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Alcohol and Mania

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I have recently been put on Lamitcal for bipolar and I have a question. I am 24 year old female and have a question about alcohol. I know I shouldn't overdue it because of the cymbalta and lamit. I am on; however, I find that my high risk behaviors are acted on when I am drinking (example - opening my car door on a highway while my friend was driving). My spendiing sprees and sometimes rage episodes were never related to alcohol. I figured since alcohol is a depressant it wouldn't cause mania. Does anyone else experience the same problems? I have greatly decreased my alcohol intake but sometimes I try to be a "normal 24 yr old" and overdo it.
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First Helper yelloowk
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replied January 21st, 2008
Experienced User
While my husband doesn't experience mania as much anymore, he refrains from drinking, period. When he drinks, he feels more like doing strange things & being on anti-depressants & drinking alcohol is a bad combination. It's really better that you not drink at all (if possible) while you're taking medicine. I hope that helps.
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replied February 22nd, 2009
similar situation
Lamitcal is not an anti-depressant. While drinking while on any medication is not the best idea, my doctor told me that there is not an elevated risk with this drug in particular. As far as the Mania, I personally don't think drinking makes me more manic-- however I think mania lead me to drink more than I should. I'm with you, being a 23yr old, sometimes you feel like you're invincible and the amount we tend to consume while unhealthy for anyone makes our crazy behavior go too far. I don't know how long you've been on Lamitcal, but it worked wonders on me...it's made to treat the mania, so it doesn't flatten you out like other stuff. One warning though, after a night of tough partying I woke up with exactly the sort of rash the doctors warn you about could turn into Stevens Johnsons. My head was the size of a balloon, and I had to quit taking the medication. So be careful, I think the alcohol may have worsened my symptoms.
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replied November 16th, 2009
I would say that it brings out the best of both, mania and depression in my experience. If I've been drinking in mania (I'm not medicated) I'll feel like I'm on top of the world in an uncontrollable way. However, in depression it makes me feel much worse severe anxiety, I will not eat for weeks, until I�m completely sick. So, without medication alcohol makes my symptoms much more severe
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replied December 6th, 2009
I don't know about the medicine you're taking, but I am bipolar as well and take Seroquel to treat it. It sucks because I just turned 21 in September and my doctor recommended only cosuming a small amount of light alchohol ONLY for my birthday. My mom reminds me that = I shouldn't drink at all. The doctor told her that alcohol could affect the chemicals in my brain and perhaps trigger mania. Don't know if this is really true or if he just doesn't want me to drink. I feel like I can't ever be normal and have a drink here and there with my friends. I'm not a big drinker anyways I like drinks like white russians and chambord and creme. Don't know if those drinks could "trigger" mania or not.
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replied July 21st, 2010
Cymbalta and alcohol
I find that when on Cymbalta, I have the urge to drink and when I drink, I get manic and out of control. I don't just drink 1 or 2 drinks -- I get extremely drunk and either hypomanic or full blown manic, but only for the time when drunk. I've done tests on myself where I stop taking Cymbalta and see how I react with alcohol and it's definitely different when I combine the two. Without Cymbalta in my system, I'll have a drink or two and just not want anymore, or just keep acting like myself even with a few drinks in me. I don't have the craving to keep drinking, and I don't get manic, not even hypomanic. With Cymbalta, after even one drink I become hypomanic, which I have to admit, I really enjoy. It's scary for me because Cymbalta is the only medication that has helped the depressive symptoms, but on it, I definitely struggle with avoiding alcohol on a daily basis.
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replied August 21st, 2010
I am a party animal of note... n when i drink on my tablets it great coz im a cheap date.. haha... takes only a few drinks then im plastered... but even though ill be feelin top of the world...i no i act in ways that are not normal... i get very snappy and aggressive and say exactly wat i feel... and the next mornin..although i dont get a hang over i just feel soooo down!! so now im on a mission to stop drinking and i must say.. lots of people hav said im much better this way! so if that helps... GREAT Smile
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replied May 26th, 2013
Experienced User
I know this is an old message but I am so happy for you about avoiding alcohol. I know people with BP1 who have become alcoholics. It's been brutal for them to deal but they have done it.
good luck to you!
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replied August 26th, 2010
depends really, mania + alcohol = hypersexuality/rash decisions for me
but depression + alcohol = crying in corner, contemplating suicide
so i try to keep it only when im manic. trouble is determining when it is. bit of a russian roulette really
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replied September 3rd, 2010
Oh yeah....I self medicated the mania for 20+ years with resultant depression. It's brutal. It was the after effects that really made me wonder 'what is happening here?. While most people complain of dehydration and a headache I was feeling like the whole world was 'wrong'. Now I just got diagnosed with BP and am starting lithium. I pray that the waking up next to three empty Absolute vodka bottles is over. It's absolutely maraculous that I am alive....truley!!!
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replied September 10th, 2010
Experienced User
My two cents....I was involved with a person who has BP/BPD. When she would drink....she would be completely out of control. I believe it affects people differently as everyones body chemsitry is different thus what affects one may not effect another.
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replied August 23rd, 2011
bipolar and drinking
i have bipolar but i am on only antidepressants as i do not have manic episodes often and all the medication for bipolar i have tried have made me feel so emotionally trapped. if i drink i go completely nuts. not just in a drunken way, but it triggers my mania. and it is fun, but it is really dangerous. the other day i punched my ex boyfriend in fron of police officers, got out of a moving car, yelled and swore at anyone in site and climbed a roof and sprained my ankle. i had so much energy i could barely breathe and anything i thought i said. i know the difference between being drunk and being manic and drinking for me does occasionally cause really bad manic episodes.
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replied August 27th, 2011
I'm against drinking becasue it doesn't help my condition, and when I start drinking I usually don't stop until i get knockeed out by it. Unfortunaely, I've been told by friends that I'm not a nice drunk and display lots of aggresive beahviour, which sometimes i don't remember as I tend to blank out quite often. I'm always advised not to drink, especially on my meds and that it will make my condition worse, i try to treat my binge drinking as being an alcoholic, as I have cut my wrists whilst drunk and found wandering by a bridge but not enough guts to jump, I realise that drinking whilst high or low will always turn out to be a negative expereince. However I am 30 and it's taken me over 5 years to come to this fact, If you are 21 you are young enough to find an alternative option of having fun rather than drinking on your meds, as your meds are prescribed to stablize you and make your symptons improve. However I know what it's like to be 21 and the situation can be very frustrating.
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replied June 30th, 2012
I'm 31 and my symptoms are still hard to accept. I realize now why I was such a party head and drank a lot. I am so used to it and finding it hard to have to go on meds. I know I should go on them and I am destroying myself but I find it hard to stop as much as it was ruining me I miss the rush of my old life. It will kill me and I know that if I keep doing it.
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replied September 5th, 2011
Cymbalta and alcohol
I have bipolar type two, and I have found that drinking alcohol while taking Cymbalta leads to terrible manic episodes. Insomnia, agitation, racing thoughts -- the whole nine yards. For me, Cymbalta has been a wonder drug. I feel terrific on the drug. So, no more alcohol, not even in small amounts.
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replied June 30th, 2012
I'm 31 and my symptoms are still hard to accept. I realize now why I was such a party head and drank a lot. I am so used to it and finding it hard to have to go on meds. I know I should go on them and I am destroying myself but I find it hard to stop as much as it was ruining me I miss the rush of my old life. It will kill me and I know that if I keep doing it.
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replied June 30th, 2012
I am not sure if anyone else is like this but I find getting a balance very difficult. I am very black or white, all or nothing. I can't seem to get around having a balance in my life which most people seem to have in their lives. This is why i feel I either act like a saint and a goodie two shoes or I am wreckless and a party animal.
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replied August 17th, 2012
Understanding the difference between normal alcohol abuse and...
I am a mom. My 26 year old son has been diagnosed with bp. I am having such a hard time understanding what the difference is between someone who has a problem with drinking, and occasionally too much to the point of doing some stupid stuff and someone who has a manic episode brought on by drinking? The terms and concept seem relatively knew, though the behaviors may not be. Also, where can I get good help understanding this affliction and how to help and be positive?
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replied October 28th, 2012
alcohol and bipolar disorder
I am 52 and was diagnosed with BP 5-6 years ago. I went through a very tough year my first year because we couldn't find the most effective medication. What makes this worse is i'm in sales. I am on Lamictal (400 mg) a day.It definitely helped bring me more in line than the extreme highs and lows i use to experience. I don't know why but I have bad days when i cannot seem to be capable of facing the day and getting my job done (lack of focus) so I find myself drinking during these times. When I shared this concern, thinking I had become an alcoholic, to my doctor, he said it had to do with the highs (manic)that I lived with for so long. Because I am in sales, i have to be in a state of up during my hours of selling so to overcome the period of being flat lined, I drink to bring me back a state of "up", I guess manic. I wish I could find a better way of dealing with this feeling but for now, its the way I survive.
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replied May 23rd, 2013
mixed episodes+alcohol
Alcohol for me triggers depression or severe mixed episodes. I've only been manic for a couple of days with that euphoric feeling once. When I was just manic I ended up drinking a week in a row and it turned into a severe mixed episode. Other than that I haven't ever felt full blown mania or depression and suffer from mixed episodes or normal moods which is very shitty. So i'd be careful with the alcohol unless you want to wind up with a mixed episode and possibly psychosis if your bipolar 1
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replied May 23rd, 2013
mixed episodes+alcohol
Alcohol for me triggers depression or severe mixed episodes. I've only been manic for a couple of days with that euphoric feeling once. When I was just manic I ended up drinking a week in a row and it turned into a severe mixed episode. Other than that I haven't ever felt full blown mania or depression and suffer from mixed episodes or normal moods which is very shitty. So i'd be careful with the alcohol unless you want to wind up with a mixed episode and possibly psychosis if your bipolar 1
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replied May 30th, 2013
Experienced User
Hello - I am 24 and was on Lamictal for 6 years - Yes you are right in saying alcohol is a depressant - however when you are in a mania it actually works the opposite and can be fuel to the fire you may find that you are in such a mania where alcohol doesn't even phase you - I never had a problem with alcohol with the Lamictal I hated that crap, so I weined myself off of it and totally crashed - anyway the antidepressant is another thing drinking on that is not good - but I cannot harp on that too much because I am on Seroquel and Celexa and I drink so you know - we only live once..good luck dear
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