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Old 11-04-2006, 05:23 PM   #1
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alcohol and bipolar

I think there is a strong connection with bipolar and alcohol problems. I seem to be prone to getting too drunk or wanting to drink and then suffering bad hangovers that are worse than others who drink alcohol. I know the drinking should be a no no for anyone on meds, but the reality is that alcohol is a legal drug that our society accepts as ok. I want to stop getting so wasted but dislike the idea of AA or other alcohol support groups. I dont think Im an alcoholic, but I definately cannot tolerate it as well as others and seem to still use it even with all the problems it brings to my life. Any thoughts?

 
Old 11-04-2006, 05:56 PM   #2
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Re: alcohol and bipolar

Hi....I was just reading a book that says that Bipolar Disorder and vulnerability to addiction have a strong genetic component and the two tend to occur together because the genes for both are located close to one another on the chromosomes and tend to be inherited together. It goes on to state that the symptoms of bipolar and substance abuse are often seen triggering and reinforcing each other. From what you describe it would be wise to realize that you could develop an addiction if you do not seek treatment for you alcohol use particularly if it is interfering in your life in a negative way.

I have also read that alcohol use/abuse can worsten the course of Bipolar Disorder due to the direct affect on the brain due to repeated use.

I hope these recent findings will help you better understand the connection between the two problems and how important it is to be aware of how alcohol could actually worsten your Bipolar.

~ Goody

Last edited by goody2shuz; 11-04-2006 at 06:03 PM.

 
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Old 11-04-2006, 06:00 PM   #3
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Re: alcohol and bipolar

thanks Goody. I think you are right about the worsening effects they have on one other for sure. Im slowly becoming more wise with my drinking activity. Thanks again.

 
Old 11-04-2006, 09:45 PM   #4
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Re: alcohol and bipolar

wow drinking is a huge problem for me i haven't drank for10 months because of my meds. but it got to the point that i was a mess drunk and always though why cant i just get a buzz and stop there because i never could id start drinking not want to go home and want to party till i passed out i also have noticed the times i want to drink are usually around that time of the month so i began to think i needed to go to aa but i now believe it is because I'm bp do you get like that? shelb

 
Old 11-05-2006, 03:56 AM   #5
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Re: alcohol and bipolar

I think there is a strong connection to the two- bp and drinking, aa works for some, while i think for me avoiding those places (bars, clubs etc) I dont really drink b/c i dont drink at home. I think being bp would make an individual more prone to alcohol realated problems.

 
Old 11-05-2006, 05:32 AM   #6
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Re: alcohol and bipolar

Hi all,

all the reports/evidence points to a strong link between alcohol and street drugs being a means of self medicating someone with bp. I have done both for many years as well as being on the meds. I have now stopped; partly because my psych told me I was playing russian roulette with my life (I have 5 other family members with mental health issues and my dad committed suicide as a chronic alcoholic this year). I cannot tolerate the hangovers, they do last for days and i believe it may be as a result of the meds (depakote) which have an effect on liver and kidneys which clean your system of poisons - which alcohol is.

I am gutted about this; however I did have a sneaky glass of wine last night with dinner and lots of water and i didn't want any more! I definitely believe it is because I have had my meds doubled in the last few weeks and that before they weren't high enough (my blood tests revealed they had been below the therapeutic level for 12mths!).

I would go to the doctor and tell him you are medicating with alcohol. You are not an alcoholic but you will be developing an unhealthy relationship with alcohol that actually the meds should provide you.

jgr

 
Old 11-05-2006, 11:06 AM   #7
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Re: alcohol and bipolar

Yes So Ive Heard...... But I Was Always Extreme Normal(bpd)so When I Used To Drink I Was Way Over Board By The Way I Think You Mentioned Getting A Pet It Could Have Been Someone Else But Rats Are Great Pets They Are Kinda Like Lap Dogs And Not As Hard To Care For As A Dog Gods Blessings Shelb

 
Old 11-05-2006, 11:28 AM   #8
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Re: alcohol and bipolar

I am in the same boat. I have been reading a lot about bipolar and I do think there is a connection between addictions and bipolar. Some say it is an attempt to self-medicate. My grandfather was bipolar and he was an alcoholic. God, I feel like I'm turning into him more and more every day.

I also know that I should not be drinking, but I can't stop or I wont stop? I don't know anymore. Maybe I'm just weak, but I don't know how to give it up!?! I love it. It mellows me out a bit and I can sleep. And when I'm like this I just LOVE to go out and party all night and hook up with random people. I just want to get out there and be with people since I spent the last year in bed, crying my eyes out, wanting to die, failing school, missing work, losing friends, etc you know the drill. At that time I also drank though just to try to escape for a while!

I am also not really into that whole AA scene. And their whole idea of the "higher power" scheme is not my style. I really don't think I'm an alcoholic either. What do we do?

 
Old 11-05-2006, 03:15 PM   #9
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Re: alcohol and bipolar

suzannecaroline, I am not trying to make you feel badly. But, you know you have an alcohol problem, when you start writing about it.

Lap18

 
Old 11-05-2006, 04:03 PM   #10
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Re: alcohol and bipolar

I KNOW I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH IT!!!!!!!!!!!! AND I WILL NEVER DRINK AGIAN IT HAS BEEN 10 MONTHS SINCE I DRANK BUT WHAT WE ARE DISCUSSING IS WETHER IT IS ALCHOLISM OR BP AND I BELIVE IT CAN BE BOTH DRUGS AND ALAHOL ABUSE RUN IN THE FAMILY AS DOES MENTAL ILLNESS WHEN IM ON MY MEDS I HAVE NO URGE TO DRINK CLAPS FOR ME BUT YOUR DOCTOR IS THE ONE TO TALK TO AND IF THEY DONT LISTEN PLEASE FIND SOMEONE ELSE TO BETTER YOURSELF GODS BLESSINGS SHELB

 
Old 11-05-2006, 10:42 PM   #11
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Re: alcohol and bipolar

Hello there

I was a very big binge drinker, and I was very ill alot. I stopped drinking alcohol completely 17 months ago and I cannot emphesis enough how much better I feel. My meds have more than halved. I am holding down a job. I havn't had an episode since (except I'm not feeling terribly great right now) but nothing I can't deal with. I hope with all my heart that I never ever pick up another drink again. Take care. Thanks for listening.

 
Old 11-06-2006, 01:48 AM   #12
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Re: alcohol and bipolar

My bf isn't an alcoholic - he can go without a drink - but he likes a drink and seems to be using alcohol on a regular basis to help him release some of the manic episodes - unfortunatley for me it means I am the verbal and emotional punchbag and almost at the point of not being able to handle anymore. It's not the alcohol is the excessiveness that acts as a catalyst for him saying really nasty spiteful things that he then takes back the next day. I would say that the two do definatley go hand in glove. When he not in a manic episode then alcohol doesn't make him say all the horrible things he does say - he has become a horrible drunk recently and I think thats the bp NOT the alcohol. gahhh so confusing...

 
Old 11-06-2006, 08:11 AM   #13
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Re: alcohol and bipolar

bpd is similar to being drunk when your drunk your emotions are crazy and wild however that is how us with bpd live and it is very exhausting i go from happiness to nearly taking the plunge my cycles are almost daily i go through a couple and yes i do believe at first the drinking helps with the mania and then it destroys everything!!!!!!!!! I've lived this life i wish you all strength and Peace Gods Blessings shelb

 
Old 11-06-2006, 11:01 AM   #14
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Re: alcohol and bipolar

Hi all,

I thought I should contribute to this thread because I share so many of the symptoms of alcohol that you talk about. When I drink, I turn into an absolute nut! A completely different person. I also experience the same thing with hangovers that Suzanne describes, horrible, horrible headaches, vomiting for hours and hours, and they sometimes last for days. I also started to experience panic attacks when I would have a hangover, and I suspect they are due to all the terrible and embarassing things I would do while drunk. In addition, I share the same inability to stop at a couple drinks after I start and will drink myself into oblivion. I remember nothing of my actions the next day and refuse to allow anyone to tell me anything about it because it is simply too unbearable to hear. The only times I have ever tried to commit suicide, or even thought about it, has been when I was drunk. All rationality flies out the window. I have been to jail for several DUIs and other alcohol-related horrors. But it has been over ten years since then, but only by complete luck, or God, or whatever.

I tried AA, but being an agnostic, I found it very difficult to get anything out of it, as so much of the program revolves around the Christian view of God, organized religion, and an absence of personal responsibility, all of which I strongly disagree and against the foundation of my beliefs. Needlesstosay, it wasn't for me.

The confusing part for me was that I was able to really quit drinking any time I wanted, except when I was around lots of people in a social situation. I get very nervous, pressured to become a social butterfly, fit in with the crowd. It was difficult because I have always found it very difficult to relate to people on a deep and meaningful level. Ironically, I have always played the role of advisor rather than advisee, probably because I am more comfortable with my guard up at all times.

When I started reading about bipolars and their lives, I felt so relieved. I see myself in so many of you. Today, I haven't had a drink in over 6 months, not only because I'm on the meds, but I simply can't afford to bear the consequences of it. So much of my life and the lives of others have been devastated because of my drinking. Luckily, I never have felt a need for a drink while alone or while at home. Plus, my husband doesn't drink, which helps a lot. I've simply removed myself from that life. But it will be difficult to avoid it forever, although I hope by the time I find myself in situations where I am prone to drink, I will have learned new behaviors and my medication will be at the appropriate level. Let's hope.

And finally, my husband recently had a close friend die after drinking while on some type of depression/mental illness medication. We still don't know what that medication was, only that it was related to depression. Therefore, my husband is petrified that I will drink on my medication, especially since alcohol seems to saturate my entire body when I drink it. In addition, I appear to be very sensitive to mixing medications. Just something to think about, because apparently, bad things can happen when drinking alcohol with medications such as those we are on. We have personally seen it happen.

Hang in there, guys.

Last edited by gav_73; 11-06-2006 at 11:08 AM.

 
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