Hallucinations of the long-time alcoholics will be weird. They will be mentally affected; they will feel that someone is whispering something into their ears and even someone is issuing commands to them.
Particularly, in Tamil Nadu, the road accidents are aplenty during festivals like New Year day, post-Pongal day and Deepavali, the reason being drunken driving. Statistical data prove this incidence very clearly. This trend has been rapidly increasing.
We are aware of the fact that the victims of alcoholism are subject to various health ailments but at the same time, we may not know that they will be equally affected mentally and some of them have depression, anxiety, confusion and loss of memory. Dr.Aravind, the psychiatrist warns of these consequences of alcoholism.
Dr.Aravind further explains that the long-time alcoholics will feel that someone is giving them instructions to them in their ears and some victims will suffer from insomnia (inability to have enough sleep). Further, their vision will become blurred as a result of which they will not be able to identify even the known persons correctly. They will also feel that someone either alive or dead stands behind the screen with his/her shadow moving. They may also experience that they are talking to them. This is called ‘hallucination’.
There is another type of hallucination known as ‘Tactile Hallucination’ wherein the victims of alcohol would experience a feeling of cockroach or bee crawling over their body. As a result of this, they will talk to themselves more and live in their own world of imagination. They would further feel that these hallucinations are less when they are under the influence of liquor and they will again surface when they are released from the influence of liquor.
Some victims of alcoholism may not realise that they are already affected.
They will continue to consume liquor without break. The indications that a person with more than 5 years of drinking habit, will experience, will be rather different. For instance, if such a person is working in an office as a Manager or so, he will give similar directions and orders even during his sleep. Still, some people will always doubt others. They are called ‘delusions of infidelity’.
For instance, if both the husband and the wife are employed and if the husband is an alcoholic, he will invariably suspect his wife. In general, the alcoholic would be prone to impotence and will have inadequate interest in sex life because of which both the life partners will have frequent quarrels. As a result, their children will also be mentally affected.
It is observed that nearly 60 to 70% of the people would share that they have got the habit of drinking only because of problems either on their home front or office front. One thing is to be noted that drinking would never be a solution to any problem. Resorting to alcohol would only aggravate the issue and never resolve any problem. Some people will get the tendency to commit suicide; they would scratch their hand with a sharp knife. Such self-infliction would be common in certain extreme cases. These are all mental issues. They can be treated within a week’s time. The alcoholics will have to be treated as in-patients for about 10 days. It is of two types, viz. a) to make them stop the habit of drinking and b) to control the implications and effects of this habit.
Normally, the alcoholics who have depression will be given counselling and medicines. The next stage is mental confusion. Those who are affected by mental confusion and imbalance will have to be treated as an in-patient for one month and out-patient for about eight months.
Even after giving up the habit of drinking, some people will continue to have a hallucination problem for a period of four months. They will be given antipsychotic medicines which will do away with their imaginations. During the period of medication, if they continue to drink, they will get nervous break-down and epilepsy-related problems. Hence, Dr.V.K.Aravind strongly warns that these patients should never go near alcohol during the phase of treatment and rehabilitation.
(This article written in Tamil by Graphiyen Black has been translated in English by P.S.Ramamurthy)