CAUSE: 4-6 pints/glasses of wine
SYMPTOMS: mild nausea, mental and physical slowness
This garden-variety hangover is usually the result of a ‘quick one after work’ that went on a bit longer than you’d intended, without things actually getting ‘silly’. Like the common cold, it’s not debilitating, but it does make performing the simplest of tasks around 30% more difficult and annoying.
CAUSE: excessive consumption in the wrong environment
SYMPTOMS: paranoia, self-loathing
A hangover that means the first act of the day is usually chewing your own fist, this typically follows a work party, family do, or an encounter with an ex — any situation where you were supposed to meet a higher standard of behaviour than normal. You can’t quite remember what it was you said or did that was wrong, but the wrongness of it is nethertheless wedged inside you, rotting you from the inside out.
CAUSE: spirits, particularly vodka
SYMPTOMS: complete memory loss
The great paradox of hangovers, a total blackout can be seen as a blessing or a curse. With zero recollection of your night, it could be that you’ve been spared the memory of lecturing a bouncer about feminism while throwing up in your own shoe. On the other hand it could be that you’ve spent a fortune having tons of fun and meaningful conversations with your friends that now might as well have never happened. And you’ll never know which.
CAUSE: any one drink in excess (particularly Guinness)
SYMPTOMS: headache, vomiting, diarrhea
If you wake up with a physical, it means either your stomach, your head, or your bowels are bearing the brunt of your self-abuse — or all three, which can make trips to the toilet a bit like a game of Russian roulette. Of all the hangovers, this is the only one that can make it literally impossible to leave the house. Not that your boss — or anyone else — will have any sympathy.
CAUSE: not enough sleep
SYMPTOMS: excessive joy, followed by a terrible low
Sometimes you wake up after a heavy session and feel wonderful… So wonderful you’re knocking into things like a wind-up toy, chatting incessantly, and laughing to yourself in the street. Don’t be fooled. The buzz you feel is nothing more than still being drunk, and over the precipice of this false dawn awaits a hangover you’re going to experience, consciously, from the exact moment it begins.
CAUSE: excess, and having a rubbish time
SYMPTOMS: depression, pessimism, nihilism, taking a long, hard look at yourself
With most hangovers — however severe — you endure what they throw at you, knowing deep down you don’t really regret anything. Why else would you already be planning the next weekend? The existential crisis is different. On top of spending too much money and ruining the following day, you also failed to have any fun — making you question not just drinking itself but the shape and course of your entire existence. This is the hangover where you wonder if you have your priorities straight, if you’re somehow managing to f**k up (again) and whether actually, deep down, you’re just not a very good person — which, let’s face it — is probably why all your friends secretly dislike you. Enjoy.
CAUSE: lots of red wine or whisky
SYMPTOMS: extreme irritation, loss of patience, violent visions
Your slothenly flatmate, your chatty colleague, the old lady who brushed past you on the bus with insufficient grace: In the midst of ‘the rage’, all of these people and more deserve an almighty slap to the chops. But as with most angry, intolerant people, your flared nostrils and curt asides are really a sermon upon yourself: the idiot who thought it would be ‘cultured’ to open a bottle of Scotch at 2 a.m.
CAUSE: tequila, absinthe, Jagerbombs, anything brewed in a bath
Many people think they’ve experienced the apocalypse. In the course of a moderately bad hangover, they’ll certainly be a moment when you tell yourself you’re having one. But like falling in love or being kicked by a horse, when it happens, you really know about it, and suddenly all of your other hangovers are put into perspective. Generally incorporating at least three of the above — or in ultra-extreme cases, all the above — the apocalypse is only excusable if it’s your birthday, stag/hen do, or if the world is genuinely about to be obliterated by a meteorite.
SYMPTOMS: joy, peace, smugness
The hangover equivalent of finding a £20 note on the floor, ‘the pardon’ comes along but once or twice a year — if you’re lucky. Through a combination of chemical and psychological factors so intricate neither you nor a team of scientists could engineer it on purpose, you awake after a skinful and feel…fine. No headache, no anxiety, no problem. The only negative side effect of the pardon is that you feel an ingratiating need to boast about it to every person you meet for the rest of the day.