Getting sober isn’t easy and can get incredibly harsh, you need many days to wean off and the withdrawal symptoms can be terrible.

There is no doubt that people with drug and alcohol addictions feel much better when they quit.

There are many stories about how great life can be when you get sober. Getting sober isn’t easy and can get incredibly harsh, you need many days to wean off and the withdrawal symptoms can be terrible.

People who have only used for a short time may not experience very bad withdrawal. After the crash they may just be able to sleep it off over a few days. If you haven’t been using for six months or more, you may be lucky and feel better soon.

Others who have been drinking or using for more than six months or in high doses will experience at least a week of hard withdrawal and flu-like symptoms. Detoxing from heroin, meth, etc. has many other variables in addition to alcohol withdrawal. This article will focus mainly on alcohol withdrawal.


The sadness that people feel with withdrawal is similar to clinical depression but has a shorter duration. It’s the opposite of how you feel when you are drinking or high. It can be shocking, you may feel empty without getting high or drunk.

You may feel suicidal, misery, low self-esteem, you may cry and not be able to eat or sleep. You should prepare to feel this way and think about some healthy ways to perk yourself up. Surround yourself with people you love and trust. Watch movies you like and listen to music, practice self-care during this time.

Remind yourself that this is just part of the process. Withdrawal depression is brief and only continues for a few days. Drugs like meth are more severe to withdraw from and may have a longer timeline.

Your brain and body will feel disjointed and take a while to return to normal. You may want to give up. This isn’t the end it’s just part of the process and it will pass.

If you really feel like you can’t go on, see a specialist. They may be able to give you a prescription to feel better. Talking with a therapist can also help, they will listen to your problems and can give you some ideas.

If these feelings don’t go away you may have a pre-existing condition that was masked by the drugs and alcohol. Don’t worry your therapist can help you get the appropriate treatment.


Feeling uneasy and nervous is normal but it will go away in time. Same with the sadness, tension, it’s all part of alcohol withdrawal. If you took drugs or alcohol to relax your body will definitely feel more tense. You might also be scared that you can’t live or act normally without drugs or alcohol.

Nervousness is normal. You may be easily startled and overwhelmed by mundane things. Your breathing and pulse may increase to the point where you feel you are having an attack. Your mind can play tricks on you, making up stories that just aren’t true. You need to remind yourself that this is just fantasy and you will be OK.

Emotional Episodes

It isn’t abnormal for your emotions to swing all over. One moment you are happy the next sad. Energetic then completely exhausted. You may feel dread like something terrible is about to happen, this can really wear you down and also those around you. Keep repeating to yourself that when you get through this life will be better and you will have put your demons behind you.

If you can’t control yourself and cannot rest, see a specialist. They can prescribe something to help you sleep. A psychiatrist may also have some methods to help quiet your mind and nervous system.

If your symptoms don’t get better in time and you consider hurting yourself, get help immediately.


Similar to tension and sadness, exhaustion is normal amongst people experiencing alcohol withdrawal. Your body needs to recoup from the damage and hard lifestyle, including lack of sleep, emotional issues and harm to your organs.

Tiredness is the manifestation of sadness and uneasiness. This can feel overpowering without drugs and alcohol. With rest and time this too will pass.

Withdrawal weakness is depleting, yet many people keep trying to keep up their regular pace. Don’t, allow your body to heal until withdrawal passes.

Enjoy a break from your everyday life and take a few days off socializing.

  • Take some time off work.
  • Get a lot of rest and practice meditation.

After the First Week

After you make it through the first week or two you will feel the changes. This is a good time to seek professional treatment for why you became dependent in the first place. It will help set you up for a life without alcohol and drugs. Few people can do this alone, you need help from backsliding.

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome

Typically, intense medication or alcohol withdrawal symptoms last about seven days and no more. If withdrawal symptoms last for a long time or return at intervals, this is called PAWS or Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome. If this persists talk to a professional about getting more help.

In Closing

Confronting depression and anxiety during alcohol withdrawal might be one of the hardest things you ever do. It’s incredibly draining both physically and mentally. Regardless you are doing what is best for you and you will have your whole life in front of you when you are free of addiction. It is worth it!

If you need treatment and just find it easier to talk to someone, we encourage you to call a treatment advisor at 888-213-1552.