Understanding Blackout Behavior

Old 11-21-2013, 11:20 AM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 370
Understanding Blackout Behavior

Today is day 26, 27 days ago I got blackout drunk and became very violent. Obviously I have decided the ultimate solution is to never drink again. But I have a lot of guilt and concern about my behavior, and wanted to look a little deeper at the root of what drives our behavior in this state.
I imagine inner feelings, stress, frustrations, etc. and where you were mentally prior to drinking has a large effect. I didn't feel like I was in a particularly "bad place" the evening that happened. I have a hard time buying the "true you comes out" concept. I do have some issues with patience, but I'm not a mean or hateful person. Thoughts or experiences?
NoJimmy is offline  
Old 11-21-2013, 11:23 AM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Zion, Illinois
Posts: 3,411
Sorry. Don't have an answer to the question about what causes blackout behavior. I do know that since I stopped drinking, I haven't had to worry about it.
Music is offline  
Old 11-21-2013, 11:32 AM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: terra (mostly)firma
Posts: 4,806
I like what Music said there, that is the best fix.

My experience with 'blackout' I would describe more as total loss of memory. Early in my drinking career I would often be told of things that transpired during the night that I simply could not recall, not usually different or more outrageous behaviour other than just what I would do drunk. Late in my drinking career , I was more of a stay at home drinker, drank til I passed out . I would not remember going to bed , if I made it, or the shows I apparently watched, glasses spilt ,items consumed that kind of thing. I was a sloppy drunk , but not nasty.
dwtbd is offline  
Old 11-21-2013, 12:09 PM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Sober Alcoholic
awuh1's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,539
Alcohol consumption lowers inhibitions. When drunk we are much more likely to do the first thing that comes to mind, rather than the second third or fourth. I believe that a lot of these first thoughts and impulses are always there, but are quickly dismissed when alcohol is not in the mix.

Of course after some stupid bit of behavior, the situation changes. This can lead to even more stupidity on the heals of an initial outburst.

I believe that there is a dark side to us all, and that the people who deny it's existence in themselves, are truly dangerous.
awuh1 is offline  
Old 11-21-2013, 12:36 PM
  # 5 (permalink)  
MrTumble's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 442
Alcohol does not release the "real" you. It just makes you drunk, impairs judgement, rationality, numbs the senses, slows the mind and a load of other things that you wouldnt associate with being the "real" you.

Its a drug. If you were taking amphetamines or marijuana or LSD, would that be the true you...?
MrTumble is offline  
Old 11-21-2013, 12:44 PM
  # 6 (permalink)  
A Day at a Time
MIRecovery's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Grand Rapids MI
Posts: 6,435
Your mind was altered by a mind altering drug. I do not think there is any deeper meaning
MIRecovery is offline  
Old 11-21-2013, 12:58 PM
  # 7 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: CA
Posts: 210
I believe the real you is the sober you. The one that can make logical decisions. I wouldn't analyze the drunk you, or especially the blacked out you.
I used to do this too and it really worried me. I worried I was crazy or a bad person. Not so, I was just a person who's brain was soaked in alcohol. I think it's as simple as that.
Jsober is offline  
Old 11-21-2013, 01:54 PM
  # 8 (permalink)  
instant's Avatar
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 5,711
Alcohol is a toxin.

We become intoxicated

The brain does not work properly

The brain malfunctioning and the body still working is a dangerous situation

Psychoanalysis is not done on drunk people
instant is offline  
Old 11-21-2013, 02:02 PM
  # 9 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 370
Thanks everyone. I've really been beating myself up about the way I behaved. I realize no matter the reason behind my actions, I'm still responsible. But the idea that the "true me" is strictly limited to the sober me seems most reasonable.
NoJimmy is offline  
Old 11-21-2013, 05:39 PM
  # 10 (permalink)  
Dee74's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 209,185
I spent years trying to solve this one.

I've been sober nearly seven years now - I'm not perfect, mind...but I've never seen, done or thought anything like I did when I was in a blackout...

so I'm siding with those who suggest I was intoxicated by a mind altering drug.

Dee74 is offline  
Old 11-21-2013, 11:15 PM
  # 11 (permalink)  
Riel's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 205
It's possible that a sub-personality takes over during a blackout, and that this explains what can be very uncharacteristic conduct.

Some people believe that blackouts involve possession by outside entities - either human spirits (ghosts), or less commonly demonic entities.
Riel is offline  
Old 11-21-2013, 11:32 PM
  # 12 (permalink)  
chaili05's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Southern California
Posts: 318
Originally Posted by Riel View Post
Some people believe that blackouts involve possession by outside entities - either human spirits (ghosts), or less commonly demonic entities.
Oh woah I've never heard that one!! Yikes. Honestly I never really contemplated this question before, oddly enough considering I've blacked out more times than I can remember (haha no pun intended)
chaili05 is offline  
Old 11-21-2013, 11:44 PM
  # 13 (permalink)  
Laozi Old Man
Boleo's Avatar
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Detroit, MI
Posts: 6,665
Originally Posted by instant View Post
Psychoanalysis is not done on drunk people
Trying to make sense of drunken behavior is like...

"Ya can't roller skate in a buffalo herd
Ya can't roller skate in a buffalo herd
Ya can't roller skate in a buffalo herd
But you can be happy if you've a mind to

Boleo is offline  
Old 11-22-2013, 12:33 PM
  # 14 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 24
I like this question. Though, I don't have an answer, I still believe the question to be valid. I would think that to begin understanding why we act differently during a black out situation we might want to first look at why we act differently with only a couple of drinks... or even one.
Boiledrootbeer is offline  
Old 11-22-2013, 03:17 PM
  # 15 (permalink)  
Dee74's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 209,185
For those interested the book Under the Influence has some of the science behind blackouts

Dee74 is offline  
Old 11-22-2013, 03:34 PM
  # 16 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 2
Thanks, those excerpts are quite interesting, and it's a good question.

I agree with the person who mentioned that it's not the "real you", but can be thought of as a sub-personality. I have one friend who's the nicest, happiest guy I know, but if he reaches a point where he has 1 too many he consistently switches to depressed and hateful. Another reaches that same point and he gets obnoxious and starts fights. I tend to tell random people I love them and then pass out. Everyone acts differently when they black out, but I don't think you should worry that it's who you really are.
CT2009 is offline  
Old 11-22-2013, 06:47 PM
  # 17 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Indiana, IL
Posts: 424
I'm sure the law does not care if you were blacked out. Having too many drinks is not an excuse for violent and illegal behavior.
Upsetnneedhelp is offline  
Old 11-23-2013, 01:41 AM
  # 18 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 46
When I finally had "the talk" with my fiance about me wanting to quit she said, "I hate having to HATE coming home from work at night not knowing if you were going to be drunk or not." It was a dagger to the heart knowing that I had fallen in to such a repetitive hurtful schedule that my best buddy hated coming home to see me because I was a total friggin drunk. Most nights I would just drink and play on the internet. When she would get home around 9:00-10:00PM I would hang out with her for a bit and we'd usually got out and get something to eat. Unfortunately, she didn't always feel like going out to get food..or to get me some smokes (I never smoked unless I was drinking and if I couldn't find them I would tear the house apart looking for them). When she refused we usually ended up in a stupid argument. Things never really got out of hand but I was an idiot and we had dozens of arguments we didn't have to have.

SOMETIMES, we would discuss (and eventually argue) about real issues that was bothering me about our relationship. Sober I didn't have it in me to talk to her about it but when intoxicated it would bubble up and out. We should have had the important discussions sober but I made that impossible by my incessant drinking. In the morning I hardly ever remembered the discussion and we'd have to do it again. Ughh.. such an ugly imitation of a life I lived.
Notsosober is offline  
Old 11-23-2013, 01:53 AM
  # 19 (permalink)  
Zube's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 706
Back in my early blackout years we use to call it time travel. Sick, sick, sick. Fast forward, my last blackout lasted a little over a week and I came to on my second day in jail.

I am not sure of the science behind a blackout, but I agree with the other posts that tell me if I don't drink I will never have to blackout again.

BTW, my blackouts, I'm told, range from jovial, to normal, to dark and violent. No real predictable pattern.

Zube is offline  
Old 11-23-2013, 07:03 AM
  # 20 (permalink)  
Hawkeye13's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 11,159
I don't know what causes them, but I don't think it was the "real" me when it happened.

I think it was all the emotions, especially anger, resentment, and fear that I had been stuffing and refusing to feel for most of my life. Drinking helped me stuff them but too much alcohol and the cap would blow.

That wasn't me, just the concentrated pain of my life exploding verbally and physically. I also feel bad about inflicting that on other people, especially my husband, but I'm letting it go and working hard to get over it.

As a side note, one thing my husband says to me since I've quit drinking pretty often is what a "nice" person I am now. He met me when I was drinking and never knew what I consider to be the "real" me until I stopped. I still get angry or hurt, but I express in a much calmer and thoughtful way compared to that.

So I don't think you should buy into the idea that you are that negative person when blacking out. Just my take.
Hawkeye13 is online now  

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:21 AM.