Bipolar Disorder and Addiction

A few words on bipolar disorder and addictive behaviors. It’s normal for people with mood disorders to turn to another substance to feel better. Our illness sucks. The problem is that we only have so much brain space and addictive behaviors take up a large part of life that we need in order to manage our illness.

For example, my addiction is sugar. When it is not controlled, I will choose eating sugar over seeing people. I isolate and use food to feel better. I know this. I know it is not the smartest choice and yet it is always a challenge.

Addiction is helped by replacing the behavior with something that feels better. I have to focus on what feels better than ice-cream. Ice cream is the heroin of the sugar world as anyone with an eating disorder will tell you.

What causes any of us to choose a substance over a person or an event? It is because we somehow believe that the substance will give us more than the person or event will give us.

One way I deal with my addictive behaviors is to have more fun in life. Taking a class. Saying yes to invitations even when I want to isolate.

No one is judging you if you have additive behaviors along with your mood swings. Start today by adding things to life that make you feel good. Is is a dog? A new partner? A writing class or a painting class? How about doing something for someone else?

I want to gamble when I get sick. I want to drink when I get sick. I want to stick my face in a cake when I get sick.

That is addictive behavior and part of our illness.

What can we do today to choose something else besides the addiction?

Julie

PS: I am sure this is Tuna Flavored Icing. HEHE.

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