Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be a very difficult hurdle to cross on the road towards recovery from dependency. The physical and mental manifestations of the substance leaving the body, and the individual’s recognition of the end of his or her use, can be frightening and even painful. Sometimes these sensations and emotions may be enough to drive a person back to substance abuse. It is important to recognize the signs that this may be happening, so that proper support and treatment can be used to keep the recovering person from having a relapse. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms are caused by the body and mind reacting to the lack of the substance in the former user’s system. They can range from mild to severe, and may manifest themselves in a number of ways. Some people may experience extreme fluctuations in body temperature, or may have debilitating headaches. Other physical sensations might include tremors, changes in vision, rapid weight loss, rapid weight gain, or nausea. These are not the only possible physical sensations that a former user may experience; everyone is different, and everyone’s body will react in a different way. Other former users may not notice anything happening to them physically, but may have alcohol withdrawal symptoms that are more mental or emotional in nature. These people may feel mood swings that range from depression to hope to fear to anger. These people may also have serious doubts as to their ability to cope with the changes wrought by new sobriety. They may feel that they cannot go through the process because it is too difficult, or that they cannot go through the rest of their lives without the crutch of substance abuse that they have been leaning on for so long. Once an individual experiences alcohol withdrawal symptoms and has come through to the other side of them, it is important to note that they have already done a significant part of the work that needs to be done in order to reach sobriety. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms are difficult to face, and may discourage individuals from seeking sobriety, but conquering them can be an empowering start to a life of sobriety.