Alcoholic- Wernicke? Scary!

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Hi All,

First time poster here. I am hoping someone can help me.

I have had concerns about my partners's drinking for quite some time. 

For some background, he is a 33 y/o male. At this point, I would call him more of a binge drinking than anything else. But absolutely has alcoholic tendencies.

He does not drink every day, but when he does, it is rare for him to NOT go overboard. I definitely feel that I am a good influence on him, and if I weren't around, he likely would be drinking nearly every day.

My concerns starts with how drunk he seems to get compared to everyone else in the room. I can have a quite a few drinks and be fine, but he has a few in a short amount of time and becomes a different person.

He is not mean, aggressive, abusive or anything. But he becomes very... odd.

It starts off with forgetfulness and trouble forming sentences (finding words, finishing thoughts, etc.) This, I also just chocked up to being drunk. But then, the eye fluttering and head bobbing begin. That's when I know it's time to tell him to go sleep it off.

Then begins his rambling, like he doesn't know what's going on.. like he is in a different world.

For example: the other night he was laying in bed after drinking and I came in the room to see he him. He began asking about "the glasses." He said: "I have to disagree about the glasses. The glasses that are a good gift. They are a small gift. They are a soft gift. Do you know what I mean?"

Of course, I did not know what he meant and what he was saying had no relevance to anything we had spoken about earlier in the day. 

I am beginning to worry he has some neurological disorder that is contributing to this drunken behavior.

Does anyone have any experience with similar situations or behaviors?

I was looking into Wernicke Syndrome and wondering if that could potentially be the issue.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


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5 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi? Tricky to give advice since I was never that incoherent when I did drink. Forgetful for certain but not totally incoherent. Sorry. Others might know mire . Wernicke I don't understand. Robin

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  • Posted

    Have you spoken with him whilst he is sober regarding how you are feeling and what you are thinking?

    Not lots will be done about the situation unless he is on the same page as you and interested in exploring this as a possibility, I’m sure you have probably heard this before but only one person can help an alcoholic and that person is either her or himself.

    The ramblings you speak of are very common in heavy drinkers, it doesn’t necessarily indicate a neurological disorder it just so happens to be what ‘ this drinker’ turns into when he drinks and we each turn into a shadow of ourselves, some a complete alter ego which I’ve seen many times before and again for a heavy drinker is relatively normal.

    I don’t know anything about wernicke so I’m unqualified to make comment on that, which is why I would suggest you chat with him sober and see what his thoughts are, also it wouldn’t do any harm in recording him on his next ramble and letting him hear for himself how the alcohol changes him .. it may be the spur he needs to look into professional help.

    I’m sorry I couldn’t be of too much help but I’d lastly suggest that the main concern would be addressing the drinking together and see where he wants to go with regards to seeking help and maybe that it could just be possible that you are seeking a different diagnosis than alcoholism.

    I hope he looks for and makes use of the help available to him

    Regards Chantelle (2 years recovering)

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  • Posted

    I'm told that I did this some weeks ago when I went to bed after drinking.  Was talking proper words but not in the right context nor making any sense.  My OH nearly called an ambulance. I was fine the next day with no hangover so can't have drunk all that much.  Was worried about having a stroke as I have high blood pressure but that's now being treated.  Never happened since and I have probably drunk as much on a couple of occasions.  Wernikes which you refer to is a kind of speech difficulty which follows a stroke or other kind of brain damage where the patient speaks proper English (or whatever language they speak) words but they make no sense because they cannot understand what they are saying.  In this case they won't understand what is said to them either.  I certainly understood what was being said to me. Did your partner?  Hope all is OK now.  The both of us clearly need to get control of our drinking.  That is my plan for this year - again!

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