Re: Bipolar II and misdiagnosis of alcoholism

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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/25/2009 3:25 PM (GMT -7)   
I was diagnosed with a dual disorder of Bipolar II and alcoholism.
I'm currently being treated with Lamicatl and Abilify.
I find these drugs really work well except for a small anxiety issue which I can probably attribute to the abilify as it is a know side effect.
However, I have noticed that since taking the Bipolar treatment my urge to binge drink has disappeared. by that I mean - when I start I can actually stop - this is not something I was able to do before.
Now I'm wondering if my diagnosis of alcoholism was incorrect and it was the Bipolar II disorder that was the problem all along.
My family are worried about me drinking again as I did cause a lot of trouble when I was drinking but at that time I had never been diagnosed as Bipolar II.
I don't want my family to be worried but I don't want to treat myself for something I haven't got either.
I have drank twice in the last month and both times I stopped fine after one night and both nights I drank on social occassions.
Has anyone had a similar experience or tried this and come off for the worst?
Please don't lecture me on if my family are worried I shouldn't drink as that is not the question that I'm exploring.
I want to find out the real problem here and just want to hear peoples experiences around this type of issue if anyone had the same case history.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/25/2009 6:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Count66,

Welcome to HealingWell and to the bipolar forum.

Alcoholism and bipolar go hand in hand. Many bipolars are ALSO alcoholics. But just because you can suddenly stop when you start doesn't mean you should start. The bipolar medication is elevating your mood, stabilizing it, so suddenly you are driven less to drink emotionally -- you have a little more control. That's chemistry for you -- now you're cooking with gas.

From what I know (which is precious little, but my father passed away in March from alcoholism) if you manage your mood, you have greater success managing the alcoholism. But drinking obviously worsens both conditions. Alcohol renders the medications useless, and certainly if your mood is unbalanced you are at greater risk for alcohol abuse.

It's time for you to be honest about your alcohol use. That's the only thing that's going to help you cure the disease. If you are abusing alcohol, you know it. Doctors will tell you you shouldn't drink at all while on psychiatric medications. All of us have a drink or two occassionally, but more than that and you risk throwing off your medical regiment.

Good luck,
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

"Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It's a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life." - CARRIE FISHER

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/26/2009 7:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your advice Serafena

red lightening
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 620
   Posted 10/26/2009 8:02 AM (GMT -7)   
Serafena said it all. Ditto.

I'm a BPII Alcoholic, (Recovered binge drinker now 10 months sober)
I find it's easy to stop drinking in between binges but the trick is to 'Stay

I attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings because, though it's not's the most successful way for me to stay sober.
80% of the recovering alcoholics in A.A. are being treated for an underlying mood disorder.

BPII meds don't work if one drinks or does other drugs.

Alcoholism will kill you....spiritually, physically, emotionally...
Before I knew I was Bipolar I used to self-medicated with beer.
I don't know which came first the binge drinking or the Bipolar, but I do know
I have to treat them both equally if want to live.

Michael Collins
New Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 2/23/2011 1:51 AM (GMT -7)   
I am a recovering alcoholic and possibly bipolar. My wife has persuaded me to get help with both of my issues. I to go to AA and it is not perfect I agree. However, I can no longer function day to day any more. I'm 41 and I lost my business. I was fired recently when I found a job after I ran my business into the ground. I have created so many problems in my life in the past 2 years. I'm going to try sobriety, keep taking my medication and listen to my doctor. If I'm bipolar, then I guess I will need to take some more medication. I'm ok with that now, because if it will help me get my life back it will be worth it.

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