Friday, August 12, 2011

Bipolar Disorder + Substance Abuse?

A while ago, I wrote about the purpose of depression in society.

However, I was thrown off by bipolar disorder.

If you subscribe to the thinking of Neil deGrasse Tyson, then you acknowledge that our society owes something to the crazies who were willing to be the first one to bungee jump off of a sky scraper while all of the sane people hid out and protected the gene pool.  Naturally, that sounds like something a manic person would do.

But you know something?

There are a whole lot of dysfunctional bipolar people out there who can't get the job done.

I read that about half of them are addicted to drugs or alcohol. 

That's right.  It's not enough that they drink socially or even drink heavily.  They are addicted to the shit.

However, you have a hard time getting them to take their damn medicine that supposedly makes them "better."  Many of them quit taking their meds and go back on the bottle.

I realized that there must be something deficient in bipolar medications that the brain needs.  Otherwise, bipolar medications would be a perfectly good substitute, right?  Hell, their brain should crave that stuff as if it were Meth if it filled the empty void.  Instead, they'll go off of their meds and go straight for the booze.

Then, I began to wonder:

What if bipolar disorder is actually an evolutionary response to alcohol?

Think about it:

For quite some time, people consumed copious amounts of alcohol. That stuff naturally slows your brain doooowwwwnnn.

Yes, imagine a society filled with boozed up zombies.  This is how it was during the middle ages because the water was not safe to drink.

What if bipolar people actually operate at "normal" speed while on booze?

What if the brain in some of these people "sped up" to compensate for the lack of functioning that one normally experiences with alcohol consumption?


  1. I take bipolar meds and I can assure you, my brain does crave them. One of my meds is an SSRI, and if I forget to take it, I get "brain zaps"... almost like electric shocks in my brain.

  2. Glad you brought this up. Making reference to human evolution following a path along with alcohol is important to recognize, all the historical evolution stuff is interesting.

    I think about all those ADHD kids, and how parents thought they were out of control crazy, when in fact they were healthy and normal, just over active. And then I think of all the good and productive things they would have done in their life if their brains were not forced into pigeon holes by overbearing parents. UGGGGHH

  3. Anonymous @ 9:00 a.m. sounds like he or she takes Paxil. This isn't meant to be a criticism, but I will note that the "brain zaps" are a common side effect of coming off Paxil or having yout blood serum concentration fall below a certain level. I never want to go through Paxil detox ever again. The "brain zaps" made me miserable for about a month as I tapered off Paxil.

  4. Some recent studies have indicated that bipolar might be partly a nutritional deficiency cycle - manic people often stop eating well, which causes hormonal deficiencies, which aggravates the bipolar, which aggravates the deficiencies.

    Fish oil has been proven to help (the brain is mostly fat), and I hear there are some positive evidence for melatonin (which is inhibited by staying up all night) and neurochemicals like lecithin, 5htp and GABA.

  5. No offense, but you don't know what bipolarity is. As for the medications, each person is very much a unique case, and the medications are difficult to get "right", meaning that much of the time the medication makes things much, much worse. One in three patients will attempt suicide. Beethoven was likely bipolar, as is Kristen Hersh. It is genetic, but it has nothing to do with coming from a long line of booze hounds. Mania is about a third of it. You're missing depressive states and dysphoria, which is about the worst. If you had ever experienced that, I think this post would have read much differently.