Suffering PAWS

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Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome

Common symptoms include impaired cognition, irritability, depressed mood, and anxiety; all of which may reach severe levels which can lead to relapse 

I stole this from a website...I have all of these things with or without alcohol.  I even had a therapist prepare a document for me and she wrote in it that I showed little or no improvement with even 8 YEARS of sobriety.

All of these things...especially in the last 3 weeks are VERY apparent.

I don't remember sh*t!

I am irritable

I am moody

I am not sleeping well (although its not in this list it is a PAWS symptom)

I can't think straight

My blood pressure is whacky (another one not on this particular list but a symptom)

I have frequent panic attacks

I make lists to remember to do things and then I either forget the list...or I have the list and STILL forget to get the things on the list.

The only solace i have is that some of these things will get better...but feeling like this is the reason that on many occassions I have relapsed..and the name for these feelings is "PAWS". 

So when I get them...I try to "pause" and realize it is a condition which I must endure....I must learn new ways to handle things other than picking up that 1st drink that usually ends me in the hospital.


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  • Posted

    As for the memory and also forgetting lists, that is what thimaine is meant to help with. Especially when you are still drinking, if you stop drinking and eat a reasonably healthy diet, the thimaine should be produced by your body, but alcohol prohibts it and we all know we don't eat well when we drinink, because we don't feel the need.

    Irritable and moody is your body craving for alcohol, it's why they have anti-craving drugs like Campral.

    Your blood pressure will be high because of your drinking, it takes awhile to settle back to normal (sometimes if ever) after the alcohol has pushed it up.

    Can't think straight - hepatic encephalopathy - take lactulose everyday, without fail.


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    • Posted

      Great advice for others however I already GB I am already taking the B1 vitamin thiamine and Vitamin C...and folic acid.. I think my major problems are lack of sleep and anxiety

      I just left a psychiatrist who everyone considers is mean because she takes away everyone's anxiety medication and she actually wanted to up my anxiety medication and we discussed it and I said I am ok with the three that I take a day I just don't want her to lower them as she had talked about before to 2 a day.

      I feel heard but regardless of all the vitamins and minerals and good food I am eating I am still suffering from symptoms I mentioned above.

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  • Posted

    Hi Misssy. Thanks for that list. Helps to know its a medical condition and not "all in the mind" or people thinking it's just us wingeing or hypercondriate( can't spell at mo!). 

    I know exactly how you're feeling and it really sucks x

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    • Posted

      paper...before I heard about PAWS 10 years ago....every time I quit...these things would happen and I would convince myself...that it was because I messed up my brain (which was true)...and it couldn't function without alcohol (which was NOT true). 

      10 years ago when I was in a very educating rehabilitation center they had a Dr. come into an auditorium and talk about PAWS....

      Me...the seasoned alcoholic thought I knew everything there was to know about alcohol.  I was mesmerized by his presentation and at that point I knew all the symptoms I was having forgetfulness, depression, dropping things, getting frustrated easily...etc...was all due to PAWS and it could take up to a year to be normal.

      With that information I struggled for a while after getting sober...but stayed sober for 8 years...and most of those symptoms came back to a more "normal" level.


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