How to Handle and Prevent PTSD Blackouts

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How to Handle and Prevent PTSD Blackouts

If an event elicits an emotional reaction in us, then it’s more likely to make it into our memory. “Things that have more emotional significance tend to get more encoded,” he says. Certain types of crimes, however, are more likely to occur with intoxicated witnesses, such as intimate partner violence, sexual assault and violence at bars. “You want to test intoxicated witnesses as soon as possible and get their memory report,” Dysart said, and follow with a second test when they’re sober. As the hippocampus works to log events, its memory cells are communicating with each other and changing through a process called synaptic plasticity.

  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), alcohol use, and alcohol-related consequences have been linked to emotion dysregulation.
  • Drinking lots of alcohol can temporarily prevent you from making new memories.
  • Someone in the room with you may be able to talk you out of the blackout by helping you get grounded – answering questions about the present day, reminding you where you are, telling you who you are with, etc.

Often, people with complex PTSD have experienced prolonged trauma such as ongoing physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can develop after a person experiences a traumatic event. Complex PTSD, also known as CPTSD, can result if a person experiences prolonged or repeated trauma over months or years. A person with the condition may experience additional symptoms to those that define PTSD.


Sex differences exist in both emotion regulation dimensions and alcohol use patterns. This investigation examined facets of emotion dysregulation as potential mediators of the relationship between PTSD symptoms and alcohol-related consequences and whether differences may exist across sexes. Activated innate immune response is also noted in other psychiatric disorders, such as major depression (MD) and bipolar affective disorder, which are often comorbid with PTSD [31]. Therefore, the interaction of co-occurring disorders is important to consider in otherwise heterogeneous psychiatric patient populations. Moreover, there is a dearth of knowledge on the relationships between PTSD and other psychiatric conditions in non-Western settings.

ptsd alcohol blackout

Their brain, however, will not reliably create or store memories of those interactions or tasks. If experienced with any regularity, alcohol blackouts can also be a strong indicator of a potential alcohol use disorder. We’re going to take a deeper look at these alcohol blackouts, what causes them, and what they could mean for your physical and mental health. As psychopathology has been shown to be a risk factor for emotion dysregulation, individuals with PTSD may demonstrate poorer emotion regulation (Gross & Munoz, 1995). This emotion dysregulation may cause these individuals to misuse alcohol to alleviate negative emotionality. As many as 55% of women and 38% of men in the military have been targets of sexual harassment.

The relationship between blacking out and binge drinking

Low blood pressure typically causes syncope blackouts because the heart cannot pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the brain. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a very high blood-alcohol concentration may result in a person struggling to remain conscious. In the most severe cases of alcohol intoxication, they may even fall into a coma. Due to this, it is really important to get someone emergency help if their condition is deteriorating.

For this reason, alcohol use problems often must be part of the PTSD treatment. If you have PTSD, plus you have, or have had, a problem with alcohol, try to find a therapist who has experience treating both issues. Problems with alcohol are linked to a life that lacks order and feels out of control. This lifestyle leads to distance from others and more conflict within a family. Because it is difficult to manage life with a drinking problem, it is harder to be a good parent.

By |August 25th, 2022|Sober living|0 Comments

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