MistbornAlpaca

The Effects of Being Drunk

13 posts in this topic

I have a character in this story I'm working on who has a drinking problem. He has been drinking on a regular basis for so long that even after a few days without alcohol, he still can't remember certain events from his past (which is the reason he's drinking) I've never been drunk, or had any alcohol at all for that matter, so I'm pretty clueless when it comes to being drunk. Is this a possible effect of drinking for long enough? Or should I maybe make it a certain additive within the alcohol that causes this effect?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some people are devoted enough to their work to do some research. Some people's friends are so supportive they even give away many evenings to help their aspiring author friends do that research.

6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@MasterJack Oh, cool. I wondered why you'd never had alcohol, so I checked your profile's birth date, and it turns out I'm actually 5 months and 8 days older than you.

Cool to see I'm not the only 15-year-old with an interest in writing.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, The Allomantic Metalhead said:

@MasterJack Oh, cool. I wondered why you'd never had alcohol, so I checked your profile's birth date, and it turns out I'm actually 5 months and 8 days older than you.

Cool to see I'm not the only 15-year-old with an interest in writing.

Very cool! I'm also glad to see I'm not the only teenager that likes writing! I'm also LDS, so that would be another reason why I've never had alcohol :D

On 1/30/2018 at 7:50 PM, recneps said:

Some people are devoted enough to their work to do some research. Some people's friends are so supportive they even give away many evenings to help their aspiring author friends do that research.

Sorry, -_-I really could have looked that up, I'm just so used to the great answers you guys have :D  

Thanks, @Ammanas! Very helpful!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, MasterJack said:

Very cool! I'm also glad to see I'm not the only teenager that likes writing! I'm also LDS, so that would be another reason why I've never had alcohol :D

Sorry, -_-I really could have looked that up, I'm just so used to the great answers you guys have :D  

Thanks, @Ammanas! Very helpful!

@MasterJack I think what recneps was trying to say in his comment was that your question sounds like a good excuse to go out and get smashed (drunk). Thats how I interpret it at least.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Ammanas said:

@MasterJack I think what recneps was trying to say in his comment was that your question sounds like a good excuse to go out and get smashed (drunk). Thats how I interpret it at least.

Ahh, that makes much more sense :D Thanks for the clarification!

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@MasterJack .. there is a documented effect  which impacts heavy drinkers, its called the Tenth (?) Bar Syndrome or something similar .... it actually refers to a biological process whereby a certain level of inebriation causes the brain to alter its functionality .... the person with this problem cannot remember where he went after his body makes this correction ... that is any bar after ten, and anything else .. like how they got home.

I read this so very long ago, I have no clue where it was written, but it definitely stuck with me. 

So, your drinking character sounds like a VERY interesting item, and a potential entry point for surprises, sub plots, extra characters heretofore not revealed, and lots more!

If you publish, you might want to have the documentation of this phenomina available!   Good luck writing, (et all).

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@MasterJack, when people "drink to forget," they're not actually forgetting anything. Booze can temporarily dull some emotional pain, and distract you from unpleasant thoughts, but it doesn't erase the memories, or prevent you from accessing them. You can easily recall painful memories while drunk, and since your willpower is impaired, you end up dwelling on them even more. This is generally referred to as "maudlin."

If you're really, really drunk, you black out, which means your brain has trouble forming new memories for a few hours. When you sober up, the previous hours will be a blur, and you'll never get them back. But all your memories from before the blackout should be perfectly clear.

So if your character can't remember certain events of his past, he must have been blackout-drunk during those events, which means he will never be able to remember them. If he was sober during those events, and he's temporarily forgetting via self-medication, you'll need to give him something a little stronger than alcohol.

Edited by Belzedar
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 04/02/2018 at 5:46 AM, Belzedar said:

@MasterJack, when people "drink to forget," they're not actually forgetting anything. Booze can temporarily dull some emotional pain, and distract you from unpleasant thoughts, but it doesn't erase the memories, or prevent you from accessing them. You can easily recall painful memories while drunk, and since your willpower is impaired, you end up dwelling on them even more. This is generally referred to as "maudlin."

If you're really, really drunk, you black out, which means your brain has trouble forming new memories for a few hours. When you sober up, the previous hours will be a blur, and you'll never get them back. But all your memories from before the blackout should be perfectly clear.

So if your character can't remember certain events of his past, he must have been blackout-drunk during those events, which means he will never be able to remember them. If he was sober during those events, and he's temporarily forgetting via self-medication, you'll need to give him something a little stronger than alcohol.

Yup, this is a good assessment. Even if excessive drinking could retrospectively erase parts of your past from memory (which it doesn't), there's no way you could specify which memories would be forgotten, your brain would decide on that for you. Most likely, it would not choose the ones you wanted to forget, but others that you would rather keep!! 

As @Belzedar says, drinking to forget is far more insidious in that, while conning you into thinking it is working (only to discover the next day that the effect isn't permanent), it is also destroying your internal organs and accelerating you to an early grave. However, the drinker will become addicted to that temporary oblivion and, most likely, stop caring about the temporary effects as they spiral towards their own destruction.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As the author, you just have to convince us that is how it works, and we'll believe you. I think @Belzedar has described the reality of it, but an author can easily sell something that isn't quite true. Take Shallan, as an example (if you've read Stormlight). She has suppressed memories of the sort that probably don't really exist. She just stops herself from thinking about certain things when the line of thought is approaching something she doesn't want to remember.

If your character feels himself getting to close to certain dark memories, and decides to get hammered to take the edge off so he stops introspecting, that works just fine. People won't worry about if the character technically must remember those things in order to block himself.... If it fits the personality of the character, your readers will go with it.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the advice guys!! I think I'm going to go with a specialty powder that reacts with the alcohol to temporarily erase memories :D

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a decent idea. I would believe that, subject to how well it's sold :)

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.