Alcohol and BP

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proref20
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 1/15/2009 12:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi All,
 
My first post and a little nervous. My wife of 14 years has recently been diagnosed with BP - Manic and Anxiety. She has been on meds now for a few months and stays well for the most part . . . . As long as she takes them. For a while I thought she was an alcoholic. She would often turn to drinking heavilly when something set her off . . .
 
Even on Meds she still has the occasional episode where something sets her off and she turns to drinking. The day after she regrets her actions swears off drinking and hates herself. As i learn and cope with her condition I learn and remind myself she is sick. However it does take it's toll on emotions. I try to console her but it's not always easy. She does not drink in the house and hasn't for months. But if she is out and offers it to her she rarely says no . . .
 
Just curious if anyone else has had similar expirience.
Thanks to all that have posted. You have helped me learn so much in such little time.
 
Thanks Again

BD_spouse
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 1/15/2009 12:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow! you just described my husband! What she is doing is self-medicating because she has not control over what she is feeling and drinking makes it so that she doesn't HAVE to feel. I think that once she has her meds adjusted things will probably mellow out a little. Don't forget though, the more someone drinks, the closer they are to having an addiction or problem. You might also have to get her into AA or something so that the help she is getting is well-rounded and focuses on everything and not just one. You have to have a balance or it won't work.

((HUGS)) and WELCOME!! I'm relatively new as are a lot of other people and we've found this place to be of serious comfort and great advice. Not only from spouses who have spouses with BD, but actual people who are BP that help to shed some light on the "other side" of the coin!
From the moment

From the moment i saw you,
I wanted to meet you
From the moment i met you, I wanted to know you
From the moment i knew you, I was in love with you
From the moment i loved you, I wanted to share my life with you
and from that moment to this moment and for the moments to come I will love you with all my heart.
-author unknown


proref20
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 1/15/2009 12:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the response . . . This forum is a nice place to learn and share. She has stated she does not have a drinking problem . . .   She used to drink on a regular basis 3-5 times weekly. Now she goes weeks without a drop. But as soon as something comes in to play where she get's upsaet off she goes. Since I have taken more of an interest in her condition I see her as self medicating so she does not have to deal with her problem at hand. Often it is on a day or in a series of days where her meds are missed. I myself have been affiliated in al-anon and it has helped me greatly with my attitude in general. i have to be a little more compasionate and understand she is sick . . . Tough pills to swallow . . . please excuse the Punn.
 
I am going to her Dr with her this afternoon. The Doc thought it may be good for me to come in to better understand what has transpired. Since diagnosed and on meds her out bursts have few less frequent. But i am always waiting for that something to happen where she will go off . . .  I have been on the forum now for a couple of weeks and like I said in my previous post it has helped me learn a lot very quickly. I am looking to pick up a book or 2. in addition I have found a group online called NAMI it's a program that is national but has meetings in my immidiate area that helps people deal with this disease. Does anyone have an opinion or knowlege of NAMI they could share.
 
Thanks so much to all of you !!!
 
Proref

BD_spouse
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 1/15/2009 4:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh I've heard that one before too! My husband used to say that he didn't have a drinking problem, he had a drug problem! Well drinking yourself to blackouts 2x a week and getting "normal" drunk every other day is a bit of a problem in my opinion!

As for NAMI, i've never heard of it but i'm interested in finding out too!
From the moment

From the moment i saw you,
I wanted to meet you
From the moment i met you, I wanted to know you
From the moment i knew you, I was in love with you
From the moment i loved you, I wanted to share my life with you
and from that moment to this moment and for the moments to come I will love you with all my heart.
-author unknown


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 1/15/2009 7:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Proref20,

Welcome to the forum! I'm glad you've joined after being here for a couple of weeks.

You should know that drinking and bipolar are very common, but really unhealthy. You want to work on getting her away from the alcohol as completely as you can. Not only do drinking binges screw up her sleep patterns and mess with her mood, they counteract the medications, and render them useless. Sooo, no good. Everyone has a drink or two now and then, but more than that and she has a problem she needs to work on. You are right, she is sick, and that is why she shouldn't do it. Don't let her beat herself up about it, but try to gently reinforce her self-esteem that she's strong enough to resist.

I know of NAMI -- it's a well-established and well-respected organization. There are groups all over the country. Let us know how your experience is with them. I'd love to hear about it.

Good luck,
serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


mommy.michele
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 369
   Posted 1/15/2009 9:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello...your wife learned over her life to use alcohol as a way to escape stress.  ato help her find that happy or numb place that the meds are not helping her get to at times.  I used shopping to get that high.  With the alcohol, she really needs to start trying to avoid it.  Many times it counteracts what the meds are trying to do.  Is she in any kind of therapy?  I think it is a great way to relieve the anxiety, especially until you learn to better control yourself in those times.  I learned quite a bit from my therapist.

"Just because you're in the driver's seat, doesn't mean
you have to run people over." ~ Fred Pausch


proref20
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 1/16/2009 6:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Everyone,

You all have quite a bit of exp or are Dr's. My wife and I have been to counsel quite a bit. However with her looking to get on disability she has come across a new Dr that I met last night. She was awesome . . . She has a strong back ground in addiction. Something our previous Dr did. not. We made some pretty big strides and she has now heard it from someone other than me that addiction, is addiction, is addiction. They have changed some of her doasages and placed her on a med that will help with her drinking episodes (The name escapes me right now) it was nice to hear the Doc say that she looked 10X's better than she did 2 weeks ago when they saw each other last. It's a battle and the progress has been slow but steady. Provided she gets a good balance on her meds and continues to council we are going to be OK. I am starting with my NAMI group in a couple of weeks. If you Google it there is a national website that can direct you to a local group meeting. NAMI is for family members who are related to people struggling with the mental disorders we discuss on the is board. Once I get there I plan on sharing my exp.

I am planning to pick up a book this weekend. As a spouse of someone with BP I am looking if there are any recomendations. I am not a big reader but I know I need to get involved further in order to help myself as well as my family. Any recomendations are welcome.

Thanks to everyone for their kind words and support. I love checking in a couple times a day to share and learn.

Have a great Day !!!
Proref

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 1/16/2009 8:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Proref,

No one here is a doc, as far as I know. Just been there, done that, for the most part. My father is an alcoholic, so I can sympathize -- although it doesn't sound like your wife has anything like his level of struggle with alcohol.

I'm glad to hear she's doing better and you found a doc you like. That makes all the difference in the world.

As far as books go, I really like "The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide" by David Miklowitz, although it doesn't specifically deal with alcohol and bipolar. There are a few books, when I did a search, that deal with bipolar and addiciton, but they look fairly clinical to me.

Hope this is helpful,
serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


Precious Gem
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1139
   Posted 1/16/2009 8:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Proref20,

I hope your wife can stop drinking every time something does not go her way or upsets her, With BP, besides being on the right medication, you have to learn what your stressors or "triggers" are that really set you off and avoid them at all cost. This is easier said than done but if you ever want to feel that balanced feeling again and be able to respond to situations appropriately you have to do this. Not to say that everything unpleasant in life is avoidable, but with BP, especially if your meds are not working properly, you just do not respond to situations that arise rationaly. Sounds like you are a good supportive person and I am glad you are going to meetings, I know it has to be tough walking on eggshells all the time so your BP life partner doesn't go balistic.

Good luck and maybe her new Dr. will be able to open her eyes to the fact that alcohol and BP drugs are a dangerous combination!

BP Gemini

starlight1
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 1/17/2009 6:27 AM (GMT -7)   
my hubby does not drink much... but when he does it has a real bad affect on him He has an extreme personality change he gets very angry even if it is only 1 or 2 shots and he is not drunk.. the funny thing is that he is totally convinced that he can handle his drink
I sympathize
starlight1

Rocketman
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 156
   Posted 1/17/2009 7:04 AM (GMT -7)   

Proref;

Welcome aboard. I hope you find this board very helpful. Encourage your wife to stay on her meds. Have the docs said anything about her drinking? I know with a lot of these type of meds you shouldn't drink at all with them. Alchohol can be a dangerous addiction. Denial is usually the first sighn that they have a problem. You know the "I can quit whenever I want" thing. My wife's father did the same thing for years. Self medicating with alchohol instead of getting help from his doc. Hopefully you can help get her on the right track & get her condition under control.

Best Wishes;

Rocket

 


"The struggles make you stronger, and the changes make you wise, and happiness has it's own way of taking it's sweet time.
Gary Allan- From "Life Ain't Always Beutiful"


not on a positive trip
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 3/22/2009 12:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi all,

As a BP person I have been doing the same thing listed above. Self-medicating with alcohol, for the evry same reasons listed above. I have tried to stop many times and despite my wifes pleads and understanding I never did. Well, its reached its end. She is filinng for a seperation. I went to my first AA meeting last night and another one this morning. I have never met such an understanding bunch of people in my life. I tood up and admitted I was an alcoholic, self medicating for years. I asked for help and to draw on those people strngth. The all applauded me and shook my hand and patted me on the back as I sobbed. I had several people give their numbers and to call anytime day or night for help, a ride, to just sit with me whatever. This was a very humbling experience for me and a long over due one. As a manic BP I am very self righteous and this was a much needed reality check. People have lost everything in their lives to addiction, I cant stress enough that you get your partners to a meeting. I resisted for years thinking its not right for me, I dont need a come to Jesus event. Well, Ill tell you, when my wife told me of her intent I was on my knees praying to god. I went to church today for the first time in 25 years or more. If you value your marraige or relationship get them some help, somehow some way before its too late. There will come a time when there will be a crash. Head it off, encourage them to read this post if you think it will hope. There is a point of no return for a spouse or partner. Learn from my mistakes, please.
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