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Worried about bipolar girlfriend consuming alcohol



May 1, 2019
Hi all,

I have been together with my girlfriend for about 6 months now. She has been diagnosed with bipolar last summer, I don't know which type to be honest. Now that we have been living together for about 2 months I start to notice the sympoms and how they affect her behavior. I love her deeply and her to be as happy as possible, but sometimes challenges arise. She has a history of substance abuse (several types of drugs), self harming and eating disorder. Currently she is doing great at staying away from drugs and she is eating well, I think the fact that she has been with partners that also engaged in substance abuse and living irregular day patterns have had a very negative influence on her, and that it is good for her that I am kind off the total opposite of that. I live my days structured, living in a clean house etc.
The thing is that even though she doesn't engage in drugs anymore, I am worried about her drinking patterns. She is more or less drinking a couple of glasses of wine every day, with more extremes when going out when she drinks a lot. On some days this causes her to forget taking her medicines, and ofcourse the day after having a hangover and usually more anxiety than normally. I am worried about her and can see from an 'outsider' perspective that this behavior is harming her, but I don't now how to talk to her about this. I am proud of her that she is not taking drugs anymore and drinking less alcohol than she used to, but I am still worried. Reading about bipolar I have learned that one has to take this mental illness serious and that drinking large amounts of alcohol is definitely not good. How can I approach her in a way that doensn't make her feel judged or attacked? I want her to know that I am proud of her that she is doing better than before, but I am still very worried.

Thank you <3


Well-known member
Mar 15, 2019
She is very lucky to have you! ♡
I would start by saying youbarw so proud of how far she has came and her strength and ability to overcome her issues. that since you have moved in together you have noticed regular drinking and notice the symptoms you describe (hangover, anxiety etc.) And are worried it might set her back. She may become annoyed at being approached about it but let her calm down and think it through then revisit the issue. Do you have contact with any of her care team?

Make sure you focus on what you have noticed and how you feel about it, how you are concerned because you feel it could set her back and see if she can cit down for now? If she has problems with cutting down or doesn't agree to act at all, suggest support from her care team (assuming she has one).

My main piece of advice is look after yourself first, you cant support her if you are unhappy or unhealthy and living with someone with mental health problems can be draining and very hard work.

Hope this helped somewhat ♡


Well-known member
May 7, 2019
I was a very active alcoholic, drinking far more than your girlfriend. But it wasn't until I got dry that the true bi polar started to show itself. As I understand bi polar, there are a great many bi polar sufferers who have or had some degree of addiction. Changing from drugs to alcohol in addictions is not unheard of.

One piece of advice (from a doctor) that has kept me sober is One glass of wine would make me ill, two glasses of wine would put me in A&E and a bottle of wine would put me in the morgue. The combination of my history with alcohol and the "cocktail" of meds I'm on mean this could well be true. I don't intend to test it..

Alcohol also dilutes the absorption rate of meds, making them less effective.

In the long run, being there and being supportive and, where possible, not confrontational can be the most effective help. My husband did and still does this, and despite my problems we are still strong together.

If you can, encourage her to use forums like this to help her free her thoughts.
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