In my experience, it is very common for an alcoholic to have underlying emotional issues. I've been hospitalized 16 times at a mental health facility, and I've seen those who suffer from both a mental disorder and an addiction. As for the symptoms of bipolar, I found this:
What Are the Symptoms?
The primary symptoms of bipolar disorder are dramatic and unpredictable mood swings. The illness has two (BI) strongly contrasting phases (polar).
1) Bipolar mania or hypomania
euphoria or irritability
excessive talk; racing thoughts
unusual energy; less need for sleep
impulsiveness, a reckless pursuit of gratification (shopping sprees, impetuous travel, more and sometimes promiscuous sex, high-risk business investments, fast driving)
2) bipolar depression/major depression
depressed mood and low self-esteem
low energy levels and apathy
sadness, loneliness, helplessness, guilt
slow speech, fatigue, and poor coordination
insomnia or oversleeping
suicidal thoughts and feelings
lack of interest or pleasure in usual activities
Call Your Doctor if:
You notice some of these symptoms in a family member. Note: Persons with bipolar disorder often deny anything is wrong, especially in the manic phase. If you are worried about a family member or close friend, a doctor can offer advice on how to handle the situation.
You notice some of these symptoms in yourself.
Clinical experience suggests that mania may be more devastating to the family in a very short time; excessive spending can pile up huge debts, reckless driving and/or substance abuse can create legal problems, and impulsive hypersexuality/extra-marital affairs may break down a marriage or relationship. The earliest signs of emerging mania can be progressive loss of sleep and extra energy. It can be a matter of hours in which such cases become manic psychosis. Very early intervention in such cases can be rewarding and prevent a hospital admission.
Because of the stigma still attached to bipolar disorder (and to many other mental diseases), patients are frequently reluctant to acknowledge that anything is wrong, and doctors often fail to recognize the disorder. In addition, the symptoms may sometimes seem to be merely exaggerated versions of normal moods. In any event, research suggests that almost 75% of cases go untreated or are treated inappropriately.
The American Psychiatric Association has established a long list of specific criteria for recognizing the disorder. Evaluation involves investigating the patient's history and any family history of mood swings or suicide. Other disorders must be ruled out -- particularly such childhood problems as school phobia and attention deficit disorder; aging problems of dementia, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and other psychotic states induced solely by alcohol or drugs. Drug or alcohol abuse is common in persons with bipolar disorder and can mask the symptoms, thus complicating diagnosis and treatment. Recognizing and treating any drug abuse is a priority, since it is a strong predictor of suicide, especially in men.
Before treatment begins, the patient receives a careful physical exam, and blood and urine are tested to detect conditions that could put medical constraints on the choice of treatment. A thyroid analysis is particularly important both because hyperthyroidism can look like mania and because lithium -- the principal ************** for bipolar disorder -- is known to lower thyroid function and/or impair kidney function. During treatment, frequent blood tests are necessary to see that adequate drug levels have been reached and to detect adverse reactions at an early stage.
The "******" is "d r u g t r e a t m e n t"
oh yes, tons of addicts use to mask other illness
i started taking narcotic adhd medication for adhd, i learned very early in life that a pill can change the way you feel, them as i got older i started taking pills to self medicate the feelings of uslessness, i was so insecure, i felt retarded, like a dumb waste of space!!
it was horrible, i had to take something to make all that go away
i still get to the point where i feel bad about myself, but i have a good network of recovery people, that helps
its impossible to diagnose mental illness while the patient is still using, sometimes doctors will wait until the patient has a year clean before evaluating, others will give medication as soon as symptoms come up, it depends on your doctor and their experience with addiction
anger is a big one for me, i just found a workbook on anger
i plan on doing this as part on my recovery
I dont know too much about mental illness but my mom is bi-polar, along with being addicted to alcohol and opiates. For the longest time she was just addicted to opiates and benzo's which was bad enough, but within the last 2yrs she has become an alcoholic. What gets me is she is an RN and works nights, so she'll go 3-4 nights without alcohol. Then on her days off she drinks 3-5 bottles of wine every night, Im really afraid that shes going to have a seizure from the withdrawals. For me watching someone struggle with alcoholism is extremely hard, Im constantly afraid that shes eventually going to over do it. So Im not exactly sure of the statistics behind alcoholism and being bi-polar, but regardless my mom is one of them. Ive really considered calling that intervention show to try and get her help. She's and extremely proud person, cant stand failure, which I think is the main problem with her objecting to in-patient rehab, because shes afraid to fail. Its a difficult subject for me to discuss, my mom raised my sister and I by herself, work so hard to give us everything and now I cant seem to help her. Sorry to to ramble on, but so far thats my experience with alcoholism and being bi-polar.