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Avatar universal

alcohol vs meds. I dont know what to do

PLEASE BEAR WITH ME!!!

I am bipolar, with this i also suffer from severe migraines, ocd as well as anxiety. the doctor prescribed me 250mg of depakote and 200 mg of seroquel. i am suppose to take the depakote 2x a day and seroquel once at bedtime with the depakote. now my problem is i have not taken the medication because of the fact i go to school, work and have a four year old. the medication the doctor prescribed to me in the past increase my mood swings, slight memory loss and severe drowsiness. i already am having trouble in school (i am a college student, in my last year). to help me focus i usually have a drink (i have a high tolerance of alcohol) especially before an exam because it seems to help me focus more. drinking seems to be the only thing that helps me. i dont drink everyday though. well not until recently anyway.when i dont drink and i am on meds or not on them its like there is no hope and i feel hopeless.

i havent started the depakote and the higher dosage of seroquel yet. (previously i was on 75 mg of seroquel and 100mg of topamax). and even if i take meds it seem to put me in an even more depressed state because i cannot do anything, i cannot even get out of bed.  can anyone give me advice. my quack of a psychiatrist doesnt understand and according to the hospital i go at the the main hospital for mental health.  no one seems to understand what i am going through. i feel like the odd ball in everything. i can never seem to accomplish anything that will make me get ahead in life. The only wonderful and amazing thing i every did was have my son. and even at times i feel as if i am failing him because i have not acquired the goals a 27 year old female is suppose to have.
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337492 tn?1212458836
First of all, the reason you are feeling so badly is because all of the medication is not working due to you drinking alcohol.  Alcohol and bipolar disorder do not mix.  Alcohol changes the biochemistry in your brain and taking your meds and drinking is like taking placebo pills.  Alcohol totally cancels out the medications balancing your system.  If you stopped drinking and stabilized you probably would not need such a high dosage of medication. I am sure you have not told your psychiatrist about your drinking or they would have told you the same thing I did.  I learned all of this by researching my medications and bipolar disorder.  I am a research buff and a social worker!  Anyhow, I made the decision to never put alcohol in my body again after a suicide attempt a few weeks ago.  I only drank a glass of wine once in a blue moon, but decided to never take a chance of getting that depressed again.  I want to be as stable and feel the best I can.  I want to feel like I do not even have BP because my meds are working so well.  I am taking care of myself in anyway possible to aid my goal.  A lot of caffeine is bad too.  You have to limit your caffeine intake to help your BP.  I do enjoy one cup of coffee a few mornings a week, but that is all.  Caffeine = Mania    Alcohol = Depression.  See what I mean?  Please get into a 12 step program to get off alcohol, you will be so much more stable if you quit drinking and let the meds work.  When you reach that goal, then ask your doctor about re-establishing what dosage you need.  I highly advise you to tell your doctor so they can help you.  If you read your med labels they will tell you not to drink on your meds.  You are not an odd-ball just un-stablized and it is frustrating I know.  I do all the right things and I am still getting stablized,  I am also mixed state.  I had a quack for a doctor too, so I got a different one!  This one understands mixed state and since being in the hospital and getting a new doctor I am finally feeling so much better!  As far as your  migraines go, I suffered terrible headaches too!   My cure?  My nurse practioner recommended this to me.  I went from three migraines a week to maybe 4 at the most a year!  It is simple and OTC.  Magnesium.  Go to the drug store or walmart and get 250mg tablets.  Take one in the morning and one at night.  Within two weeks your headaches will ease up.  It is a Godsend for me!  Hope this info helps and I hope you utilize it!  Take care.  
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I have to agree with crystlas, your problem is the drinking. I stopped drinking completely. It makes me feel so much better not drinking that I don't miss it at all. I really feel like a brand new person. I too thought I couldn't handle things in life without drinking, actually I only thought I was handling them better. I was not. I take klonopin 3 x daily and depakote once a day. I like to take the depakote in the morning because I actually feel its calming affects. I'm one to get to hyper without it. I don't have many problems with depression, never been suicidal. I don't take anti-depressants. I use to sleep alot but after I got use to the medicine, the side affects wore off. To get better you must stay on your med's, and off the alcohol. Depakote can affect your liver and your certainly not suppose to drink while taking it. They are suppose to check you before ever putting you on depakote. Hang in there girl, do as your told and you will get this under control!!
Helpful - 0
337492 tn?1212458836
Sandi, Are you aware that klonopin is physically addictive?  I used it short term for when I was first diagnosed and highly manic.  I was told about the addictive properties so just used it for a few weeks for sleep.  

Coco, also to mention, do you smoke pot?  I used to heavily and it always depressed me.  I also gave it up for the rest of my lifetime due to it also throwing medications off.  Any illicit drug is bad bad bad.  I loved pot, I mean LOVED it, but I love being stable more.  It is just not worth it!  
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Avatar universal
let me rephase the question a lil more, maybe or maybe not the alcohol does has something to do with it but i doubt it. I also was given a percocet as well and even that doesnt work.  

the reason why any of these meds havenet been working in my mind is because i have homicidal thoughts as well as my quest to have revenge is so bad that it hurts. i noticed a pattern and it been happening for years. during my mania stage i have a burning desire for sexual relations every day then i meet someone who been trying to get with me for  a long time then weeks later we do what we need to do then it last for months. but even in the beginning my migraines serve as my warning signal but i ignore it because i need to have sex(perferably rough) everyday(during mania, but the thing is i hate men and sex which is puzzling me.. has days go pass the migraines worsen, i go on shopping sprees despite the lack of funds but i cant help it. when we break up (i end it) it always end on a bad note and they do something i do not like and then thats when things get out of hand its been a year and the hatred is still there and so is revenge. the migraines always let up when i have the revenge. so far there has been none and thats why the migraines is still there. it has nothing to do with the alcohol i can stop when i want to thats not a problem.

anyway i started my meds last night it put to bed for 12 hours this is where i know my depressed state will come in because i have now missed school and work and i feel real strange  now.

PS to crystlas i do not smoke anything
Helpful - 0
337492 tn?1212458836
Your manic symptoms are typical for high level BP 1.  I do not get that bad.  My high symptom is OCD.  Alcohol has EVERYTHING to do with your meds not working!!!!!!!  If you are not going to listen to that then there is no hope in helping you.  ANY doctor will tell you the same.  Also, if you google your meds + drinking alcohol you will find the same information that we are telling you.  Go be an alcoholic that will not listen or care about getting stable.  Bipolar disorder is a biochemical imbalance of the brain.  Stimulants or depressants will aggrivate BP and cause the disorder to be worse.  Alcohol is the worst thing you can do to yourself.  If you are going to post all over this forum for help with why your BP is so out of wack and your meds are not working then LISTEN to what your peers, whom have done extensive research on the subject, have to say.  If you chose not to, then stop bickering about it all over this website.  I am so very saddened that you will not take care of your body, but it is your life to live.  As a social worker, I reach out to others and try to help them in their lives.  If they do not listen I move on, for there are so many other people that want help.  I have been researching BP since I was diagnosed over a year ago in order to understand every aspect of the disorder so that I can take the very best care of myself that I can.  I want to minimize the horrible affects of the disorder and live as normal of a life as I can.  You chose if you want to listen or not.  You reached out on here in order to gain knowledge and insite, but yet you won't take it?  I wish you the best and pray to God that you decided to take care of yourself and your illness.  Best of luck to you.  
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
i do understand , so what would be the excuse when i wasnt drinking before and i felt the same way (been this way as a kid.)meds  wasnt working.  i noticed the pattens and document the. the only times like i said before the symptoms stop once i got my revenge and all was well . i can stop the drinking anytime . which i have done. i can keep u posted a tell u the results of it. but this person who i ended this with over a year ago seems to be going on like he didnt do anything i thats what i dont like , he could have ruined me and put me in a situation where i could i have been seperated from my child and mess up my career. that is what really irking me and that why my headaches is always there because this person needs to pay for what they have done. because i have stopped drinking already and when i am not doing anything or when i am on vacation my mind dwells in the past and i remember all the horrible things and my psychiatrist doesnt understand but my socially worker does, and the hospital i go to said give him a chance but others are aware of what he is like. he would prescribe a newborn just to go home early
Helpful - 0
337492 tn?1212458836
I am glad you stopped drinking.  You might not be on the right medications for your BP.  Everyone is different.  Can you get a different psychiatrist?  I would recommend that for you.  You need to find one that will listen.  You also need to explain all of your problems so that you can be evaluated and helped the best that you can.  I wonder if you need to go into the hospital and be stripped of all your meds and start over again?  It might be the best solution.   Anyhow, I learned the hard way.  Over the past few months I kept telling my psychiatrist I was having suicidal thoughts.  She said that it is a part of depression and it will go away.  I then asked for a anti-depressent to go with my Lithium.  She said it would make me manic.  I knew otherwise due to research.  Some SSRI's will but other anti-depressents do not.   I was so frustrated and did not know what to do.  A few days after my last visit with her I tried to commit suicide.  Luckly, my fiance go to me in time and called 911.  I was taken to a great mental hospital and guess what?  They put me on an anti-depressent (Wellbutrin)  It is working wonders for me.  I fired that idiot and got a psychiatric nurse practioner.  She is great and really listens to me.  She was also outraged by the psychiatrist.  I am so glad to be alive and doing better.  Bipolar is a brain game and you have to keep trying till you find what is best for your body chemistry.  Please stay off the alcohol and find a better support system, it is the key.  As far as you wanting revenge, make peace with your past so you can move forward.  What happened was horrible and I am sorry for that, but you have to look out for you.  I have been through some rough times myself.  Gang raped at 18 and my first husband was heavily abusive.  I made peace with all that so that I can move forward with my fiance, whom is wonderful.  I never got to say what I needed to say to my ex-husband and it was suggested to me, in the hospital, to write him a letter.  So I did.  The moment I put it in the mailbox, peace came over me and I am ok with it.  I have healed.  Thank you for listening and please take care of you and get better for you and your son.
Helpful - 0
337492 tn?1212458836
Are you going to try magnesium for your migraines?  Did wonders for me!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
yes i will try magnesium and someone also told me to try fish oil u every heard of that??
when i tried to change him they said that he is like that but give him a chance because he is the doctor everyone goes too. but i am  not connecting with him therefore i cannot tell him everything. when i told him about some things about my past and the alcohol he said dont worry about as well as that i am not alcohol dependent because i dont drink everyday. to him i drink socially and there is nothing wrong with. the stuff i tell the social worker i cant tell my p doc about it because i am not comfortable with him. when i went to see him 2 weeks ago he said he doesnt have time to see me because he is too busy what type of mess is that. AND THAT WAS MY APPOINTMENT.

the stuff that is really bothering me is my homicidal and racing thoughts.

ps- i am  sorry it made it sound like i wasnt listening but i am like i said i stopped drinking and all even though i am craving one badly right now i am forcing  myself to resist the temptation because i am on meds and i want to kick this disorder
Helpful - 0
337492 tn?1212458836
Hon, if you are craving alcohol that is a sign of alcoholism.  Be careful.  A 12 step might be good for you.  I attend one for co-dependency due to coming out of an abusive marriage, even though it was 8 years ago.  I did not have a problem till I got serious with my boyfriend.  It all came out then. My 12 step is wonderful for me and great support group.  Change psychiatrists.  Do for you, what is best for you.  You are in charge of your bipolar not him.  Be your own advocate and take care of it for you!!  BTW, Lithium is great for racing thoughts!!  :0)
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Avatar universal
for the 12 step How would i go about doing that. can i do that as an  outpatient. i am also a sufferer of severe anxiety and ocd so i have a major fear of talking to people face to face. site would u recommend for me to get started on this 12 step. i really thought AA was for ppl who would drink everyday non stop and not for someone someone like me. i guess i was wrong huh?......
Helpful - 0
337492 tn?1212458836
AA is a outpatient program.  Your phonebook would have a number to contact your local AA chapter.  Also, the forum on here would be a good first step to talk to others.  AA is not necessarly for people that drink everyday, but for people with any addiction to alcohol.  If you are craving it, it is a red flag and it would be smart to nip it in the bud.  AA would give you the confidence to quit drinking so that you can focus in stabilizing.  Also, most people with addiction problems have mental illness!  
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Avatar universal
To answer your question..yes I'm so very aware that klonopin is addictive. Oh, could I ever tell you a story but there isn't enough space for that, but I'll give you a shorter version..I was put on Valium in my 20's and I'm 43! I was hospitalized while trying to get off benzo's. The dotor thought he could do it in 3 days. I was sick for a very long time, even tho they replaced the valium with klonopin! I have been told by the specialist that I will never be able to stop taking them. However, my secret is, I have been cutting myself down over a period of years. The truth is I take one klonopin a day, against the doctors wishes. I was told i have damage from long term use of benzo's and will never be able to stop them!! I hope one day to be off them completely. Had I known than, what I know now...I would have never ever put a benzo ( nerve Pill) in my mouth! I have been through some kind of hell thanks to taking valium for so many years. However, I am not a doctor and I would not tell someone to stop taking med's thats Bi-polar. My doctor feels if I stopped taking them I may hurt myself. He explained it to me, I needed those as bad as someone with heart disease needed their med's. I agree tho, that so very many take them that do not need to, and doctors give them out way to easily. For example, when I was 23, I did not have to have them. there were other ways to handle my anxiety! Hope I'n not sounding contradicting. I just know we are all different and many can live without them but maybe some can't, it's not my place to tell anyone they should not take them. I can say, be careful and as you said, be aware they are addictive! I also wish the doctors would fully inform patients just how addictive they are and about the horrible withdrawl once addicted. Withdrawl from benzo's can be deadly!
Helpful - 0
337492 tn?1212458836
I know what you mean.  I know people that had horrible withdrawl from benzo's and could not stop taking them.  I was prescribed Temazepam for my insomnia, but I use VERY sparingly.  I do not want to become addicted.  Good for you tapering off!  I don't see why you can not gradually come off of it over a period of time, that is smart!  Take care.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Most ppl that are BP before they are DX tend to self medicate using alcohol or street drugs.  I did.  I didn't have alcohol in my home so I didn't consider myself an alcoholic but I did spend a lot of time out with my friends at the bars.  I didn't buy drugs but they were around and I could always find someone willing to share.

Once I was DX and I was on a Mood Stabilizer I lost the urge to use the street drugs completely.  I only drink on very rare occasions now.  As for your Migraines ask your Pdoc for Topamax it is a mood stabilizer that is also used to treat migraines.  I take it and have only had one migraine since using it.

As for your wanting to get even with ppl that have done you wrong. I go to another forum board and they talk there about it seems to be a common thing that we beepers tend to dwell on past hurts.  Do you see a therapist as well as your Pdoc?  Might be something to consider.  I don't think I can tell you here the name of the other board it will be deleted if you would like it message me and I will give it to you.

To sum it up.  Try to limit the drink the best you can.  Get a good Mood Stabilizer and stay on it.  I take Lamictal and the Topamax but everyone is different and there are many diff meds so find the one that works.  But the MS is your base drug.  Then go from there to deal with anxiety and OCD issues.  One step at a time.  If you are like me as the meds kick in the urge to drink will lessen because the meds balance your brain, which is what you were using the alcohol for without knowing it.
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Avatar universal
i was prescribed topomax it had caused  memoy lost so  i was taking off
Helpful - 0
390828 tn?1238690293
I can completely relate to you problems. I was diagnosed with BPD, but think also Bipolar 2.
I have NOT found the right drug or combo of drugs to help me and it's not from the lack of trying so I use alcohol to cope. My body is very sensitive to medications and I have not found a drug that I can function with, look after my kids, and feel somewhat normal. I don't drink everyday, only when I feel the mania coming. I don't drink infront of my kids and so far they think the world is a safe and happy place to be. The drinking does cause problems with men, and creates a lot of drama and of course hurt feelings. I want more than anything to stop this cycle, pattern, I have logged it out, and it's hell. The problem with alcohol is that it feels good for awhile, but it causes so much pain and drama. It makes more problems than you already have. And it makes life even harder to live than just with the disorders.
I don't have migranes now, but I did when I took some of the prescribed meds.

It sounds like you need to see a new doctor, one that can analyze all the meds, and see what ones are working and which ones are messing you up more.
I am on a waiting list to see a pychiatrist.... what a joke. I have suicidal thoughts, today even, and I have no help. The only thing I can do is go down to the emergency at the hospital which seems rather drastic, but that's what it might take to get help. I don't feel too bad today, but it is so frustrating when you want help, you need some relief from all of this, and no one can help you. It is a lonely, scary place.

If you have the resources for help, take it!
Your kid will appreciate it, it is one step closer to happiness.
I wish you all the best.
Ingrid

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432456 tn?1206636845
here for ya girl!
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293964 tn?1200413869
AA, in addition, is an inpatient program for those that are in detox.  My Dr had me go into detox before he would medicate me.  I was very polluted.
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Avatar universal
2polar meaning that often a pro-dopaminergic agent is of need, like wellbutrin for example (in the down side of it, the depressing part) tho the truth is that it is far too weak ,  you'd do much better should you find yourself a good, open-minded up-to date psych-med to prescribe you some some good old modafinil (or that with maybe some somthing stabilizing as well due to the potential for minor stimulation from the hypothetical serotonin release to the frontal cortex). that's the nasty part of the thing with 2polar, it not a singular situation. best of luck
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