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Mania or bipolar depression - which one makes it harder to stay sober and drug-free?

Discussion in 'Dual-Diagnosis Treatment' started by amyleigh, Jul 8, 2015.

  1. amyleigh

    amyleigh Member

    This is a question for those of you who suffer from bipolar disorder. I myself have bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder and am also a recovering alcoholic. Do you find it harder to stay sober when you're manic or when you're depressed? Thank God, I've been sober now for about 12 years, but when I'm in a depression is the hardest time for me to continue staying sober. I feel the urge to drink to help me escape from the sadness, self-hate, and emptiness. However, since I realize and acknowledge that this time (the depression) is the most difficult time for me in terms of sobriety, I can take appropriate precautions. When I feel myself falling into a depression, I know that I must be especially careful to stay away from people and places that could be triggers. Thankfully, I've recently gotten on medications that finally seem to be helping with the bipolar disorder, and so the depressions aren't nearly as frequent or as deep.

    I'm curious to know when other bipolar individuals find it hardest to stay sober and/or drug-free ... while you're depressed or while you're manic, or perhaps when you're neither? Knowing when you're most at risk can help you come up with an appropriate "game plan" to stay clean.
  2. Auril

    Auril Active Contributor

    For me, my mania makes it the hardest. When I get past the enjoyable part of mania and I start to feel exhausted but can't settle down or get any rest, that is when I want to use. Because after I would smoke, I'd be able to fall asleep for a few hours and get at least a little rest. I also care less when manic. It's like oh well, I'm using...it won't really hurt me (even though I know better).
  3. pstrong1969

    pstrong1969 Community Champion

    I have more than one mental disorder. Bi-Polar being one. I am also a drug addict/alcoholic. Yeah i know a very full plate. Im on meds now that control my moods fairly well but if i allow myself i can get into self-pity which leads to depression. I dont want to go there. Cause thats when im tempted to use. Then all hell breaks lose. My recovery from addiction has to come 1st. So i have to work hard and stay up on my issues daily. I can slip fast if i dont. I attend 12 step meetings, grp. therapy weekly, Pray and meditate. I really have to be careful of my mood and emotions. They are very delicate little beasts. Doing this is alot better than Prison, Hospitals, homeless shelters,etc.... I actually enjoy life now....
  4. movingforward1

    movingforward1 Active Contributor

    Mania definitely makes it hardest for me to stay sober. When I am in a depressive cycle, I barely have the energy to move, so I don't work too hard at seeking substances to use. When I am manic, sometimes I'm grandiose and fluttering around and using uppers to make me even more larger than life. Sometimes, I'm drinking myself into a blacked out stupor to quiet the noise in my head. Mania, and mixed states, are much harder to handle.
  5. JayLyn

    JayLyn Active Contributor

    I have to say its depression for me too. I tend toward depression much more than mania, and for the longest time I assumed that I was just chronically depressed. When I am in a manic mood, I feel energetic and happy. Its like being on drugs without having to take them so I am not nearly as inclined to take them. However that may just be because my manic episodes are few and far between and they don't last all that long. The depression however can go on for weeks at a time and sometimes even months. When its really bad I start to get anxiety as well and then I really want to use to make my self be able to function. Sometimes this backfires and I get even more anxious. I find the best thing for me is to try to stay in as stable a routine as possible. That means getting up around the same time every day, eating properly and getting enough rest and exercise. As long as I keep myself on something of a routine schedule, I stand a way better chance of staying in control of my depression and anxiety. That means scheduling groups and activities too and sticking with them.
  6. amin021023

    amin021023 Community Champion

    I don't know if I'm chronically depressed or have bi-polar disorder. I know I have been depressed for a long time but don't remember being manic at any time, sure I was happy for example first when I got into college but the excitement soon weared off.
  7. 111kg

    111kg Community Champion

    That's what happened to most of us anyway :D
    Don't rush to tell that you've been suffering from depression, not until you've talked to a psychiatrist. Maybe you're just in a bad moment of your life or just live with toxic people.
    amin021023 likes this.
  8. amin021023

    amin021023 Community Champion

    You're right, I should consult with some good doctors, but that's how I've been feeling for a long time, I mean I know the feeling and I know it's been with me too long. but you still have a point, I'm in a dormitory which I don't like, in a few months I'm gonna move to another place and live with my pals.
  9. 111kg

    111kg Community Champion

    But how about your pals? Do they make you feel inferior? Are they uplifting? What about your relatives? Because if they are toxic, maybe this is why you feel the way you feel. I don't know, but I've seen lots of miserable people who were that way because of their entourage.