Five Things You’ll Feel When Going Through Alcohol Withdrawal


More and more of us are recognizing we have a problem with alcohol these days, and doing something about it is the next big step.

The number of admittances to places like UKAT and Linwood House, a private rehab centre in South Yorkshire are rising and the starting point of such treatment and shift into recovery is the detox.

It’s one of the more terrifying aspects of giving up alcohol for alcoholics, and you’ll no doubt have heard many horror stories about it. But what is going through the withdrawal process really like?

To help people know what to expect when going through it, even though it’s worth noting everyone is different, here are five things you may feel when going through the process…

Anxiety and Restlessness

One of the most prevalent symptoms you’ll encounter is heightened anxiety and restlessness. This is due to the body trying to adjust to the absence of alcohol and can manifest itself as various sensations, from heavy sweating to shaking and an increased heart rate. Alongside this, you may also feel heightened levels of fear and irritability. The intensity of such anxiety can range from mild to severe, depending on a person’s level of alcohol dependence.

Insomnia and Disturbed Sleep Patterns

Unfortunately, despite it being important to get a good night’s sleep to allow the body to recover, disturbed sleeping patterns and insomnia can be part and parcel of withdrawal. That can mean you have frequent awakenings as well as a vicious cycle of sleep disturbances. This can heighten stress levels further and also make it even more difficult to get to sleep.


That lack of sleep can then become more problematic when it comes to cognitive functioning and mood reguolation as well as overall well-being during a time when you really need to concentrate on getting better.

Physical Symptoms of Withdrawal

There are also physical symptoms that you could well feel as the body detoxifies. Commonly, this will be in the form of headaches, nausea, and vomiting. However, people can also feel much more severe withdrawal symptoms that need medical assistance, including the likes of seizures and hallucinations.

This is why it can be incredibly important to ensure that your detox is done so in a safe and monitored environment.

Mood Swings and Emotional Instability

Emotional instability and mood swings are a typical part of withdrawal as your hormones fluctuate and your body adapts to a lack of alcohol. People can feel sad, depressed, and hopeless during this period, while irritability often spikes alongside frustration.

It can be a challenging period for both the person going through withdrawal as well as any friends or family support at this point, and it can often be a good idea to seek emotional support from counselors to address and cope with those mood disturbances.

Cravings and Urges to Drink

Finally, and most obviously, you’ll also find that you’ll have cravings for alcohol that you will have to battle through. Cravings can be intense, or they can be less so, as well as triggered by various social situations and environmental cues.


Learning to manage cravings is an important part of treatment, enabling you to manage such problems more effectively in recovery. This can then put you on the best footing to live a happy and sober life over both the short and long term, ensuring you only have to go through the difficulties of withdrawal once.