Alcohol Psychosis; Alcohol Dementia


Alcohol psychosis, also known as alcohol dementia, refers to the impairment of one’s psychological ability and behavioral changes due to excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages. It closely resembles other psychological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease or schizophrenia, but alcohol dementia will resolve once alcohol consumption is stopped. But the disorder is irreversible with chronic alcohol misuse and the manifestations may closely resemble that of Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. To give you a comprehensive insight of this condition, here are the causes, symptoms, treatments and recuperation of alcohol dementia.

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Alcohol Dementia Causes

The condition is primarily seen on excessive alcohol drinkers. However, development of this condition depends on several factors. Age is one factor where the person starts to consume alcohol. Drinking alcohol at early age makes the drinker addicted to it and chances of developing alcohol dementia are ascertained. The quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption is another factor wherein the drinker exceeds the suggested daily allowance of alcohol consumption and makes it a daily habit. Moreover, the duration of consuming and misuse of alcohol greatly affects the daily performance of drinker along with alcohol cravings. While prenatal exposure to alcohol is another factor that causes alcohol psychosis even if there is no fetal alcohol syndrome. On the other hand, other factors may also contribute to the development of this condition such as genetic variables, underlying psychiatric condition, overall health status, lack of nutrition and abuse of other substance like narcotics.

The manifestations of symptoms are not clearly reported by sufferers due to their unwillingness to admit that their alcohol addiction has reached to the point wherein their daily functioning has been affected. A change in personality is the first sign that members of the family and friends immediately notice as a result of excessive drinking of alcohol or subsequent stint of alcohol overindulgence ranging from miserable and reserved to agitated and prickly.

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In most cases, sufferers do not remember the events during drunkenness and manifest symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations, impaired memory, poor judgment, absence of insight, aggression and finds decision-making a struggle. Apparently, drinkers also experience coordination difficulties, poor concentration, eye-muscle paralysis, mental confusion, language disturbances, lack motivation and slow in walking. Some may not be aware that they already have alcohol psychosis simply because they are not heavy alcohol drinkers. However, they may have alcohol idiosyncratic intoxication, that is alcohol intoxication when drinking little amount of alcohol. Granted, alcohol tolerance differs with every individual, under idiosyncratic intoxication, the quantity of alcohol needed to trigger alcohol psychosis is less compared to the person’s reported alcohol tolerance. In fact, even two shots of alcoholic beverage are enough to trigger it.

Alcohol Psychosis Treatment

Fortunately, alcohol dementia can be treated during its early stages. Stop drinking alcoholic beverages is on top of the list. Some are able to do it on their own while others join alcoholic support groups or seek physicians’ advice for lasting results. To make it more effective, you should incorporate vitamin therapy once you’ve completely stopped drinking alcohol. The therapy must include high amount of thiamine, a water-soluble component of B complex important in keeping your body cells healthy. Moreover, alcohol psychosis primarily involves memory loss, thus reminiscence therapy has been useful and effective in helping the patients to remember the things from the past that they forgot due to alcohol dementia. This normally occurs in group set-up where you find yourself talking about the events that had happened in your life by looking at old photographs and discussing familiar objects. Depending on the extent of loss of memory, physicians use memantine treatment. This type of treatment usually takes several weeks and is widely used in treating Alzheimer’s patients. After 1 or 2 months of memantine treatment, you will quickly notice the improvements on your overall memory.

Apparently, alcohol psychosis not just affects the memory, but your entire body suffers as well. Remember that the condition results to lack of coordination, numbness at your limbs and makes you walk slowly. Physical therapy effectively address the problem, thus, this is what doctors normally recommend.

Alcohol Psychosis Recuperation

Treating alcohol psychosis takes time, from months to years. Upon the early stage of treatment, improvements are highly notable in your cognitive skills and memory but it takes some time to recover them completely. However, with patience and determination, you will succeed. Alcohol is good when consumed in moderation but when it is abused; it will result into harmful effects- not just alcohol dementia, but serious diseases such as liver cirrhosis, nerve damage, heart disease, epileptic seizures and many more. The best treatment, always, is prevention.

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