Am I Having Blackouts?

When I drink wine, I will call my girlfriend many times and leave messages accusing her of cheating on me. Last night I called 10 times leaving 6 messages. I remember making 3 calls and only 1 message. Do I black-out? When someone is blacked out are they still able to talk and operate? I’ve done this twice and I am worried about what I have done because I’m not sure what I have said.

REPLY

The short answer to your question is yes, it is possible to have a conversation with someone and not remember any of it. Although this may seem fantastical it is in fact relatively common.

When you suffer from an alcohol-induced blackout you do not lose consciousness rather, the alcohol shuts down the part of the brain responsible for recollection, it is in effect alcohol-induced amnesia. For more on the action of alcohol on the brain read Alcohol Brain Damage.

Blackouts are unpredicatble in both their onset and duration. Some individuals have reported experiencing blackouts after only a couple of drinks.

Some blackouts are very severe and memory loss can last for days. There are a couple of cases in which an alcoholic blackout has been used as a defense in court against a murder charge.

Blackouts are a very real danger, particularly amongst those with severe drinking problems.

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