting out.” A full recovery usually takes a few minutes.
- If there’s no underlying medical condition causing you to faint, you may not need any treatment.
Fainting isn’t usually a cause for concern, but it can sometimes be a symptom of a serious medical problem. If you have no previous history of fainting and you’ve fainted more than once in the past month, you should talk to your doctor.
What damage can a blackout cause?
Protect Your Computer From Power Surges and Outages – Power outages can damage system files and data, and the subsequent power spikes can destroy hardware. As such, if you live in a neighborhood with unstable power, you should take the time to protect against both and save some headaches.
What part of the brain gets shutdown during a blackout?
My drinking years: ‘Everyone has blackouts, don’t they?’ I ‘m in Paris for work, which is exactly as great as it sounds. I eat dinner at a fancy restaurant and drink cognac — the booze of kings and rap stars. Somewhere near midnight, I tumble into a cab with my friend, and the night starts to stutter and skip.
- How did we get back so fast? I walk through the front door of my hotel, alone.
- It’s that time of night when every floor has a banana peel and, if I’m not careful, I might find my face against the ground, my hands braced beside me.
- I exchange a few pleasantries with the concierge, a bit of theatre to prove I’m not too drunk.
The last thing I hear is my heels, steady as a metronome, echoing through the lobby. And then there is nothing. This happens to me sometimes. A curtain falling in the middle of the act, leaving minutes and sometimes hours in the dark. But anyone watching me wouldn’t notice.
- They’d simply see a woman on her way to somewhere else, with no idea her memory just snapped in half.
- It’s possible you don’t know what I’m talking about.
- Maybe you’re a moderate drinker who baby-sips two glasses of wine and leaves every party at a reasonable hour.
- Maybe you are one of those lucky people who can slurp your whisky all afternoon and never disappear.
But if you’re like me, you know the thunderbolt of waking up to discover a blank space where pivotal scenes should be. My evenings come with trapdoors. I don’t know how much time I lose in this darkness. Or what takes place. When the curtain lifts again, this is what I see: there is a bed, and I’m on it.
The lights are low. Sheets are wrapped around my ankles, soft and cool against my skin. I’m on top of a guy I’ve never seen before, and we’re having sex. ‘For the blackout drinker, it’s the question that launches another shitty Saturday. How did I get here?’ Hold on. Can this be right? I’m having sex with a man, and I’ve never seen him before.
It’s as if the universe dropped me into someone else’s body. But I seem to be enjoying it. I’m making all the right sounds. I collapse beside him and weave my legs through his. I wonder if I should be worried right now, but I’m not scared. I don’t mean to suggest I’m brave.
- I mean to suggest you could break a piece of plywood over my head, and I would smile, nod, and keep going.
- The guy isn’t bad-looking.
- You really know how to wear a guy out,” he says.
- It seems unfair that he should know me and I don’t know him, but I’m unsure of the etiquette.
- I should go,” I tell him.
He gives an annoyed laugh. “You just said you wanted to stay.” So I stay with the stranger in the shadows of a room I do not recognise, looking out on to a city that is not my home. As I lie in the crook of his arm, I have so many questions. But one is louder than the others.
- In literature, it’s the question that launches grand journeys, because heroes are often dropped into deep, dark jungles and forced to machete their way out.
- But for the blackout drinker, it’s the question that launches another shitty Saturday.
- How did I get here? I was a freelance writer, which meant I spent most days hungover in front of the TV.
I watched talk shows about all the things that could secretly harm me: my soap, my boyfriend, my diet. I remember one segment about “roofies”, or date rape drugs. This was 2007, but I’d been hearing about roofies since the late 1990s: odourless, colourless substances dropped into a drink to erase memory, like something out of a sci-fi movie.
- Every once in a while, motherly types (including my actual mother) worried I might be vulnerable to this invisible menace.
- In fact, I had a different drinking problem, although I wouldn’t have used the word “problem”, at least not without air quotes.
- One morning, I woke up in the living room of a good-looking guy’s apartment.
The last thing I remembered was talking to my friend Lisa the night before. She held both my hands. “Do not go home with that guy,” she said, and I said, “I promise.” Then I went back into the bar and he ordered us another round. This was the kind of excitement I wanted from a single life in New York, the kind of excitement I was hoping to find when I left Texas at the age of 31.
- I wanted stories, and I understood drinking to be the fuel of all adventure.
- The best evenings were the ones you might regret.
- I had sex with some random dude and woke up on a leaking air mattress,” I texted my friend Stephanie.
- Congratulations!” she texted back. Awesome.
- These were the responses I got from female friends when I told them about my drunken escapades.
Most of my friends were married by this point. Sometimes they wondered aloud what being unattached in their 30s would be like, careening around the city at 2am. Once, I’d got so blasted at a party, I woke up in a dog’s bed, in someone else’s house. “Do you think you got roofied?” my friend asked me. ‘I needed alcohol to drink away the things that plagued me. Not just my doubts about sex. My self-consciousness, my loneliness, my insecurities, my fears.’ I did worry I drank too much. Actually, I had worried for a long time. I slipped in a club one night and bashed my kneecap.
I fell down staircases (yes, plural). Sometimes I only skidded down a few steps – gravity problems, I used to joke – and then a few times I sailed to the bottom like a rag doll. I knew blacking out was bad, but it wasn’t that big a deal, right? In my 20s, friends called with that hush in their voice to tell me they’d woken up beside some guy.
Not just me. Thank God. In my early 30s, I used to have brunch with a sardonic guy who bragged about his blackouts. He called it “time travel”, which sounded so nifty, like a supernatural power. I was laughing about my blackouts by then, too. I used to joke I was creating a show called CSI: Hangover, because I would be forced to dig around the apartment like a crime scene investigator, rooting through receipts and other detritus to build a plausible theory of the night’s events.
- But there’s a certain point when you fall down the staircase, and you look around, and no one is amused any more.
- As I inched into my 30s, I found myself in that precarious place where I knew I drank too much, but I believed I could manage it somehow.
- I was seeing a therapist, and when I talked to her about my blackouts, she gasped.
I bristled at her concern. “Everyone has blackouts,” I told her. She locked eyes with me. “No, they don’t.” For many years, I was confounded by my blackouts, but the mechanics are quite simple. The blood reaches a certain alcohol saturation point and shuts down the hippocampus, part of the brain responsible for making long-term memories.
You drink enough, and that’s it. Shutdown. No more memories. Your short-term memory still works, but short-term memory lasts less than two minutes, which explains why wasted people can follow a conversation from point to point, but they will repeat themselves after some time has passed – what a friend of mine calls “getting caught in the drunkard’s loop”.
The tendency to repeat what you just said is a classic sign of a blackout, although there are others. “Your eyes go dead, like a zombie,” a boyfriend once told me. “It’s like you’re not there at all.” People in a blackout often get a vacant, glazed-over look, as though their brain is unplugged.
- And, well, it kind of is.
- Although some people learned to detect my blackouts, most could not.
- Blackouts are sneaky like that.
- There is no definitive way to tell when someone is having one.
- And people in a blackout can be surprisingly functional: you can talk and laugh and charm people at the bar with funny stories of your past.
The next day, your brain will have no imprint of these activities, almost as if they didn’t happen. Once memories are lost in a blackout, they can’t be coaxed back. Simple logic: information that wasn’t stored cannot be retrieved. Some blackouts are worse than others, though.
- The less severe and more common form is a fragmentary blackout, or “brownout”, which is like a light flickering on and off in the brain.
- Perhaps you remember ordering your drink, but not walking to the bar.
- Perhaps you remember kissing that guy, but not who made the first move.
- Then there are en bloc blackouts, in which memory is totally disabled.
These were a speciality of mine. Sometimes, the light goes out and does not return for hours. I usually woke up from those blackouts on the safe shores of the next morning. The only exception was that night in Paris, when I zapped back to the world in the hotel room.
I didn’t even know that could happen, one of the many reasons the night stayed with me so long., an expert on college drinking and a senior scientific adviser at the US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, explains that it’s not a particular type of drink that causes a blackout (I always thought it was brown drinks – whisky, cognac – for me), it’s the amount of alcohol in the blood and how quickly you get to that level.
Fragmentary blackouts seem to happen at a blood-alcohol content around 0.20%, while en bloc blackouts happen at around 0.30%. White also says that, while roofies aren’t a myth, studies suggest the fear outpaces the incidence. It turns out that “being roofied” often doesn’t involve roofies at all.
- People just don’t realise how common it is to experience a blackout.
- My therapist was correct: not everyone has blackouts.
- Most people will never have one in their lifetime.
- But they are not rare in drinking circles.
- In fact, they’re common.
- A 2002 study published in the found that among drinkers at Duke University, more than half had experienced blackouts.
When men are in a blackout, they do things to the world. When women are in a blackout, things are done to them I was particularly at risk, but I didn’t realise it. Blackout drinkers tend to be the ones who hold their alcohol. I’m 5ft 2in, yet I matched a 6ft 3in boyfriend drink for drink.
I made genius decisions such as skipping dinner, trying to cut calories, because I was always scheming my way back into the size 8 dresses in the back of my closet. And I am female: alcohol metabolises in our systems differently. Our bodies are often smaller, and a higher body fat percentage means we get drunker faster.
The stories that men and women tell about their blackouts are different, too. I’ve heard countless tales of men waking up to find their faces bruised, their knuckles bloodied by some fit of unremembered violence. The stories women tell are scary in another way.
As Aaron White says, “When men are in a blackout, they do things to the world. When women are in a blackout, things are done to them.” I heard a saying once about drunks: men wake up in jail cells and women wake up in strangers’ beds. It’s not like that for everybody. But it was like that for me. In my life, alcohol often made the issue of consent very murky.
More like an ink spill and nothing close to a clear line. was a complicated bargain. It was chase, and it was hunt. It was hide-and-seek, clash and surrender, and the pendulum could swing inside my brain all night: I will, no, I won’t; I should, no, I can’t.
I drank to drown those voices, because I wanted the bravado of a sexually liberated woman. I wanted the same freedom from internal conflict that my male friends seemed to enjoy. So I drank myself to a place where I didn’t care, but I woke up a person who cared enormously. Many yeses on Friday nights would have been nos on Saturday mornings.
I had wanted alcohol to make me fearless, but by this point I was scared all the time. Afraid of what I’d said and done in blackouts. Afraid I would have to stop. Afraid of a life without alcohol, because booze had been my trustiest tool. I needed alcohol to drink away the things that plagued me.
Not just my doubts about sex – my self-consciousness, my loneliness, my insecurities, my fears. I drank away all the parts that made me human, in other words, and I knew this was wrong. My mind could cobble together a thousand PowerPoint presentations to keep me seated on a bar stool. But when the lights were off and I lay very quietly in my bed, I knew: there was something fundamentally wrong about losing the narrative of my own life.
W hen the curtains opened up in my mind that night in Paris, and I was in the middle of having sex with a man I didn’t even remember meeting, the strange part is how calm I remained. I was still wrapped in the soothing vapours of the cognac, no clue where I was, but not particularly concerned: I’ll figure this out.
I was pretty sure I was in my hotel. I recognised the swirly brown carpet, the brushed-steel light fixtures. The panic started when I noticed the time. It was almost 2am. “Shit, my flight leaves in a few hours,” I said. Actually, the flight wasn’t until 11am, but I understood there was not nearly enough time between then and now.
The awfulness of my circumstances began to dawn on me. ‘I wonder sometimes if anything could have prevented me becoming an alcoholic, or if drinking was my fate’ As I left, the click of the lock’s tongue in the groove brought me such relief. The sound of a narrow escape. I was on my way to the elevator when I realised I did not have my bag: my passport, my money, my driving licence, my room card.
- I did not have my way back home.
- I turned around and stared at the line of doorways behind me. Shit.
- They all look the same.
- Which one? I don’t know how long I sat in that hallway – 10 minutes, 10 years.
- When I finally stood up, I had a plan.
- Bonjour,” I said to the concierge.
- Good evening,” he said.
- What can I do for you?” “I left my bag in someone’s room,” I said.
“Not a problem,” he said, and began tapping on the computer. “What room was it?” I shook my head. “I don’t know.” “Not a problem,” he said. More tapping. “What was the guest’s name?” A tear slipped down my cheek, and I watched it splat. “I don’t know.” He nodded, his mouth an expressionless line.
- But I could see the pity in his eyes.
- He felt sorry for me.
- And somehow this pebble of sympathy was enough to shatter my fragile reserve.
- I crumpled into tears.
- Don’t cry,” he said.
- He took my hand.
- His fingers were dry and cold, and they swallowed mine.
- It’s going to be OK,” he said.
- And I believed him, because I needed to.
“Is it possible this gentleman is the one you were talking to at the bar tonight?” the concierge asked. And there it was, finally. My first clue. Of course, I’d gone to the hotel bar. “Yes,” I pretended. “That is definitely the guy. So you saw me with him tonight?” He smiled.
Of course.” He handed me a new key to my room. He told me he would figure out the guy’s name, but that he might need an hour or two. “I don’t want you to worry any more,” he said. “Go rest.” “Hey, what’s your name?” I asked. “Jackson,” he said. “I’m Sarah,” I told him, and I took his hand with both of mine.
“Jackson, you’re the hero of my story tonight.” “Not a problem,” he said, and flashed a smile. As I headed towards the elevator, I felt like a new woman. I had a chance to restore order, to correct the insanity of the night. Jackson would find the guy’s name.
- I would meet the guy downstairs, suffer the indignity of small talk, then take my stuff and bolt.
- No, better yet, Jackson would knock on the guy’s door and retrieve the purse himself.
- I didn’t care how it happened, just that it happened.
- It was all going to be OK.
- I walked back into my room.
- And there, to the left of the entrance, on an otherwise unremarkable shelf, was my bag.
I had lost so many things in my time: scarves, hats, gloves. But what amazed me was how many things I did not lose, even when my eyes had receded into my skull. I never lost my phone. I never lost my keys. Part of this was simple survival: you could not be a woman alone in the world without some part of you remaining vigilant.
- How did my bag get to my room? I have no idea, only that even in my blackout state, I made sure my treasure was tucked away safe: a woman locking up her diamond ring before she leaps into the ocean.
- I called the front desk.
- You’re never going to believe this,” I told Jackson.
- My bag is in my room.” “I told you this would work out,” he said.
“And you were right.” I changed into my pyjamas and curled into a foetal position under the covers. Maybe I should have been relieved, but I had the haunted shivers of a woman who felt the bullet whizz past her face. Now that my crisis was resolved, I could start beating myself up for the ways I had failed.
Such a wretched place to be. Alone in the dark, with your own misery. The phone rang. “I found a leather jacket in the bar,” Jackson said. “Do you think it’s yours?” And here comes the part of the story I wish I didn’t remember. Jackson stands in my doorway. He’s so tall. He must be 6ft 2in. My leather jacket is draped over his arm like a fresh towel.
I stand there with my hand on the door and wonder how much to tip him. “Can I come in?” he asks, and there is not an ounce of me that wants him inside my room, but he was so helpful to me earlier, and I can’t scheme quickly enough to rebuff him. I step back from the door and give him entry.
- I’m still thinking about the tip.
- Would € 5 be enough? Would € 100? He closes the door and walks to my bed.
- It’s not far from the entryway, but each step breaches a great chasm.
- You broke my heart when you cried earlier tonight,” he says, sitting down on the mattress.
- He’s only a few feet from me, and I remain with my back pressed against the wall.
“I know, I’m sorry about that,” I say, and I think: who is manning the desk right now? Are we going to get in trouble? He leans forward on the bed, resting his elbows on his knees. “I was thinking, a beautiful woman like you should not be crying,” he says, and puts out his hand for me to take.
- I’m not sure what to do, but I walk over to him, as if on autopilot, and let my hand hang limply against his fingertips.
- You are very beautiful,” he says.
- Jackson, I’m really tired,” I say.
- It’s been a really long day.” Real drunks wait for the moment they hit bottom.
- As I lay in bed, I felt the gratitude of a woman who knows she is done I think: if I tell him to go, he’ll probably stand up politely and walk out of the room without saying more than a few words.
So why don’t I? Do I feel I owe him something? He pulls me towards him, and we kiss. The kiss is neither bad nor good. I consider it a necessary penance. I can’t explain it. How little I care. All I keep thinking is: it will be easier this way. We lie in the bed, and I let him run his hands along me.
He kisses my nose, now wet with tears he doesn’t ask about; but he never asks for more. At 4am, I push Jackson out the door. I climb into my bed and cry huge howling sobs. Real drunks wait and watch for the moment they hit bottom. As I lay in my hotel bed, covers pulled up to my neck, I felt the gratitude of a woman who knows, finally, she is done.
But I drank on the flight home. And I drank for five more years. A life is bookended by forgetting, as though memory forms the tunnel that leads into and out of a human body. I’m friends with a married couple who have a two-year-old. She is all grunt and grab, a pint-size party animal in a polka-dot romper, and we laugh at how much she reminds us of our drunken selves.
- Any hint of music becomes a need to dance.
- Spinning in a circle.
- Slapping her toddler belly.
- One eye squinted, as though this balances her somehow.
- I recognise this as the freedom drinking helped me to recapture.
- A magnificent place where no one’s judgment mattered, my needs were met, and my emotions could explode in a tantrum.
And when I was finally spent, someone would scoop me up in their arms and place me safely in my crib again. I wonder sometimes if anything could have prevented me from becoming an alcoholic, or if drinking was simply my fate. But I’ve come to think of being an alcoholic as one of the best things that ever happened to me.
Those low years startled me awake. I stopped despairing for what I didn’t get and I began cherishing what I did. Nobody remembers a life completely. We are all forgetting, all the time. But isn’t it some basic human instinct to hold on to as much as we can? If you are lucky, you will wake up, and remember this.
I did. This is an edited extract from Blackout: Remembering The Things I Drank To Forget, by Sarah Hepola, published on 23 June by Two Roads at £12.99. To order a copy for £10.39, with free UK p&p for online orders, go to or call 0330 333 6846. : My drinking years: ‘Everyone has blackouts, don’t they?’
What mental illness is associated with blackouts?
Psychogenic Blackouts: Stress and Anxiety – Stress and anxiety are the most common causes of psychogenic blackouts. This can be due to chronic stresses, such as being foreclosed on or having someone close to you pass away. Psychogenic blackouts are, however, more commonly associated with a single stressful event.