Tuesday, September 18, 2007

"Can you drink when youhave bipolar disorder"

At first I thought, "What a sillyquestion," because you see commercials all the time on TVabout how not to drink alcoholwhen taking this or that medication,whichever one they're advertisingfor. But then I thought, well, theynever advertise for bipolar ones,so maybe it's a valid questionafter all.

Either way, I decided to answerit here, because I'm sure there aremore of you out there with thesame question.First let me say, I havenever had a drink in my life.I am not saying that to brag just to let you know I don'tspeak from experience.BUT, I haven't jumped off a cliff either doesn't mean I have to do thatto know how bad it would be forme :)But I have done a lot, and I mean a lot, of research into bipolar disorder, as you know, andalong with that, there is a lot of mention about people who havethe disorder who also have problemswith alcohol abuse.

Even by itself, without bipolardisorder, alcohol can be a hugeproblem. See, alcohol is adepressant. Which is kind offunny, because people who aredepressed don't know that, andthey turn to alcohol to make themfeel better when they're depressed.

And too many people end up asalcoholics, with or without thebipolar disorder to deal with aswell. But since I'm only talkingto people who have the disorder,I'll only talk about it in relationto that.Let's just talk in terms of yourmedications. There are all kindsof warnings not to take alcoholwith your medication, aren't there?So it's kind of a moot point to evenask if you can drink if you havebipolar disorder because of courseyou will be taking medication foryour disorder.That's the simplest answer I cancome up with!

Drinking alcohol can be bad enoughin itself, but can be deadly for the person with bipolar disorder, whenmixed with their bipolar medications.In addition to this, there are somany other bad things that alcoholbrings.It can and usually does cause weightgain. It causes people to eat more when they are drinking.

It causespeople to engage in relations withpeople they normally wouldn't.It causes people to say things theynormally would not and get theminto trouble.

It causes them do possibly drivedrunk. It causes people to spend moremoney they shouldn't spend.The reason why I have this list in myhead because I had this conversationwith a person in the gym that said, "Howcome you never ever drink." I gave herthe reasons. As much as she wanted to NOT believewhat I said, she had to believe itbecause everything was totally true.This person by the way does drink andand alcohol has caused many problemsfor her.

If you go through my courses/systemsbelow, you will not find one high functioningperson with bipolar disorder that drinks.I don't know of one person at all. SUPPORTING AN ADULT WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER?Visit:http://www.bipolarsupporter.com/report11SUPPORTING A CHILD/TEEN WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER?Visit:http://www.bipolarparenting.comHAVE BIPOLAR DISORDER?Visit:http://www.survivebipolar.netAnd many of the people in my courses USE TOdrink and they indicate it made it almost impossiblefor them to get their bipolar disorder undercontrol.Oh, I forgot one more bad thing with alcohol.

Some who drink become violent.I seriously might have 3000 horror storiesof people with bipolar disorder that weredrinking and not stable.

If you think thata person with bipolar disorder who is notstable is bad, when you add alcohol it makesit 100 to probably 1000 times worse.This is going to sound crazy, but I would appreciateif some people with bipolar disorder that useto drink would post how bad drinking is onmy blog and warn others.

15 comments:

krystyna said...

Hi Jim,
I think that is good to know about these blogs and Dr Deb is really an Angel.
People with this kind of problem need help, but it is not easy.
Wishind you happiness!

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Anonymous said...

Bipolar disorder is an illness that causes extreme mood swings. This condition is also called manic-depressive illness. It may be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain.If you are drink with bipolar disorder to help manage symptoms, even if it's anxiety be aware that we actually have much better.
=====================
sabina

Dual Diagnosis
Dual Diagnosis

Mrs.Linda Taylor said...

Bipolar disorder is an illness of severe mood swings. Mania and depression are the highs and lows of this disorder. Typically it is diagnosed in young adults age 18 years and older. It affects men and women equally. The disorder can run in families. http://www.xanax-effects.com/

Anonymous said...

I have bipolar disorder and I drink, but only socially. I have never had a substance abuse problem and I honestly wouldn't drink at all if I wasn't doing it with friends. My doc has said I shouldn't do it, but I honestly haven't had problems with it. I've even gotten semi-drunk, and done stupid things, yet at the same time I know when to stop. I rarely drink, maybe once every one or two months, and when I do it's probably no more than a couple of beers. The feeling can be kind of fun, but overall it's not the feeling I do it for its the camaraderie. Many (most?) places I go to don't offer alcohol free drinks but if they did I'd take that instead.

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Anonymous said...

Hi Great read im going to show my partner she has bipolar and she has started drinking heavly and i am worried sick about her she wont see sense about it she is fine most the time and has the odd bad day but when she drinks she changes into a totally diff person who is without sounding harsh a monster she starts abusing everybody hits people and even seen her push over a pregnant woman because she thought she smiled at me we now only have a handfull of friends and never get invited to anything because of her behavour. drinking with this medication is the worst thing i have ever experienced and would urge others to consider avoiding the drink, I love my girlfriend to bits and support her fully look after and care for her as not her fault but when you drink she is hitting the self destruct button. I wish i could help her to se just because she has this doesnt mean that she can not live a normal life just need to make a few lifestyle adjustments to live with this

Anonymous said...

Im 38 years old and only discovered i have bipolar in april this year. It explins a lot i could never 'hold' my drink. I could cringe when i think of things i have done. At 16 i took an overdose after drinking, over a boy i was obsessed with since i was 12. That was the real start of problem. Everytime i drank i was either very manic; life a soul and slept with strangers. Id become abusive, obsessive and say ridiculous things ranting telling strangers my life story! At 18 i became pregnant and couldnt drink my emotional problems were a little less. The next after i drank i was always depresses and had the sinking feeling i knew i had done and said thibgs i shouldnt. Ppl were very weary of me and i got a reputation of being a 'bad' drunk. In my 20's i got done for drink driving but i never learned, i nearly lost my job too. I continued to have one night stands ive now lost count of how many. This year after i stopped taking my drugs i had a complete melt down on a drinking session. I was nearly sectioned as was suicidal, ranting and saying crazy things. I vowed in july to never drink again its now december and ive gone out with no drink. I stick to cola, alcohol free wine and beer. I dont feel i miss out and i of course have kept my friends no one avoids me now.

Anonymous said...

Last night I drank.
I lashed out and screamed at my husband. I called him bad words and screamed like a maniac. I dont know if I hace bipolar...but I might.

I rarely drink.

I drink once a month and last month I drank, I was okay.

But the month before....i was a suicidal maniac.

Anonymous said...

I have bipolar disorder and I drink, my doctor says not to but I do anyway, I am a fool and I know it. But sometimes I guess every human being takes a chance. Why because we are idiots. Why? I guess it is the unknown, if someone says NO, we do it? Why I guess we are just fools and like to see what happens, we like to experiment. When things are going well, we want things to go better, so we drink. Does it make a difference maybe? I guess it all depends if you get depressed when you drink or not? If you want to talk to a doctor call Doctor Ortel at Human Services in Walworth County in Wisconsin he will give you really good advice.. His number is 262-741-3200 just ask for Ortell.. GOOD LUCK??

Anonymous said...

I have bipolar disorder and I drink, my doctor says not to but I do anyway, I am a fool and I know it. But sometimes I guess every human being takes a chance. Why because we are idiots. Why? I guess it is the unknown, if someone says NO, we do it? Why I guess we are just fools and like to see what happens, we like to experiment. When things are going well, we want things to go better, so we drink. Does it make a difference maybe? I guess it all depends if you get depressed when you drink or not? If you want to talk to a doctor call Doctor Ortel at Human Services in Walworth County in Wisconsin he will give you really good advice.. His number is 262-741-3200 just ask for Ortell.. GOOD LUCK??

Debera said...

I have bipolar and I am able to drink but I think it depends on how in control you are. I have learned to control my bipolar symptoms with help from http://onlineceucredit.com/edu/social-work-ceus-ba. I hope this is helpful!

Anonymous said...

James

Diagnosed with bipolar two years ago. At the time I was so worried about hiding the disorder thinking I would loose my job. Or not be able to continue in my current field. Drinking was social and a great time with friends. But when I'd be in the lows of depression I'd drink to just feel happy. I also drank heavily for years before diagnosed, I was self medicating to even out. In the long run it delayed me getting properly medication to treat my disease. The studies say 60 percent of bipolar diagnosed people like us have problems with alcohol. This illness compounded with bipolar is dangerous it almost ruined my marriage and life. I recomend not even drinking socially once or twice a month there's a huge chance 60 percent!!! I've lived it and just wanted to give a heads up. Thanks for this site I've gotten some good info and it allways helps I'm not the only one living with this.....

Anonymous said...

Ok...so I've been in AA for 4 years now and have 16 months sobriety now. My life is now boring...only friends I have are in AA...miss the bar scene, nightlife, excitement of high energy activities (concerts, sporting events, etc.). I was diagnosed bi-polar 8 months ago and it SUCKS because I don't like the fact that psychologists/psychiatrists make 'diagnoses' with written tests. I prefer taking a blood sample or some brain scan to say 'yes' or 'no'. I also think I drank the way I did for 20 years because my ex wife 'drove me to drink'...she was high maintenance, emotional, sensitive, and lacked any sexual drive. I think ANYONE would drink in that situation (to escape). I've been on these meds for bi-polar and now know it is DANGEROUS to drink on them. Soooo, what's the problem with weaning myself off of them and going back to alcohol and re-start my life with people like the old days? I am divorced for 5 years now, have 2 boys (10 and 17) and a good job in outside sales. I would like to drink like I used to (would always wind up drunk or heavily buzzed but I was never a fall-down, severe blackout drinker.Does this make sense because I really miss the alcohol in my life and have trouble relating to women since my divorce (because I'm sober). I've had 2 very short-term relationships, 1<3 months the other <1 month...both said I was too pushy and smothered them.