Announcement

Collapse

**** Read Before You Post ****

Before you enter your description, please select the right prefix the best describes your post so that other members can make an informed decision about whether or not to your open your thread.
See more
See less

Alcohol and Depression

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    That's awesome Neli!
    AJ

    Humans punish themselves endlessly
    for not being what they believe they should be.
    -Don Miguel Ruiz-

    Comment


    • #17
      Hi, I am new to the group but am searching for support- I am not sure anyone has answers. I am bipolar 2, 60 year old female gainfully employed in a high stress management position. I am in a solid relationship and about to marry for my second time. Every October I seem to cycle into depression so this past year I started taking Wellbutrin as well as my usual Lamotrigine that I have been on for 5 years. Lamotrigine was the first thing that worked to stabilize me after a few years of hypo manic behaviour. The last few months my anxiety levels have been increasing and are really starting to impact me. I also have stopped wanting to see people- not that I was a social butterfly but now I want to see no one. I too drink too much but don't relate to AA either. I did go 30 days clean, attended meetings a few years ago. I love the Moderation Management- definitely going to check that out. I have contacted a social worker for counselling sessions and made an appointment to see my psychiatrist. I do exercise quite a bit but hurt my leg a month ago so have been sidelined. I think that is contribution to my anxiety as I find exercise really helps to regulate my mood.
      Anyway, I am rambling but would be really interested in hearing different coping techniques to battle bipolar, anxiety and overuse of alcohol. Wine is my first go to when I face a frustrating, stressful time.
      Thanks! Joanne

      Comment


      • #18
        Hello jhp and welcome. In regards to alcohol, everyone is different. I never had any addiction problems(lots and lots of other problems LOL) however I do find that anything more than a very moderate intake of alcohol does affect my moods. I would rather have 3 drinks once every 3 days than one drink a day. However having 3 drinks twice a week definitely screws my moods around, so I don't drink. I've never attended an AA meeting so I don't have any personal experience with them.

        Everybody has different limits, but I've yet to find anyone that had a serious mental illness that could drink very much a week and say that they were well. That's an observation, not a criticism and I'm sure like all observations that I'm probably wrong some of the time.

        If you haven't taken antidepressants(A/D's) before or at least for a long time, it may be the wellbutrin that is causing part of your anxiety, about 30% of us with bipolar cannot take A/D's as they can cause mood swings and with any mood swing anxiety can come along for the ride. I'm not saying the A/D is what is causing problems, but you may want to double ck with your doctor. Wellbutrin is about the best known A/D for having the least effect on mood swings for those of with problems that way, but for me it's still like poison(mood wise) after about 3 mths.

        When I can't exercise I try and pay closer attention to my other habits, diet, sleep, putting things off(when I put things off it adds to my stress level) , am I drinking to much caffeine? etc.

        I also try to pay attention to my triggers. Some of which I have just mentioned , but some are as simple as allowing my mind to hang around in a bad place, for example if I start to obsess about something my anxiety/depression levels rise, so I try and not do that , other things that will trigger me is going into situations that I know are dangerous un prepared, like family functions. If I go to them knowing that I should arrive barely on time, that I should take frequent breaks, that I should be civil to and not get sucked into arguments with certain family members and that I should leave early, then I won't be triggered into having an episode of some sort.

        I try to pay attention to my early warning signs, which are different for everyone, but some of mine are: If I start to notice that colours are more vivid than usual, I'm probably a little hypomanic, if I start getting a little more irritable usual, I'm probably experiencing mixed states and if I seem to just want to lay around and read all the time, I'm probably a little depressed. When I start to see the early warning signs then I try to examine my life and see what is different, sometimes it's something, sometimes it nothing.

        My best guard against anxiety is having faith in myself. Easier said than done, but when I start to feel anxious I start to ask myself if I've handled the situation before and if I've been successful. Usually these days the answer is yes, I've been successful at that so why am I worrying.

        I tend to cycle into depression during the winter too and I know a lot of people do as well. For some it's seasonal affective disorder, for others of us that can lead to full blown depression. However now knowing that I'm probably going to get some depressed in the winter, I also know that it usually will leave me sometime in late spring early summer and I seem to be able to handle it a bit better and/or try to get a bit more daylight , exercise, proper diet etc. Take Care. paul m P.S. I left out medication, but I do take that too.



        "Alone we can do so little;
        Together we can do so much"
        Helen Keller

        Comment


        • #19
          Welcome to the forum jhp! I have to say reading your introduction I was very impressed with everything you are doing to feel better. I am close to your age (in my late 50's) and have similar coping strategies. My career is also high stress (I'm currently on disability but will be returning to work with, some accommodations, as soon as they find a suitable position to put me in). My meds include welbutrin (450mg), lamotragine (150mg), ability (6mg), ativan (as needed), and zopiclone for sleeping. Sounds like a lot but it's a cocktail that is working for me. My doc added cipralex a while ago to help with the anxiety but I quit taking it because the side effects were not worth it. I have worked extremely hard to emerge from a deep depressive state that lasted over two years. I've had to force myself to connect with people (something I found very difficult to do and had to do in baby steps), exercise (got a gym membership and had to drag myself there), therapy (I see a psychologist with a mindfulness CBT approach), learn deep breathing techniques and meditation (and actually do it when the anxiety sets in), yoga (I probably wouldn't go half the time if it weren't for the fact that my friend and I go together), painting classes (the one place where I get totally absorbed and all my troubles slip away), and last but not least...admitting to myself that I have to do something about my daily drinking (as with you wine is my go to mood adjuster, although vodka and wiskey have crept in to the mix as well). I'm glad you're going to check out Moderation Management. I've only been a member for a few weeks but I am finding it incredibly supportive (the forum is a lot more active than this one so I am in contact with people there throughout the day).

          As I said, you seem to be doing everything I do so whatever additional strategies you come up with I would be interested to know. Congrats on your up coming wedding! I'm so glad you have a supportive partner. Do you find he really understands? I talk openly with my husband and he reads bipolar material but I still don't think he really gets it (maybe my expectations are too high, how could he really?). Oh, I also subscribe to BP HOPE, a magazine about bipolar that has some excellent articles in every issue. You should check it out if you haven't already.

          Take care and be kind to yourself jhp. I hope to see you over at MM!

          Comment


          • #20
            Welcome to the forum Jhp. Thank you for sharing some of yourself with us. You'll find people on this forum friendly and supportive.
            AJ

            Humans punish themselves endlessly
            for not being what they believe they should be.
            -Don Miguel Ruiz-

            Comment


            • #21
              The magazine I referred to above can be found at bphope.com

              Comment


              • #22
                Hi all, just checking in. No major changes, depression is mild, alcohol use is moderate/high but no out-of-control binges. Lots of stuff to work out.

                BG

                Comment


                • #23
                  Hello BG. Thx for cking in, we often wonder what happens to people. I'm glad that you have been able to control your binges and I hope that your depression will get better. Take Care. Paul M
                  "Alone we can do so little;
                  Together we can do so much"
                  Helen Keller

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Sometimes no major changes is a good thing. Thanks for checking in.
                    AJ

                    Humans punish themselves endlessly
                    for not being what they believe they should be.
                    -Don Miguel Ruiz-

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Hi,

                      Just thought I would post to bring this thread back up to the top of the list - topic seemed pertinent to new year's resolutions.

                      I too struggle with alcohol... I wish I did not drink, but find myself routinely craving the "vacation from my hostile mind" effect that it can have. Thankfully, I usually stop at one drink a day... but then sometimes it is two or three. If I was drinking just cause it tasted good, maybe I would be so frustrated... but I know that I am drinking to escape... I wish I was brave enough to face my life head-on.

                      Took a quick look at "Moderation Management" as suggested by Neli - looks promising...
                      I like the quote they have put near the top of the page:

                      “Someone once told me that ‘no one wakes up in the morning and wishes that they had gotten drunk the night before.’…”
                      ~ A Moderation Management Member (paraphrasing Meredith Bell)
                      Reminds me of a quote I read once in a running magazine... paraphrased it read something like "I have never once come back from a run and said, wow, I wish I hadn't done that!"


                      Wishing everyone at least a moment of peace in their day,
                      kaight

                      Comment

                      Working...
                      X