Why Do People Blackout?

If someone was to ask “why do people blackout”? What would the answer be? It would actually be quite hard to answer this question if there was no knowledge of the person who blacked out. Medically speaking, a blackout is a period when a person cannot remember something or temporarily loses consciousness.

As a physically related term, blackouts happen for many reasons. Being very drunk can be a reason why someone blacks out. But there are also many other triggers, such as standing up very quickly when a casualty has been sitting or lying down for some time, or a blow to the head can also be the cause for blackouts. The term blackout can also mean a temporary loss of vision. If this happens often, it could be a serious medical problem and it is worth seeking medical help.

The physiological reason for the blackout is what concerns doctors, especially if they occur frequently. Because having blackouts is a symptom, a doctor will try and ascertain the cause. If it is due to alcohol consumption then it obviously makes a lot of sense to curtail drinking habits.

This beings us to another question, why do people blackout when they drink alcohol? It seems that the main chemical component of alcohol that makes someone drunk (ethanol) is also the prime suspect in unconsciousness. The person involved may be present physically, but the memory circuits are out for the count. This results in the person having no memory of the events that happened (as in a complete blackout) or details such as the name of an individual that was met or the color of a shirt being remembered. Needless to say, it is a dangerous situation because there is no certain prescription to stop excessive alcohol consumption.

Another reason for blacking out that is not related to drinking is a change in equilibrium, as in the case of standing up too quickly. It seems that a blood rush to the head can be blamed for this. Trauma to the head can also cause blackouts because a part of the brain may be injured. A doctor needs to perform tests to know the state of the patient when this happens.

Then there are also people who blackout when they receive an immense shock such as horrific scenes in movies or when someone is told of bad news or makes a very startling discovery. When the person wakes from a faint they can’t seem to remember what happened until they are reminded of the trigger for the blackout. It seems that this is one situation where fiction is fact and can be answered when one is asked “why do people blackout?”

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