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Anyone bipolar and have experience with alcoholism/substance abuse?

So for a long time I have thought I had an alcohol problem. I have the compulsion to drink (and I mean DRINK) once a week hardcore. I am starting to realize that my drinking may be caused more by mania. I am not an 'alcoholic' in the sense that I have and can go days/weeks/months without drinking, but during certain times I find it difficult. When drunk I am like a completely different person. My husband has even remarked that I talk, look, and act differently. I once went to see a therapist who suggested I might be bipolar. I didn't like that so I didn't go back to see her. Anyway, I have an appt. with a psychiatrist but not until Nov. 1st. Just wondering if anyone has any experience w/ this. I am sometimes afraid of my own behavior, esp. when I drink and it scares me. I am not suicidal or depressed, just very out of control or'manic' at times. I read that alcohol and bipolar disorder often go hand-in-hand.

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Asked by Anonymous at 12:02 AM on Oct. 15, 2010 in Health

Answers (6)
  • They absolutely go hand in hand. My DH is bipolar and he ended up with a very bad drug problem, which made his mania even worse. Please get a referral to a psych doc, there are many meds you can try which will even your moods out.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:14 AM on Oct. 15, 2010

  • my father was bipolar. he was a drug addict and and alcoholic at the age of 26 he could not deal much more with an illness that he could not control and had no help from and ended his life. prior to his suicide he attempted many times suicide and ended in a wheelchair.

    i have his same illness even though i understand it is not genetic but somehow i have been cursed with it...i have been seeing doctors since the age of 5 and had been on medication since the age of 10...i give it up for the people that are sick and try so hard to live a normal life...i am a horrible person at times but i try to control the illness and not let it control this time i am not on my medications due that i can not pay for them...but one day at a mother has become my medication she lets me express my feelings without hurting myself...

    Answer by iNk-FrEaK at 1:12 AM on Oct. 15, 2010

  • I am bi-polar and am a recovering addict. You need to listen to what the psychiatrist says and not turn a deaf ear when you hear something you don't like. Oh and research any meds he/she may prescribe before you take them. 


    Answer by luvmygrlz at 3:24 AM on Oct. 15, 2010

  • um not all bipolar ppl have any substance issues i never have and my sister never did i think its another thing to blame your choices on.. thats just my opinion

    Answer by Kittty_Katt at 6:16 AM on Oct. 15, 2010

  • Bipolar isn't a choice. It is disabling. You a prisoner in your own mind. Yes, drugs/drinking go hand & hand with it. Why? Not because its another thing to blame your choices on. Its because you know something is out of control. You want it to stop. You don't want to be out of control. Drinking/Drugs is self medicating. For a moment our actions/ fears/panic to stop. We can't control it because the chemicals needed aren't being produced. The synaptic neutrons aren't functioning. For some of us, we were born without it. It is genetic. I've traced mine back 5 generations so far. All are either psychotic, psychofrenic, bi-ploar, manic depression, or a combination. All five generations have had this disorder to one degree or another. My mother & two sisters minds have snapped. If one medication doesn't work, tell them. Our bodies are different. Mine 3yrs. See a therapist 4 ways to adjust. Stay on it even when well!

    Answer by Prayerpartner at 6:50 AM on Oct. 15, 2010

  • I am bipolar, rapid cycling. I also sometimes drink during my manic episodes and it is not pretty. I will drink excessively and throw things, i've been arrested for assult, had the cops called, EMS for slicing my own arm open with a kitchen knife all in a manic phase under the influence of alcohol. I will go into rages for absolutely no reason. I do this when i'm manic anyway, but with alcohol it's 1000 times worse. I will be a completely different person. So it can definetly be related to bipolar. Talk to you dr. and try to figure it out. My advice to you would be to try to stay away from alcohol though. I have had to stop drinking all together. I never know when that switch will flip with me. Better safe than sorry.

    Answer by MissAlisabeth at 4:54 PM on Oct. 15, 2010

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