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tyrantblade

is getting drunk really a problem w/ a bad past mental health history?

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So i used to be in a really bad place mentally, i used to cut myself and at first was in serious denial and even lied and manipulated my way out of being put in a hospital when maybe i should have been, that was around 5+ years ago, weiedly enough i actually didnt drink very much back then.

I did sometimes get drunk as young as around 14-15, when my oldest brother brought home booze and enabled me to drink with him; but it was far and few between, and never when i was at my worst.

I usually get drunk about once a week, and have some mental instability, most noticably i get manic (but i cant recall any major crashes).

I am diagnosed as Bipolar-NOS (meaning the professionals dont believe i fit the definition of true Bipolar), am i worse than i believe, advice?

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Getting drunk while not stable is going far away back in the treatment.

Even while stable, when I get drunk I have a window of getting things on track that in a best case scenario takes me about three days.

I don't have the best control around it because when I start drinking often I become more impulsive but even getting impulsive I can count in my hands the times that I get drunk in a year and for me this is a huge accomplishment.

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6 hours ago, tyrantblade said:

I am diagnosed as Bipolar-NOS (meaning the professionals dont believe i fit the definition of true Bipolar), am i worse than i believe, advice?

Idk if you are worse than you believe.  Are you on meds?  Because IMO if you are on meds and/or not stable, drinking alcohol (let alone getting drunk) is a really bad idea. 

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For Bipolar-NOS, I'd gently suggest it means that the professionals believe you DO meet the definition of true bipolar.  An NOS just means that some symptoms make it hard to classify or that certain technical requirements aren't met.  For example, prior to recently, I hadn't had a four-day (at least) hypomanic or manic episode, so I technically would have been Bipolar NOS, even though my psychiatrist was fairly sure I was bipolar I.  That's now been confirmed.  So I wouldn't dismiss the diagnosis really quickly because of the NOS label.  I have a friend who's in NOS territory and it impacts her just as much as it impacts me if not more so.

On the drinking--I will occasionally drink, but not get drunk.  Sometimes that means I can only handle a glass.  I like to do it, when I'm feeling okay already.  But if it were causing any sort of instability in reaction, I'd ditch it immediately.  It's not worth it. 

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Are you on psych meds? They don't generally mix well with alcohol. I used to be a heavy drinker, especially to self medicate my depression. I was under the impression it was helping, because if I skipped a few days, I saw no difference. But after a month or so alcohol free, and in retrospect, I was more stable. I had undiagnosed mania/hypomania, so that wasn't as much on my radar to comment on. I guarantee when I was impulsive and had poor judgement, alcohol made that even worse. I used to not be able to imagine life without alcohol, now I can't imagine going back to the way things were, but it took a while to get to that point. My take on it is, alcohol isn't going to help bipolar, way more likely to cause problems.  

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Im only on Seroquel XR and Sertraline, but i don't always take the Sertraline as it doesn't seem to make any difference as i don't really get depressed 

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Inconsistently taking your meds is likely to be at least as much of an issue as drinking.  If drinking leads to instability for you, then not drinking would seem to be a much better plan, at least for now.

 

As far as thinking the NOS dx means your disorder isn't serious, it doesn't.  I was NOS for a while, because my pdoc wasn't sure if I was bipolar I or II.  If you haven't already, you should ask your pdoc why you're classed as NOS.

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So my pdoc told me that 3 drinks or more basically wipes all the meds out of your system (as your metabolism revs up to deal with the alcohol) and it takes ~5 days to get back to a steady state for meds. This conversation came about because I was having like 3 drinks in a night and not thinking anything of it cause I wasn't getting drunk, but obviously it was still hurting me. So it appears that more than 2 drinks is an issue, at least as far as meds are concerned. 

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6 hours ago, SashaSue said:

Inconsistently taking your meds is likely to be at least as much of an issue as drinking.  If drinking leads to instability for you, then not drinking would seem to be a much better plan, at least for now.

^^I agree.

 

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6 hours ago, NerdyUnicorn said:

So my pdoc told me that 3 drinks or more basically wipes all the meds out of your system (as your metabolism revs up to deal with the alcohol) and it takes ~5 days to get back to a steady state for meds. This conversation came about because I was having like 3 drinks in a night and not thinking anything of it cause I wasn't getting drunk, but obviously it was still hurting me. So it appears that more than 2 drinks is an issue, at least as far as meds are concerned. 

Im only on Seroquel XR and Sertraline, but i don't always take the Sertraline as it doesn't seem to make any difference as i don't really get depressed.

Well i guess when i drink (once a week), its always more than a few drinks

Edited by tyrantblade

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It probably varies person to person. In my experience, I'm more stable without drinking. I have a drink once or twice a month at most. Usually meds + drink = sick for me. 

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I drink or not depending on how I'm doing.

I stopped drinking for 2 years once because I was unwell for a year and recovering from it for the next year. I didn't touch a drop.

Then when I was feeling better I was back to drinking again.

I find it is a sign for me also that I'm getting mentally unwell: I start drinking too much and acting out when I'm drink. That's when I know to stop drinking.

Luckily it's easy for me to take it or leave it.

I think it is best left when you're having issues, though, for sure.

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GDoc talked to me about drinking (Which I don't do anymore) She said is a terrible mix with MI meds.  In my case I had one large beer (My Birthday) and it wiped me out.  Like I slid out of the chair I was in.  And I generally never got very drunk when drinking. 

Anyway - more important is that booze is a depressant.   Which is why drinking and blues music seem to go hand in hand.  I think it would be better to avoid anything that adds more depression to the mix.

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