Bipolar and Addiction

Articles and blog posts relating to addiction as a symptom of bipolar disorder.

Blogs and Articles

The Emotional Art of Derek Hess

bp Magazine
April 5, 2019

Internationally known visual artist Derek Hess uses his personal struggle with bipolar and alcoholism to creatively express the raw intensity of the human experience. If ever there were a way to tap into the human psyche and lay it bare for all to see, celebrated visual artist Derek Hess has found the key. Indeed, the...

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Bipolar and Succeeding in STOPPING Hard to Break Habits

Allison Strong
March 21, 2018

Binge eating, abusing drugs, smoking—there are many behaviors to deal with bipolar disorder symptoms that can lead to bad habits. But you can learn to break them.   From the time I was a young girl, I engaged in compulsive behaviors to balance out my undiagnosed, untreated bipolar disorder. I started with comfort food, then...

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Dealing with a Dual Diagnosis: How to Break the Cycle

Brooke Hilton
February 6, 2018

While it may require difficult life adjustments, getting help for both bipolar disorder and substance abuse—dual diagnosis—could save your life.   Today, I will be speaking about my bipolar and substance abuse disorders, commonly referred to as dual diagnosis. But, I like to refer to myself as a “double winner.” According to the 2016 National...

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Bipolar & Health: 6 Tricks to Overcoming Addiction

bp Magazine
September 11, 2017

Substance addiction such as nicotine may be common with bipolar disorder, so here are some simple strategies to improve your likelihood of success: #1 Make the commitment There’s an enormous difference between wanting and thinking about quitting smoking and making the decision to quit. Things open up when you make that real commitment. One way...

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Bipolar & Animals: How Horses Help Addiction Recovery

bp Magazine
July 26, 2017

Equine psychotherapy can be an important step in the addiction recovery process; here’s why: Learning valuable lessons According to The Ranch in Tennessee, which runs a unique equine-assisted therapy program where people are able to bond with the horse and learn valuable lessons about respect, empathy and communication that helps them in their recovery. “Equine-assisted therapy is effective...

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Sober Consideration: Bipolar, Alcohol & the Decision to Drink

Donna Jackel
July 9, 2017

The standard advice about drinking when you have bipolar is to avoid alcohol altogether. Is moderate drinking ever a good idea? Some things to ponder. You walk into a social gathering and see that most of the guests have a drink in hand. So you grab a beer, too—maybe to calm your nerves before you...

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Bipolar Disorder & Substance Abuse

Karl Shallowhorn
February 15, 2017

Substance abuse and bipolar disorder are more complicated combined than either condition alone—but treatment is available, and recovery is possible.   There are a few things to consider when it comes to substance abuse and bipolar disorder. I’m a person in long-term recovery from addiction. I’ve been clean for about 29 years. But before then...

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Maintaining a High Functioning Lifestyle with Bipolar Disorder

Karl Shallowhorn
November 21, 2016

Living with bipolar can be very challenging but it is possible to develop the tools to maintain a high-functioning lifestyle. By Karl Shallowhorn   Hi, this is Karl Shallowhorn with BP magazine’s bphope Vlog. Today I’m going to be talking about maintaining a high functioning lifestyle and living with bipolar. So, you know for many...

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Bipolar & Panic Attacks— My Constant Companion

Dave Mowry
May 30, 2016

Panic attacks are humiliating, devastating, and pervasive for those of us with bipolar disorder. I have written about panic attacks before. Panic attacks are humiliating, embarrassing and devastating. They are pervasive for those of us with bipolar disorder. I think it is important to write about this topic again. For me the panic attack lasts anywhere from minutes...

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Critical Thinking: Learning to See Criticism As Suggestions for Change

Stephen Propst
January 26, 2016

Gracefully accepting criticism is difficult for anyone, let alone when you are battling bipolar disorder. Having written this bp Magazine column for more than a decade, I’ve received lots of feedback. While I’m touched by the positive comments, I’m also grateful for the criticisms. After speaking at a mental health conference a while back, I...

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Back Chat: Marya Hornbacher

bp Magazine
January 26, 2016

Writer Marya Hornbacher shares some what she’s been working on recently, as well as her recovery progress   With her unflinching, groundbreaking memoir Wasted, 23-year-old Marya Hornbacher became a voice for young women with eating disorders. Ten years later, in 2008, she touched a whole new community with Madness: A Bipolar Life. Grappling with substance...

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The Pitfalls of Alcohol Over-Consumption Over The Holidays

Anelli Xavier
December 15, 2015

The holiday season is the time for festivities, family, and friends––but NOT the time for alcohol over-consumption that leads to impaired driving. December is National Driving Impaired Prevention Month. With this in mind, this is the time of year where we should give thanks for all we have, spend quality time with friends and family,...

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The Effects of Alcohol on Mental Health

Anelli Xavier
December 8, 2015

Even though over-indulging in alcohol over the holiday season is tempting, it may not be the best for your mental wellbeing. Injuries and fatalities from accidents involving impaired drivers have steadily increased over the years and have become a serious issue in the United States. In 2013 alone 10,076 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving...

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A Glimmer of Hope to Read on Your ‘Bad Days’

Karl Shallowhorn
November 6, 2015

One thing I know without a doubt is that we have much more potential than we realize. The key is knowing how to tap into it. I’ve been blogging for BP for years. And while my posts have always had a theme, this week is a little different. It’s more of a stream of consciousness....

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My Struggle with Alcohol Dependence

November 4, 2015

Alcohol dependence gets in the way of me being a good mother, a good wife, and a good bipolar symptom-manager. To paraphrase Frida Kahlo: “l tried to drown my isolation in alcohol but it learned to swim”… If you follow me, you are fully aware that I have been struggling these last few years in...

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Ask The Doctor: Dual Diagnosis— Coping With Bipolar & Substance Abuse

Melvin G McInnis, MD, FRCPsych
April 1, 2015

Co-occurring substance abuse and mental illness is more complicated than either condition alone—but treatment is readily available, and recovery is absolutely possible. A “dual diagnosis” means having two disorders diagnosed at the same time. It could be any two diagnoses, but typically it refers to the co-occurrence of a mental illness along with a substance...

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The Mask of Bipolar & Addiction

Chato Stewart
March 11, 2015

Many people struggle not only with bipolar disorder, but with the secondary issue of substance abuse—alcohol, drugs or both. The Bipolar mask hides addiction well, doesn’t it? Drug, Alcohol, Gambling, even sex addiction are all that next quick high – next fix – next shot, score… Let take a second and reflect on some of...

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General Hospital’s Maurice Benard: Man With A Message

Elizabeth Forbes
July 1, 2014

Maurice Benard sees his new movie project as another way to raise awareness and reach out to others with bipolar. By Elizabeth Forbes, bp Magazine editor   When it comes to bipolar on the screen, actor Maurice Benard is in a unique position. He plays a TV character with bipolar disorder—and was himself diagnosed with...

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Repairing Old Relationships and Building Healthier, New Ones

Karl Shallowhorn
August 2, 2013

Having supportive friends and family as well as a structured regimen can help create a successful recovery. By Karl Shallowhorn   There’s nothing like knowing there’s someone you can go to when the going gets tough. Relationships are like guideposts along the road to recovery; they can help you stay on track whenever you start to feel like you’re losing...

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Is It Ok to Drink a Beer If You’re Super Anxious?

Julie A. Fast
June 27, 2013

We need to be brutally honest about what we do as people with bipolar to help ourselves cope. A great question with many answers. My first thought is yes. Why not? A beer is a beer. But it truly depends on who you (or a loved one) are in terms of the beer. Medications interact...

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