is it bad to black out

There Is A Science Behind Blacking Out, And It's Actually Scarier Than You Think

Science confirms, blacking out is actually a bigger deal than you think.

545
views

Have you ever woken up from a night out with your friends, confused how you got from Point A to Point B, or wondering why you blew up your ex's phone? Chances are you might have experienced alcohol-induced amnesia, more commonly referred to by college students as "blacking out." Although you have no recollection of what happened last night, this does not mean you passed out or were unconscious, actually, it's very likely that you could've held a conversation with some of your friends throughout the night and acted as if everything was normal.

With social drinking becoming more of a trend, blacking out is not uncommon among young adults, however, it is rather misunderstood.

While blacking out seems harmless and carefree, it is actually very dangerous, especially if your friends are unaware of how much you have had to drink and don't realize that you might need to be watched over.

There are two types of blackouts; en block, also referred to as a complete blackout, is when you wake up with no recollection whatsoever of the events that took place during the time that you were drinking. This occurs when information cannot be transferred from short-term to long-term storage during a drinking episode. You can sufficiently keep information in short-term memory to engage in conversations, drive a car (which you shouldn't do if you've been drinking any amount of alcohol), and participate in other activities. Nonetheless, this information is lost due to the brain's failure to transfer the person's short-term memory to long-term memory storage.

There is also fragmentary-memory loss, which means that you have some memory of some of the events that took place during the time of your drinking. This type of blackout is more common and occur when memory formation is only partially blocked. Unlike complete blackouts, fragmentary blackouts permit the recall of all memories that were stored during the drinking event, however, it might require some prompting or jogging of your memory.

Studies on blackouts show that although alcohol is required to initiate a blackout, alcohol alone (no matter the quantity) is not enough to cause a blackout to occur. Some studies show that it is possible for people to blackout even when they aren't at the peak of their alcohol consumption. There are several factors that affect blacking out, including drinking on an empty stomach or consuming a large quantity of alcohol in a short amount of time, due to the fact that this would raise your blood alcohol content (BAC).

Studies also show that women are at a higher risk for blacking out even if they consume less alcohol than their male counterparts. This is due to the fact that women have less water in their system in comparison to men, causing alcohol to be less diluted in their bloodstream.

Women also have a significantly lower concentration of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH). Alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) metabolizes alcohol before it passes into the bloodstream. In turn, women have a higher blood alcohol content and experience greater intoxication than men.

Lastly, women, in general, have more body fat than men. Due to the fact that fat does not directly absorb alcohol, they maintain higher concentrations of alcohol in their bloodstream in comparison to men.

Besides causing damage to your memory, there are several risks associated with blacking out. According to a study performed by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, college students who reported blacking out found that students often participated in risky behaviors such as unprotected sex, driving, and vandalism or destruction of property.

That being said, next time you decide to go out with your friends, remember to drink water and avoid drinking on an empty stomach. Although blacking out has become somewhat of a trend among young drinkers, the risks associated with it aren't worth it.

Popular Right Now

To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
1641781
views

Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Red Wine Is More Than Just A Joie De Vivre, It's Also Heart-Healthy

Surprisingly, drinking moderate amounts of red wine can increase longevity and serve as an antidote to various cardiovascular diseases according to latest scientific research.

36
views

If you are a wine enthusiast, then you must have tried the deluxe red wine. Red wine has an enriching cultural legacy associated with it and has been a delicacy for decades. Surprisingly, drinking moderate amounts of red wine can increase longevity and serve as an antidote to various cardiovascular diseases according to the latest scientific research. But, it has not been fully confirmed and is not encouraged that people should start drinking red wine if they have never consumed alcohol before.

Organically speaking, red wine contains a polyphenol named resveratrol which is found on the skin of grapes. It has been notoriously famous as being called the "heart damage control" elixir. In fact, resveratrol is a chemical substance that is able to reduce blood vessel damage and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol as well as prevent blood clots.

According to modern research, the "French Paradox" originating from the late '80s have brought to light how the French are less inclined to suffer from heart diseases. Stemming from this epidemiological paradox initiates the fact that red wine may play a contributing factor. In order to further analyze this phenomenon, researchers have focused immensely on the Mediterranean diet which is rich with protein and carbs with a tinge of red wine.

According to a 2017 research article, "More specifically, some postulate that red wine's bioactive constituents, polyphenols, impart cardioprotective effects. Others argue that there may be an equilibrium between alcohol and wine polyphenols, which in concert would be accountable for the cardioprotective benefits in the human body." This sheds light on the ongoing "heart-healthy" phenomena associated with drinking red wine.

Moreover, the article published by Circulation also pinpoints the contrasting difference between red and white wine. For instance, they mention, "Red wine is known to be 10-fold higher in polyphenolic content than white wine, and this variability arises because of red wine's grape must fermentation. This is why white wine is given much less importance than red wine in the literature." So from a biological perspective, red wine is ingrained with more vital supplements designed to minimize susceptibility towards diverse cardiac diseases and other health concerns as well.

However, one key evidence that shouldn't be ignored is that red wine should be moderately consumed in order for such a benefit to reap. Excessive drinking has a lot of detrimental consequences and could cost a life. Although red wine is deemed "heart-healthy," it should still be drunk in moderate amounts because too much of alcohol is considered disastrous to your health!

Related Content

Facebook Comments