Signs and Symptoms of Alcoholic Relapse
From a study of 1,626 post-rehab patients: "In all groups craving was not a major self-reported cause of relapse. In the Alcohol Dependent group, the most common reason was depression. In fact, 300% more patients cited depression, compared to craving, as the reason for their relapse."
- Neuropsychopharmacology (1994) 11 271-271.
Experiencing Post Acute Withdrawal: I start having problems with one or more of the following; thinking difficulties, emotional overreaction problems, sleep disturbances, memory difficulties, becoming accident prone, and/or starting to experience a serious sensitivity to stress. See alcohol withdrawal.
Return To Denial: I stop telling others what I'm thinking/feeling and start trying to convince myself or others that everything is all right, when in fact it is not.
Avoidance And Defensive Behavior: I start avoiding people who will give me honest feedback and/or I start becoming irritable and angry with them.
Starting To Crisis Build: I start to notice that ordinary everyday problems become overwhelming and no matter how hard I try, I can't solve my problems.
Feeling Immobilized (Stuck): I start believing that there is nowhere to turn and no way to solve my problems. I feel trapped and start to use magical thinking.
Becoming Depressed: I start feeling down-in-the dumps and have very low energy. I may even become so depressed that I start thinking of suicide.
Compulsive And/Or Impulsive Behaviors (Loss Of Control): I start using one or more of the following- food, sex, caffeine, nicotine, work, gambling, etc. often in an out of control fashion. And/or I may react without thinking of the consequences of my behavior on myself and others.
Urges And Cravings (Thinking About Drinking/Using): I begin to think that alcohol/drug use is the only way to feel better. I start thinking about justifications to drink/use and convince myself that using is the logical thing to do.
Chemical Loss Of Control (Drinking/Using): I find myself drinking/using again to solve my problems. I start to believe that "it's all over 'till I hit bottom, so I may as well enjoy this relapse while it's good." My problems continue to get worse.
Adapted from Terence T. Gorski's Warning Sign Identification Process
Tracy, N. (2009, January 2). Signs and Symptoms of Alcoholic Relapse, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, June 24 from https://www.healthyplace.com/addictions/alcoholism/signs-symptoms-alcoholic-relapse