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.

5 thoughts on “Bipolar and Alcohol

  1. I completely drink. I have that same feeling. My husband tells me it’s a marathon not a race and constantly has to remind me to slow down. I know it’s really bad to do on medications but it’s something I enjoy and I’m not worrying about my disorder or stresses in the world.

    Apologies for the comments I just found your blog through your webmd video and I’m obsessively reading everything because it feels so good to be connected and have someone understand. I was just diagnosed this year.

    1. Well I’m so glad you’ve found me! I love to hear from others who have similar experiences. I know what you mean about loving alcohol. I’m on that train with you. Just got to keep all in moderation! Just be sure to have a good conversation with you doctor about WHY your medication is not good mixed with alcohol. For a long time I thought that it was because it would just make my medication not as effective, or heightened the effect of my meds. But there are some very real risks with some medications when mixed with alcohol. That just my PSA, so talk with your doctor 😉 Best to be well-informed. Also, you can ask, if you do drink a lot one night, what they recommend for you to do. Much love to you, love your comments!

      1. Completely agree! I just recently learned about the slowing of your heart rate on these medications and what alcohol can do to increase it. Love how you are making people aware and expressing what you do but not condoning it.

  2. I’m currently having a severe depression episode after getting drunk the other night. Now I can’t get out of bed and I’ve been like this for two days. I’ve been depressed but I think this made my depression worse. I am making a vow to stop drinking again. I never used to drink and I only recently started last year, but after this depressive episode I can’t do this anymore. I’m a newly wed and my husband is suffering because of it. I feel so horrible that I’m depressed and unable to be there for him because he’s currently station acrossed the country waiting to deployed and going through so much and I can’t be there for him emotionally because I’ve checked out of the world and into my depression.

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