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Re: bipolar and alcohol use

Posted by Dylan Greenspun on January 11, 2000, at 23:52:30

In reply to Re: bipolar and alcohol use, posted by Corike on September 16, 1999, at 16:59:07

Corike and Jen,
Well, I was diagnosed with manic depression about six months ago and I have a lot of experience (as well as many questions about) with alcohol and caffeine and such and their effects on Bipolar people (myself in general). The way it works for me is that I simply cannot drink alcohol at all during depressive phases, yet during manic phases I can consume massive amounts of alcohol. During the depressive phase if you drink it is almost like putting depression on top of your depression which causes pretty severe depression sometimes for many days it is the worst feeling ever. During manic phases you can drink beer after beer after beer and feel no effect whatsoever. You wake up the next day feeling fine. Perhaps the drinking during the manic phase is fueled by the fact that the person is completely unable to drink during the depressive state but can drink like a fish in the manic state.
As far as caffeine goes, I really don't feel that it has any effect on manic depression really at all. I have to use it often during the depressive phases for needed energy boosts. During the Manic phase there really isn't a need for it since you feel like you drank a few thousand pots already!

Anyhow I don't know if this helps at all. I have serious questions on this topic though. What the hell is it in our head that is effected so intensely by alcohol during the depressive phase, and unaffected in the manic phase? Is it some chemical receptor or does the alcohol alter or enhance some depressive element? I don't know? If anyone knows much about this kind of stuff let me know.


Dylan Greenspun




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