PAWS for thought

This has been a hellish week-end of cravings I have to say and if I have another week-end like this soon I am likely to crack!

The lovely peeps over at Soberistas were discussing Post-acute-withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) and I’m wondering if this is what I am experiencing?  This is described on Wiki as a set of persistent impairments that occur after withdrawal from substances, including alcohol.

The symptoms include:

  • psychosocial dysfunction
  • anhedonia
  • depression
  • impaired interpersonal skills
  • obsessive-compulsive behaviour
  • feelings of guilt
  • autonomic disturbances
  • pessimistic thoughts
  • impaired concentration
  • lack of initiative
  • craving
  • inability to think clearly
  • memory problems
  • emotional overreactions or numbness
  • sleep disturbances
  • physical co-ordination problems
  • stress sensitivity
  • increased sensitivity to pain
  • panic disorder
  • generalised panic disorder
  • sleep disturbance (dreams of using, behaviors associated with the life style)

Symptoms occur intermittently, but are not always present. They are made worse by stress or other triggers and may arise at unexpected times and for no apparent reason. They may last for a short while or longer.  Any of the following may trigger a temporary return or worsening of the symptoms of post acute withdrawal syndrome:

  • Stressful and/or frustrating situations
  • multitasking
  • feelings of anxiety, fearfulness or anger
  • social conflicts
  • unrealistic expectations of oneself

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post_withdrawal_syndrome

Knowing the above helps me intellectualise it but doesn’t actually stop the feelings which isn’t particularly helpful.  Another early night for me then …….

8 thoughts on “PAWS for thought

  1. Sleep seems to work as a refuge for (I say from the great vantage point of 12 days sober, lol!) when all the usual remedies and distractions fail. I am in admiration of your stalwart pressing forward through the murk and maintaining your abstinence!

  2. Thanks for the kind words Carrie. Yep sleep is my final and favourite refuge and seems to cure most ills 🙂 Bright eyed and bushy tailed this Monday morning compared to when I drank when I would have been groggy and hungover.

  3. Sadly not being able to sleep was one of the motivations to drink….more. I am now trying to cut down my drinking by having two alcohol free days at the start of the week but lie awake tossing and turning for what seems like half the night! I’ve tried over the counter meds from Boots, all sorts of ‘natural’ herbs like valerian, chamomile, etc. nothing seems to work like a bottle of wine. And it has to be at least one bottle! Any ideas?

    1. Hi Sarah Thank you for reading and commenting. Firstly have you been and had a conversation with your GP about this? Secondly in my day job we recommend you look at sleep hygiene and these are the resources we use http://umm.edu/programs/sleep/patients. Finally I have a meditation podcast free from Itunes specifically about sleep that I use if I’m struggling and I have never heard it through to the end as I’ve always gone to sleep! Hope these help and good luck! xx

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