Alcoholism and bipolar are a potent combination. Alcohol is the most common substance of abuse with bipolar disorder individuals.
Research indicates that both men and women with bipolar have a greater likelihood of alcohol misuse than the general population. Bipolar men are more likely than bipolar women to abuse alcohol. There is more chance of a lifetime history of alcohol misuse with the combination of alcoholism and bipolar.
Attempting to self medicate with alcohol is not uncommon but alcohol consumption to help bipolar symptoms is not the way to go. As with many aspects of bipolar disorder the interaction between the illness and alcohol is not entirely understood but what is well known is that the two do not mix well. It is in the best interest of bipolar patients to avoid alcohol consumption.
Where alcoholism and bipolar co-exist the likelihood of non compliance with medication increases as does the risk of suicide. This can happen whether the bipolar drug abuse occurs during periods of depression or otherwise.
Alcohol intoxication and mania and hypermania display similar symptoms as do alcohol withdrawal and depression. Concurrent alcohol abuse complicates the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of bipolar individuals. It often leads to heightened severity of bipolar symptoms, and poor treatment outcomes.
Numerous studies into the effects of alcohol with Bipolar disorder medications point to adverse effects and sometimes dangerous outcomes.