Author: Alex Thompson

Bipolar Disorder and Alcohol

how to live with a bipolar alcoholic

Therapies, including cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, and others, will also help. A good therapist can give you an outlet for expressing your feelings but also practical strategies for managing bipolar symptoms and alcohol cravings. One of the benefits of residential treatment is that the program will evaluate you thoroughly, so that all issues are diagnosed. You can then work with the facility’s staff of experts to manage bipolar disorder and your drinking, as well as any other issues.

  1. There isn’t much research that describes how to best combine treatment for bipolar disorder and AUD, but emerging recommendations from studies are available.
  2. Reach out to a treatment provider for free today for immediate assistance.
  3. They may also recommend a physical health evaluation to rule out any other potential medical causes.
  4. Many inpatient and outpatient programs help deal with both disorders, ideally eliminating the cravings for alcohol and stabilizing bipolar disorder.

With extensive experience in the field of addiction treatment, Francisco is dedicated to helping individuals access the resources they need for successful recovery. While the relationship between caffeine and bipolar disorder isn’t entirely clear, this 2020 review suggests it might lead to manic symptoms. Still, if you’re unhappy with side effects or lack of symptom relief, talk with your treatment team. Together, you can find ways to reduce side effects or find a new medication.

Manage Symptoms

Treatment is effective and helps many people manage their co-occurring disorders. The best course is a combination of medications and therapy, along with supplemental treatments such as holistic care and alternative, creative therapies. Understanding how bipolar disorder interacts with alcohol misuse and addiction can be an important first step towards achieving recovery. Other theories suggest that people with bipolar disorder use alcohol in an attempt to manage their symptoms, especially when they experience manic episodes. Treatment for substance use disorder is most effective when all your needs are addressed.

how to live with a bipolar alcoholic

Adding fruits and vegetables to your daily meals is a simple way to boost your overall wellness. Plus, some foods contain nutrients that may be particularly helpful for managing symptoms of mania or depression. Finding the right treatment plan — including that “just right” mix of meds — is a collaborative process where you and your doctor work as a team. It can also help to educate yourself about bipolar disorder and talk to others who are living with the condition, though it can look differently from person to person.

Psychological Treatments for Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder and alcohol use disorder, or other types of substance misuse, can be a dangerous mix. Also, having both conditions makes mood swings, depression, violence and suicide more likely. If you have bipolar disorder, avoiding anything within your control that triggers or exacerbates your symptoms may help with recovery.

Many people believe bipolar disorder references someone experiencing happiness one moment and sadness or anger the very next as if someone turned on a switch. Hopelessness or feeling lost can occur, fluctuating to intense feelings of happiness, or numbness. It may seem like a constant back and forth struggle, but it is so much more to each individual suffering. Approximately 2.6% of people in the United States have bipolar disorder. Approximately 14.5 million people in United States ages 12 and over have alcohol use disorder. If you have bipolar disorder, AUD, or both, talk to your doctor about treatment options that will work for you.

how to live with a bipolar alcoholic

It may be tempting to drink in order to manage symptoms and mood changes, but the risks are high. If you have bipolar disorder, you are at a much greater risk of developing alcohol use disorder. Living with a bipolar alcoholic can be very difficult and challenging. It is important to remember to take care of yourself first and foremost. Make sure to get enough rest and exercise, eat a healthy diet, and practice self-care. It is also important to set boundaries and to be aware of your own limits.

Diagnosing Bipolar Disorder

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Additionally, many with bipolar disorder find that the side effects of most medications are so extreme that they would rather self-medicate and deal with the consequences. Alcohol is known to intensify bipolar disorder due to its sedating effects. It acts similarly to some medications, risking feelings of depression with each swig of alcohol. Alcohol also greatly increases the severity of mania, which many who suffer from bipolar find extremely pleasurable. Although, alcohol can increase the negative effects of bipolar disorder in either direction, flaming the fire with each sip. Addiction to alcohol and bipolar disorder are very commonly present together.

So if you can, it’s helpful to see both a mental health professional and medical doctor who specialize in bipolar disorder. It is not recommended to drink when you suffer from bipolar disorder, as uncomfortable and unwanted episodes can occur from any amount you may drink. Medications help manage symptoms, but it can take some time to find one that works well for you and minimizes side effects. This is one good reason to consider residential care for comorbid substance abuse and bipolar disorder. A residence provides a safe place to stabilize on the appropriate medications. It’s important to be aware of this connection if you struggle with bipolar disorder.

If you take lithium for mood stabilization, there is a risk of developing toxic levels of the drug in your body. The risk of toxic lithium levels is higher if you drink too much, as alcohol causes dehydration. Francisco Church is a rehabilitation specialist and the chief editor of Recovery Ranger. He creates this site to offer guidance and support to individuals seeking to overcome addiction and achieve lasting sobriety.

Supporting someone with bipolar disorder and alcoholism can be challenging. It is important to be patient and understanding and to offer unconditional love and support. Let them know that you are there for them and that it is okay to ask for help. Encourage them to seek professional help and explore different treatment options with them.

But manic symptoms can quickly go from excessively upbeat and energetic to impulsive, unwanted behaviors. For many people, mania feels pleasurable — even intoxicating — so you may not want those feelings to go away. “When telling others, be direct and share some information about bipolar disorder,” Brondolo says.

Working with a care team can help with identifying triggers and developing management plans. For people with bipolar disorder, caution is warranted even with moderate alcohol consumption. Alcohol is a depressant that disrupts chemical messengers in the brain, which may lead to worsened depressive symptoms or trigger hypomania or mania. To diagnose AUD, a medical or mental health professional will conduct a thorough assessment, including exploring a person’s psychological and physical health history. They will also gather information about a person’s past and current behavior with alcohol and other substances.

Sometimes, you can do all the “right” things, and episodes still happen. To be prepared, you and your treatment team can create a plan to reduce symptoms and find relief faster. There are also many apps for people with bipolar disorder, which may include mood and symptom trackers.