Drinking (social and antisocial) and halucinations

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<= Details:

Sex: male

Age: 27

Location: Switzerland

Occupation: med school

Situation: ok, here's the deal, I'm a med student and as everyone knows, we like to party. I'm in a fraternity of the german type, that means LOTS of beer and fencing with sharp rapiers (but not at the same time). I really like beer. I usually get socially drunk once a week and have been doing so for several years now. Recently (several months) I've taken to replacing social drinking with anti-social drinking now and then, you know, instead of going out on the toon and chuggin 3-XL I'll watch TV or Netflix and have 3L of beer. Last week I had a shocking experience. Again.

I went to bed tired and hung over and after a few minutes of sleep I woke up because I got a text message. I opened my eyes and less than a foot in front of my face a rudy big spider was running around on the mattress (body length maybe half an inch, leg length at least one inch). I freaked out, turned on the light and went hunting, the spider was not to be found. This was not the first time I have woken up to spiders. Last year I woke up to a (not joking here) tarantula sized beasty running up the wall and that one was also not to be found either. I doubt we have an actual spider infestation because we have cats in the flat. So, unsure of the reality of these spiders I used google, lo and behold, many people see spiders just after waking up. So I went back to bed. Two hours later I woke up again and there was a further spider sitting in front of my face, this one wasn't running so I stared at it. After five seconds of staring it just evaporated into thin air without hiding. There was plenty of light from the street lighting, it wasn't just an imaginary spider, I actually saw it.

Conclusion: I am having halucinations involving spiders, big ones, hairy ones.

At med school we haven't covered mental illnesses in depth yet so I'm not sure what could be causing this. Could it be the booze, could I have some disorder unrelated to the booze, could it be both?

Question: I'm looking for information on symptoms and possible illnesses, not "explanations" like "ethereal spiders" / "demons" / "spiritual warfare" or any other mumbo-jumbo. Anyone heard of this kind of stuff? I'd be especially interested in anything that actual doctors have to say.

Cheerio, and for the record, yes, I'm not sober right now.

0 likes, 5 replies


5 Replies

  • Posted

    Spiders are a common hallucination for people who are suffering alcohol withdrawal symptoms. You are clearly drinking way too much Jim and you need to do something about it.

    The only other reason you would be likely to have visual hallucinations, is a mental health problem and, if you had schizophrenia, which would cause such symptoms, you wouldn't be thinking that you are only SEEING spiders, you would believe that those spiders were really there.

    It's sounds very much like this is alcohol-related, to me.

    I am not a doctor, but I am a qualified Mental Health Nurse who has 25 years of experience working with people with alcohol problems. I currently work as an independent alcohol treatment practitioner.

  • Posted

    Trust me, I DID believe that those beasties were real until  I stared one down and it evaporated into thin air. Aaand yes, I do drink too much :-)
  • Posted

    HI Jim. Very interesting and I have one question: are you considering cutting down? IS so, you will find lots of supportive people here who will not mis judge you if you do wrong and go back to drinking again..perhaps this is your year to stop since I know that I would IF I had the same hallucinations as you and P.S. I never did have...just wondering.
  • Posted

    Hi Jim,

    If I drink a couple of bottles of wine I nearly always wake up to see giant spiders running up the bedroom walls, I have a phobia of spiders so usually make a dash for the door. I've sometimes slept on the sofa but the spiders follow me. I am cutting down on the booze and the spiders seem to be going away. It's a really scary experience, please try and cut down.

    Take care


    • Posted

      I used to be scared of big spiders but not anymore, I just don't like them. When I find (real) spiders in my room I usually leave them alone or evict them to the garden. These halucination spiders though, they scared me into running from the room as well.

      However I do find it an enourmous relief to know that they are halucinations, having to call pest-control would annoy me more than halucinations that I can avoid by drinking less.


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