Mental Illness & Alcohol

For those with Mental Illness, alcohol can be our worst enemy. Yet many of us continue to self medicate with alcohol even though we know it's only making symptoms and/or problems worse for us.

I am one of these people.
The last year I worked very hard to get my drinking under control. Got it down to only going out maybe a couple times a month to socialize with friends; sometimes only once a month.
If you follow this blog you know that even though I managed this, the few times I was drinking I landed up with black outs, what my loved ones call my "Alter Sam's", and in the end I lost someone I love and our relationship.
Since my boyfriend moved out I have made the ineffective choice to drink almost every day/night. 
Why??? Whether now or the last year, obviously drinking in any quantity is a horrible choice for me (especially if I am not 100% happy in my sober life). So why do I do it?
Two reasons. 1) Self medication. 2) I am an addict.
Everyday I dislike myself more for my drinking. It is a vicious cycle that is compounding my problems. With these thoughts and realizations I come back to thinking I need to be hospitalized so I can focus purely on my health. No distractions. No temptations. No way to self medicate...

But I am a single mother. And where we live there really aren't any inpatient programs so I would probably have to go an hour plus away. There is a lot to consider. I do know what I am doing right now isn't effective and is only hurting me more.

If you have mental illness and drink, please look at all the reasons why you should not drink. If you do choose to drink please keep the following in mind:
Anything unaddressed in our sober life generally comes out when intoxicated.
Any anger, hurt or the like comes out when intoxicated.
Alcohol is a depressant; you may feel happy when you drink, but fact is, that effect wears off.
Alcohol has horribly negative effects on your brain and organs, including your heart.
Those with Mental Illness are at higher risk for addiction.

Going out with friends to blow off steam and/or just have fun is needed. But try your best to avoid alcohol and all the negative effects it has while enjoying these times.

Until next time,
Live. Laugh. Love.

(Part of the therapy groups I am going to address addiction; DBT and Seeking Safety. I also may start going to AA Meetings with a friend who wants help, but won't go to meetings alone. Strength in numbers. Need help finding resources in your area? Please just let me know!)

Read more:
NIH Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism


  1. Hi Sam: A couple of years ago I sent you this link. It relates my life with Bipolar and self medication. I hope it helps your readers and gives you ....Be Well, Dr.Fred


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