What is a blackout?


A blackout is the temporary memory loss that can occur for various reasons. However, in most cases, a blackout is referred to the breaches in memory due to the overconsumption of alcohol.


Different prior states of an individual can characterize a blackout. A person can lose consciousness for a short period, can experience temporary problems with vision, and see the objects blurred, or they can suddenly become confused about the surroundings. As it was mentioned, there are different causes of a blackout. Besides losing memories about recent events or specific information, a blackout can happen because of blood circulation issues, mental illnesses, epileptic seizures, or heart diseases.

Still, blackouts happen frequently when a person drinks alcohol. According to the studies, 90% of teenagers experienced a memory loss because of alcohol consumption once by the age of 19. Besides, another study of more than 1000 participants revealed that more than 50% of them have alcohol-related blackouts once a year. A blackout is characterized by the disruption between long-term and short-term memories. It is crucial to mention that although the individual loses the memories only about the events happening during the blackout, those memories will not return.

Psychogenic blackout is another type of blackout that is often mistakenly associated with illicit drug consumption or epilepsy. This type of blackout most commonly occurs among young adults because of stress or extreme anxiety. Psychogenic blackouts are characterized by the loss of body control and possible seizures. This attack happens as an uncontrolled and involuntary responsive reaction to traumatic events, fear, or some illness treatments. Even though blackouts do not seem to be the most severe issue, it is still worth checking with the medical professionals.

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