Bipolar and Alcohol

IMG_1188I like to drink. Sometimes I like to drink a lot. I also take psychiatric medications. On all of my meds the warning ‘do not consume alcohol’ is included. And every time I see that warning label, a part of me pretends not to see it. This would be a good time for me to say “don’t do as I do,” and “I am NOT a doctor.” I’m just someone trying to figure this bipolar stuff out.

As a person with bipolar I am addicted to the high feeling of mania. So once I’ve had one drink and feel good, I want more because more alcohol equals a higher feeling of mania for me.  With that said, I basically end up drinking more than I need to. Bipolar or not, drinking in excess is not good for anyone’s health or decision-making abilities. But also with that said, it doesn’t really deter me from wanting to drink. Go figure.

Some psychiatric medications mixed with alcohol can be fatal. For example, let’s say you’re taking an anti-anxiety med that is working to relax your body. Then you drink alcohol, which also relaxes you. So now you have two substances that are relaxing your body so much that your lungs/breathing may slow down considerably to the point where you pass out and stop breathing all together.

Basically drinking with bipolar is like throwing gasoline on a slow-burning fire….It can be explosive. When I have a night of drinking I love how much fun I have. But after a night of fun, I’m often triggered into a depression for many days following.  The alcohol basically amplifies my mood swings.  So in a nutshell, my brain does not respond well to alcohol.

After talking this all out, maybe those warning label people know what they’re talking about after all 😉 Again, I am by NO means condoning drinking alcohol with your medications. Follow your doctor’s instructions, please 🙂

Do you all drink with your meds, or are you sober and strictly following the no alcohol guidelines? If you drink, how does alcohol affect your bipolar?


I am so bipolar, and unashamed.

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