Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Parkinson tremor and Alcoholism

Alcoholism can cause tremors similar to Parkinson's disease. For alcoholics the development of a tremor is due to damage to the part of the brain that coordinates movement. This sometimes leads to poorly controlled movement and a chronic tremor.

In Parkinson's Disease the major symptom is a tremor, which is caused by damage to the brain as well. This time it is damage to the brain cells producing dopamine.

In fact Jane, my partner has a tremor mainly in her right hand. I don't think this is caused by her alcoholism. However, when she comes off a binge it can be so bad that she not only hyperventilates, she also panics and has hallucinations that are so real she cries out. She has on occasion had a fit, although I have not seen this.

When she is binging she'll insist I get some more Vodka if it has run out (it always will). If I don't comply she will say that she'll have a fit if she doesn't get more booze quickly (meaning an epileptic type fit). That, or she will go and buy it herself, which means walking out into the street looking like a tramp, totally pissed out of her mind. No dignity or self respect at all. And very dangerous for her - so I go and buy some.

Alcohol does a lot of hidden damage to the body including the brain. If is almost invisible sometimes as the damage is slow, but it is happening. Jane says she has a decent degree from a reasonable university but she is (sorry to say this) stupid most of the time and I wonder if the booze has done that to her. She simply cannot think a thing through. Man, that booze breaks you down eventually.

After all she has been an alcoholic for about 25 years. Oh, she also has the beginnings of arthritis and is not in that good a health. She's in her early 50s.

Anyway today wasn't too bad for Jane. She went to AA in the evening so it's another day survived without starting a binge. She may be having the odd secret drink at the moment (and declaring to me proudly. "at least I'm not drinking")....but she is not doing the heavy stuff and taking to the bed so that is a result.

Photo copyright cloois


  1. it sounds like you are enabling her and making yourself a victim maybe it Jane went out piss drunk she would learn a lesson or 2

  2. I only know a little bit about how you feel but it sounds like you have a more serious and difficult situation.

    My father in law was just diagnosed with Parkinson's but he is a severe alcholic (just beer but a lot of it every day). I was looking for information on how alcohol can affect Parkinson's or cause a misdiagnosis. Sadly I do not think he admits to his physician that he consumes a tremendous amount of alcohol daily. What's worse is that he does not think his alcoholism affects anyone because he is functioning and "not hurting anyone".

    My other concerns are with my husband. He, too, is an alcoholic but works hard and functions to a point that no one would ever think he does anything "wrong" or has a problem. He says that he will quit eventually but I am sure his dad said the same thing. I just can't foresee a long future dealing with an alcoholic that does not heed the warnings and concerns from his family that are aware of his drinking problem. We have a teenage daughter and a 4 yr old son...will the cycle ever end??? Priority one, I worry for them. I also worry for his future health and for me, it isn't attractive and the smell in the bedroom does not help my libido.

    I sometimes hate it and other times I pretend everything is fine and let it go for a while. Nagging never helps and even he has said that no one can make him change his ways, he has to do it for himself. I wish the kids were enough!!!!

  3. my hubby is an alcoholic he also shows signs of parkinsons,i.e right arm not swinging, writting very small and his back apparantly makes him jerk alot. i could do little to help him apart from leaving him. he now lives in sheltered accommodation and you would think he was ninety two not sixty two. he also has 4 carers a day.

  4. Last comment: Gosh it sounds awful. Alcoholism is horrible, horrible, horrible. It destroys everything eventually. That is why I am leaving Jane. She is eating away at my wellbeing.

  5. Alcoholism took the love of my life away along with my adult children & grandchildren and it has been the worst addiction ever experienced! My 20 year marriage ended and ex-husband has a family history where most of the four brothers died from Parkinson's disease. These diseases are related genetically if not this world don't exist.

  6. When you take too much care of someone else and it consumes you, you have ceased taking care of YOU! This is codependency. Take care of YOU...or did you forget how? I did, but I am learning again. If the alcoholic loses the job, the family, his health or dies....it is not your fault. They hold the key to survival and a full life...no one can fix it or make it work. HARD TRUTH! Good Luck!

  7. Very useful post. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. Really its great article. Keep it up. Alcohol Rehab Ottawa


I'd like to hear the experiences of both alcoholics and the victims of alcoholics, please.