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Old 01-12-2007, 08:30 PM   #1
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How bad is drinking for someone with bipolar and meds, etc?

How bad is it really? I do drink a lot. Maybe anywhere from 3-5 nights a week. I'm not going to lie. I love going out and being social and drinking is a huge part of my social life. Does that mean I have a drinking problem? It runs in the family on both sides, unfortunately. I don't know, maybe I'm just rambling?

 
Old 01-12-2007, 08:40 PM   #2
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Re: How bad is drinking for someone with bipolar and meds, etc?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Llama
How bad is it really? I do drink a lot. Maybe anywhere from 3-5 nights a week. I'm not going to lie. I love going out and being social and drinking is a huge part of my social life. Does that mean I have a drinking problem? It runs in the family on both sides, unfortunately. I don't know, maybe I'm just rambling?
Yow. Alcohol is a depressant. It always makes matters worse if you have a problem with depression or bipolar disorder.

Also, most medications prescribed for those conditions direct that no alcohol be consumed while you're on the medications.

I've been treated for Bipolar I for 15 years. Trust me, alcohol only aggravates the problem. Alcoholism runs in my family, too. So if I want to drink, I want to drink a lot.

The escape from reality that drinking can bring is inviting when you're hounded with troubles, but the long-term and short-term effects will only bring you down.

You're not just rambling. Changing a lifestyle routine is hard, but it's worth it to improve your mental health.

Take care of yourself. You're worth taking care of.

Nikki

Last edited by hergy; 01-12-2007 at 08:41 PM.

 
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Old 01-12-2007, 08:56 PM   #3
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Re: How bad is drinking for someone with bipolar and meds, etc?

Also, alcohol can change the way the meds work in your body, and drinking can make episodes of mania and of depression more extreme. It is also more dangerous for a woman to drink than for a man. Bipolar woman are over 6 times more likely to become alcoholic than are bipolar men who drink.

Have you tried going out socializing and having fun, but just not drinking alcohol? You can get non-alcoholic beer or wine, or a tumbler of a clear liquid that looks like gin! I often just order the tonic, without the gin....I didn't think it would be possible to have fun without drinking, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it can be done!!

You may ultimately need to decide if your health and stability are more important than having that drink. With your family history, you need to be very careful or you will find yourself with a dual diagnosis.

 
Old 01-13-2007, 07:18 AM   #4
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Re: How bad is drinking for someone with bipolar and meds, etc?

Thanks for the non-harsh replies guys. I was sort of expecting to be bashed for such a question. I do realize that I should at least start by trying to cut down on drinking. I'll go from there and try to gradually cut it out from my life.

I do think that you are right that a person can have fun w/o drinking. One of my very good friends will have maybe 1-2 drinks all night long but still has a lot of fun when we go out. I learned a trick from her. If you tell the bartender that you are the designated driver, then you get soda all night long for free (at least in my area you do). No one has to know that you are drinking soda instead of something like a mixed drink! haha!

 
Old 01-13-2007, 09:08 AM   #5
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Re: How bad is drinking for someone with bipolar and meds, etc?

Hi Llama,

One more thing to think about....are you going out drinking to socialize or is the socializing just an excuse to drink?

Bars and clubs are the center of so much social life, especially for young adults. It is possible to continue to go, to talk with your friends, dance, play darts, whatever, have that clear liquid in a glass, and no one will be the wiser.

What you may discover however, is that it does get a little boring as the night goes on and everyone else is starting to slur their words, get more and more intoxicated, etc. and you're the only one who notices!! Then you can't help but thinking to yourself, did I used to look like that and act so obnoxious, or (fill in the appropriate word here) ??

And the really good thing is you never, ever have to worry about getting pulled over for driving while intoxicated. I highly recommend it!!

 
Old 01-13-2007, 09:37 AM   #6
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Re: How bad is drinking for someone with bipolar and meds, etc?

I agree with the others here, Llama. I know that drinking is a big thing that people are doing and you don't wanna look like your not part of the scene. But like Tsohl says....that scene from a sober point of view may start looking different. It is good that you answer the question...are you there for the booze or for the social aspect of it all.

I must say that it really scares me that my 15 year old openly tells me that she wants to be able to drink....that it's all being part of a teen. Thing is, it isn't something that she should do without putting herself at risk with the meds she is taking and her family history of alcoholism and drug addictions. We talked about this at her last pdoc appointment and he said if she could stop at one drink that would be one thing but the chances of that happening are slim and why put yourself in that situation. I sure hope that she is able to take that advice. I read her this thread since it seemed to pertain to her thoughts as well. I am hoping that it helps her to see that drinking when you are Bipolar and on meds is not in anybody's best interest and that there are ways of being social without having to drink and put yourself at risk of either becoming unstable or bringing harm to yourself.

Keep up the good work....it is good that you are open to the suggestions of others here.

(((HUGS))) ~ Goody

Ps ~ If you don't mind my asking...how old are you anyway??? My guess is early 20's

 
Old 01-13-2007, 11:10 AM   #7
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Re: How bad is drinking for someone with bipolar and meds, etc?

I know when I would drink with my meds I would get intoxicated quicker and sometimes even forget the things I had done.
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Michele

 
Old 01-13-2007, 04:45 PM   #8
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Re: How bad is drinking for someone with bipolar and meds, etc?

haha goody2shuz! Good guess! I am 23! and as far as your daughter goes and her wanting to drink, do you think that it is because it is forbidden to her? That could be a big part of the appeal of it. Maybe once she turns 21 and can get it on her own she will make an informed decision. It is good that you are discussing this with her now.

As far as the are you there for the booze or there for the social aspect, I had honestly never thought of it like that! It makes me wonder. I would say that the two sides are definitely equal though! (which is bad I know) I do enjoy getting drunk and I enjoy being with my friends. I am going to try to cut down as a first step though! Wish me luck!

Last edited by Llama; 01-13-2007 at 04:47 PM.

 
Old 01-13-2007, 05:00 PM   #9
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Re: How bad is drinking for someone with bipolar and meds, etc?

Good luck, Llama. I've been there, Buhhhh-leeeeve it! LOL I finally figured (after 15 years of partying) that I couldn't handle alcohol (it really started when I was about your age). I started blacking out all the time, acting a fool, etc. It got so bad after a night out that I had to totally shut my phones off the day after because I didn't want to face anyone who had seen me the night before. If I had done something that would embarass me, I didn't want to know (and 9 time out of 10, I did). Finally, I started to have panic attacks when I would have hang overs, because I would be in such fear that I had done something I just couldn't live with. But it was a hard lesson for me.

Stop while you're ahead is all I can say. And tshol and the others are definitely right when they say that alcohol only increases the extremes in bipolar. The only times in my life that I have ever tried to commit suicide was when I was drunk. Otherwise, I would never think about it. The scariest thing was that twice, I almost succeeded. But I didn't

GOOD LUCK TO YOU! I really mean that. You are doing the right thing by asking and making an effort to know why you're doing it and to try to stop while you're still young and healthy.

Last edited by gav_73; 01-13-2007 at 05:01 PM.

 
Old 01-15-2007, 08:36 PM   #10
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Re: How bad is drinking for someone with bipolar and meds, etc?

How are you doing, Llama? I'm thinking about you....

 
Old 01-16-2007, 04:35 PM   #11
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Re: How bad is drinking for someone with bipolar and meds, etc?

Thanks tshol!!!! You are so sweet! I am doing better because my pdoc added seroquel today and I feel A LOT calmer already! It knocked me out for 3 hours and that was a good thing considering I had only slept for about 3 hours the night before. Oh man I was getting so restless, but that feels a bit better. I am worried about the weight gain aspect. Hopefully I wont gain too much!

 
Old 01-16-2007, 04:38 PM   #12
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Re: How bad is drinking for someone with bipolar and meds, etc?

I'm happy to hear you're feeling better. I've heard seroquel works well for sleep and agitation. Hopefully you'll do very well on it. Have you become the official designated driver for your friends??

 
Old 01-16-2007, 06:22 PM   #13
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Re: How bad is drinking for someone with bipolar and meds, etc?

I have been a driver twice already in this week and last! A BIG difference for me! I even went out and had just one drink! It's just fun to be out with friends even if you aren't drinking! Plus I am really starting to enjoy darts and if I drink too much then I don't play very well at all! And how am I supposed to get better if I can't practice properly?

 
Old 01-16-2007, 06:48 PM   #14
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Re: How bad is drinking for someone with bipolar and meds, etc?

Oh Good!! Alot of drinking is "habit." Once you realize that you can still have fun and continue to do the same things, only without having an alcoholic drink in your hand, you've learned an important lesson!! And it has the added benefit of always knowing in the morning what you did the preceeding night!!

 
Old 01-16-2007, 06:50 PM   #15
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Re: How bad is drinking for someone with bipolar and meds, etc?

I'll admit, I drink on my meds. The only thing I notice after a night of drinking is that weird and manic thoughts tend to be more intense. Then it goes away. I don't drink alot though.

 
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