Alcoholic psychosis


Alcoholic psychosis is a mental activity disorder during the second and the third stages of alcoholism. On the first stage alcoholic psychosis are mostly uncommon.

There are different types of alcoholic psychosis:

  • Delirium;
  • Hallucinosis;
  • Delusion alcoholic psychosis;
  • Alcoholic pseudoparalysis;
  • Alcoholi encephalopathy ;
  • polioencephalitis hemorrhagica;
  • Alcoholic depression;
  • Dipsomania;
  • «Ventolin Psychosis».

They all have different symptoms and develop differently as well. Alcoholic psychoses  are developed not under the effects of alcohol itself, but under the influence of its breakdown products and products of metabolism dysfunction. For example, hallucinations and delirium usually take place not during the heavy drinking periods, when the level of toxins in the organism is very high, but during abstinence  — when alcohol level in blood is going down.

Alcoholic psychosis

Alcoholic psychoses are consequences of alcoholism. People, who drink but do not overuse alcohol, even after drinking large doses of it psychoses never happen. In many cases additional unpleasant things like infections, injures and mental stresses go before alcoholic psychoses. They only provoke the development of mental reactions from the side of alcoholic’s nervous system that already does not function well.

There are different forms of alcoholic psychoses among those from the list above- acute, sub-acute and chronical. 45% of all alcoholic psychoses are acute, 27 % are sub-acute and chronical. If psychosis happen another time, the form of it becomes heavier. During alcoholic psychosis strong disorders in reality reflection and psychoorganic disorders happen to the patient. Among alcoholics, who already drink  for 5-7 years, alcoholic psychosis happen in 13% cases.

Alcoholic hallucinosis

This type of alcoholic psychosis takes 5-11% of all alcoholic disorders and is second most widespread, with the first place taken by alcoholic delirium. Female alcoholics suffer from hallucinosis more often, and similar to delirium it occurs after a long period( for several years) of alcohol consumption. But unlike  alcoholic delirium, it develops with the clear mind and normal orientation in time and place of the patient. When patient suffers from alcoholic hallucinosis, he experiences mostly hearing hallucinations, whereas visual and tactile hallucinations are almost never observed. The patients remember the feelings they had and the way they have behaved during the state of alcoholic psychosis.

Alcoholic psychosis can be acute, sub-acute and chronical.

The acute form of alcoholic psychosis starts together with hangover syndrome and becomes psychopathological.

This kind of psychosis has next symptoms:

  • Hearing hallucinations – separate sounds, calls, the voices of different timbres;
  • Rare visual and tactile hallucinations;
  • Persecution mania (the patients have the feeling that someone wants to kill torture them);
  • Low emotional state (gloomy mood, grumpiness, fear);
  • The kind of behavior, connected with hallucinations (attempts to hide or run away);
  • Armoring themselves with different items to self-protection;
  • Attempts of attacking people, in order to avoid their delusional aggression.

Acute form of alcoholic psychosis with hallucinations can last from several days up to several weeks.

Sub-acute form of hallucinosis can become obvious during several months. Acute period of this disease are common to this form of alcoholic psychosis. The patient suffers more from anxiety than from fear. He becomes less active, stay in bed for a long time and try to listen carefully to the voices. Delusion in this case is all about self-accusations, that is why the patients are often suicidal and need constant supervision.

Alcoholic psychosis-2

Chronical hallucinosis to alcoholic patients usually happens after acute psychosis cases. They immediately have hearing hallucinations, delusion ideas of  persecution. Later on, only hearing hallucinations bother those patients, but they usually last for a long time. he can hear several voices at the same time, which are arguing with each other. Later, alcoholics get used to these voices, sometimes responding to them, but usually they stay in a bad mood.

If this kind of alcoholic psychosis lasts for several years, the treating cannot be successful. However, constant therapy together with complete quitting of drinking alcohol can help the patient to escape those hallucinations.

Alcoholic paranoid

This kind of psychosis also has acute and chronical forms. It is characterized with systematical delusion, with the jealousy scenes prevail. But even with this idea being the main one, usually ideas of persecution, poisoning, and other ideas that form the general idea of paranoid syndrome.

Alcohol paranoid develops as an initial delusion, which is not connected to hallucinations. However, in some cases, there is a dependence from hallucination feelings. Ideas, connected to the feeling of jealousy are very common in this kind of psychosis. But even if it not the main idea in the patient’s delusion feelings, other ideas, like ideas of being chased or poisoned and so on,  make the picture of paranoid syndrome complete.

Having alcoholic paranoid, the patients suffer from high temperature, blood pressure swings, dizziness, nightmares, heat intolerance. The person can hardly control his emotions, becomes angry, unrestrained or retarded on the contrary. His ability to control his ethical behavior decreases.

Delusion psychosis

Delusion psychosis to alcoholics can happen after extreme alcohol intoxication of the organism, and as a rule, in a difficult for organism situation, like on the road, being tired, in a new place or after being injured. The main symptom of this psychosis is delusion with persecution mania character.

Alcoholic psychosis-3

The patient in this state feels that people are thinking about doing coup against him or his family, try to kill him or torture him in the most inventive way. Trying to escape, first of all alcoholic patient tries to attack imaginary killer or tries to commit suicide. Being in a state of alcoholic delusion, the patients suffer from the fear of being poisoned, that is why he refuses to take medications. Being under the effect of his delusions, the patients in fact stop to percept reality.

In 10% cases of this kind of psychosis, there is jealous delusion. The relationship in couple become colder, because the husband accuses his fife in having an affair and accuses her without any reasons for this. The delusion is completed with the fact that most alcoholics who drink for a long time are impotent. And in all his mishaps he accuses his wife. Unfortunately, you cannot make alcoholic to change his mind.

Alcoholic pseudo paralysis

People, who drink alcohol surrogates for a long time, very often develop alcoholic pseudo paralysis. Diet disorders, metabolism disorders and vitamin deficiency are factors that provoke alcohol pseudo paralysis development. Patients like this suffer from mental degradation. In this state they are usually happy and euphoric, do not realize their own mistakes and mishaps. They revaluation of their own personality and they develop superiority complex as a result of it.

Later on, the mental activity of those patients decreases, hallucinations and delusions decrease as well and the patients become weak and indifferent to the environment. Neurological symptoms of alcoholic pseudo paralysis are pain in limbs, bad pupils’ reaction to the light, speech dysarthria, sinew functioning disorders, obvious finger trembling.

Alcoholic encephalopathy

Alcoholic encephalopathy in acute or sub-acute forms very often happens to the patients with a long drinking experience, mostly if they drink vodka, strong wines and surrogates. This kind of psychosis is observed in chronic alcoholics, or those who abuse alcohol very often. Alcoholic encephalopathy is characterized by somatic and neurological disorders.

The patients suffer from metabolism disorders, hypovitaminosis (especially their organisms lack vitamin B), thiamin deficit, worsened by liver functioning disorder and leading to patient’s brain functioning decline. Patients with alcoholic encephalopathy have pyridoxine and nicotine acid misbalance.

Polioencephalitis hemorrhagica

The main place among alcoholic psychoses takes polioencephalitis hemorrhagica or Wernicke syndrome. This complicated disease combines somatic, mental and neurological disorders, based on degenerative and destructive processes.

Patients, who suffer from this kind of alcoholic psychosis, have sleep disorders, tremor, dysarthria, eye movement disorders, as well as throat, breathing, palatine and sneezing reflexes.

Mental disorders of this kind of patients are characterized by the state of professional or mussitant delirium with the high level of excitement. This state can result in developing deafness. The patient’s blood pressure becomes lower, his breathing becomes more frequent, liver is larger than usual and abnormal, the patient has diarrhea, has muscles ticks and also has limbs muscles hypotension. The chances of the lethal outcome are very high.

Alcoholic depression

Alcoholic depression as an independent disease is very rare. It can last from several days up to several weeks. In the state of alcoholic depression, the person feels sadness and very often irritated, he accuse those who are around him in being not sympathetic to him and at the same time he strongly feels his own inadequacy and fault in front of his family.

Alcoholic depression is characterized by the daily mood swings. Together with the mood swings the patient an also experience anxiety, muscular dystrophy and tearfulness. The patient develops strong suicidal thoughts; therefore, he needs constant supervision in a state of alcoholic depression.


Dipsomania is a kind of a disorder when a person has strong and sudden urge for a long time alcohol drinking. This kind of psychosis is often to those people, who already have endocrine psycho syndrome, epilepsy or maniac depression. Dipsomania can last up to 2-3 weeks, started during a long period of alcohol abstinence. It stops also suddenly, moreover, the patient can feel disgust towards alcohol since then.

Dipsomania attack can start as a result of sleep disorders, or other moments negatively affecting alcoholic’s organism.

Antabuse psychosis

The heavy side effect during alcohol dependence treatment with the help of tetraethylthiuram disulfide (Antabuse, disulfide) is Antabuse psychosis. High doses of this medication or hyper sensitivity to it, because of nervous system inadequacy, chronic alcohol intoxication or craniocerebral injury, which can often lead to a heavy form of alcoholic psychosis. It develops in three stages.

The first stage, called prodromal, lasts from 2-3 days up to several weeks and is characterized by dizziness, sleepiness, weakness, sleep disorders of the patient, unpleasant feelings in his heart, depressive mood.

At the main stage of Antabuse psychosis there can be several ways of it development:

  1. Confused consciousness.
  2. Delusional and paranoid mental disorders.
  3. Maniac state.

The last state of this psychosis is characterized by weakness, emotional liability. The patient does not remember the state he was in during the main stage of the disease, clearly. This kind of psychosis can last from several days up to two months.

People who suffer from this kind of psychosis very often commit suicides. The reasons for doing it vary. On the one hand the attempts to commit suicide are connected to affection mood swings during alcohol intoxication, on the other hand those attempts are very much connected to the personal characteristics of a patient. And one more reason to commit suicide for those patients is that people find themselves in different situations at the particular periods of time.

The frequency of cases of suicides, very often depends on the mental degradation degree of the patients. Those, who still have ability to think, commit suicide more often, that those who suffer from mental degradation. In many cases the reason of committing suicide is because of the family conflicts. Very often in case of jealous delusion of the patient, suffer several people, including alcoholic himself, his wife, imaginary rival and his children. The attempts to commit suicide usually happen in the state of depression during the affective attack.

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