MDJunction - People Helping People
Ask a Question
10/16/2007 09:54 AM

Dual Diagnosed Super Craving

Posts: 974
Senior Member

Dual Diagnosed Super Craving--hard-wired mindset.

by James Rist

Dear group members,

One of you [I'm sorry that I can't find that post] said something in a previous post which tended to support the idea that alcoholics and addicts, once they have ceased to use the substance of their choice, are somehow no longer affected by the diseases of alcoholism or addiction. That goes to the comment, "I don't understand." It explains why, if one hasn't experienced the problem, one may indeed not understand. On the other hand, one who doesn't "have the problem" doesn't NEED to understand. LOL

I might suggest, however, based on my own experience and the observed but undocumented experience of hundreds of others whom I have met in recovery, that the root of addiction/alcoholism is not in the use of the substance but in the nature and thinking of the addict/alcoholic--the mindset that craves the substance, and the rationale of the mind which will ALWAYS present the afflicted with a choice to drink or use once more (relapse).

If you combine the disposition to use alcohol/drugs with the bipolar phenomenon of increased sensitivity to issues of physical and emotional pain, you might possibly see a resulting state of mind which may experience an increasing obsession with relief--relief which is available through both street substances and legal sources. The obsession is one to which I refer as a SUPER CRAVING, an anxious tormenting state of mind which nearly bars the patient from effective medical treatment--a persistent state of mind which, without extensive psychotherapy and cognitive practice, demands a furious round-robin attempt to use different meds, different levels and different combinations of meds, and which finally almost always leads to long term and permanent psychoses, to suicidal emotions, to periodic institutionalization, or to terminal relapse (DEATH) with the patient's substance of choice.

Dual diagnosis, is a term which implies the combination of mood affective disease (e.g. bipolar) and addiction/alcoholism/chronic substance abuse.

Very few, if any, medical professionals know or understand how to treat the patient who is dually afflicted with a mood affective disease AND addiction/alcoholism/chronic substance abuse. The phenomenon and the topic of effective treatment have only recently received serious efforts from the clinical community, because the dual afflicition presents so many paradoxes as to what is appropriate and effective treatment.

BUT, if any of you think there is no connection between your drug/alcohol use and the pain and misery you and your family have suffered, I encourage you to THINK AGAIN!

IF any of you think that merely abstaining from drugs and alcohol changes the mindset that craves them, THINK AGAIN!

Most of all, and most dangerous of all, if you think your use or your loved one's use, past or present, of drugs/alcohol hasn't worsened the prognosis for bipolar recovery...,


Most of what I have shared with you is drawn from my personal experience, or it is drawn from experience and observation from my dual diagnosed friends--people who remain anonymous, who do not publish their experience (as I have), and people who work hard--harder than most--one-on-one, to continue their recovery--to find and sustain the joy, rather than the misery, of life.

You will find links to supporting information and professional insight at the following:


Thanks for allowing me to share with you.

You don't have to agree with me on any of it--in fact, I welcome your debate! It is your right, indeed, to debate until you die!!

Thanks for being a part of my recovery!

I love Y'all!



Post edited by: JR1, at: 10/16/2007 11:55

Post edited by: JR1, at: 10/16/2007 12:40

Post edited by: JR1, at: 10/16/2007 12:45


10/16/2007 04:05 PM
Posts: 681

Dear Jim,

I cannot agree with you more. The addictions are manifested by codependency and severely intensified and confused by bipolar.

The codependency is a learned behavior from unmet needs. We will seek to satisfy those psychological needs by whatever self-medicating 'drug' we can find. This becomes ever more addictive as the physical addiction begins. Add to this bipolar -the intense pain and misery which the depression brings and then the results of manic irresponsibility and risky behavior, you've got a cocktail for suicide.

It may seem hopeless, but we do have one another. We are never alone, but we will feel alone when we don't reach out. I know how much pain just the physical reaction of putting myself out in public was. I hurt and ached. I hid. I don't have to now. I can present myself for my needs to be met.

Thanks for inspiring me to write.


11/19/2007 10:01 PM
Posts: 6

For me, this dual diagnosis is an enigma.

Which came first? The chicken or the egg?

Does drinking make me bipolar or does bipolar make me drink?

I think the answer is yes and yes.

I started to rapid cycle, out of nowhere, in August. So I have been having to make major lifestyle adjustments recently. I knew it was coming, so I am not really in denial. I have had to take a holistic approach, Meds/AA/diet/exercise/therapy...a constant battle that has to become my new lifestyle.

Thanks for sharing


11/20/2007 08:25 AM
Posts: 1646
Senior Member


I relate to you about the chicken, or the egg subject. When, I started getting treatment for my bipolar, 7 mos ago, my sponsor, and my social worker had a debate on which I was first. Was I bipolar or an alcaholic first? It really doesn't matter. What matters is the balance. I need to work my steps, and do what the AA program suggests, and then, I have to take my meds, and do what I need to do to maintain my treatment for my bipolar. If I don't do one , the other suffers.

After 5 yrs of being sober, and working a recovey program, I also started rapid cycling. I started meds in April of 07. I tried to live without meds for 5 yrs. I finally got so sick, I had to get help. Since then its been an interesting process. I have gotten through the struggle, and now, I am pretty stable, and am in therapy. It seems that the experience of dealing with my bipolar has enhanced my sobriety. So, it has become a blessing. They are very similar diseases, so, it's easy to understand the symptoms, if you already are in recovery for alcaholism.

So, anyway, Welcome, and I hope you continue to hang out and share, vent, or whatever. Godbless, Gypsy

11/20/2007 11:05 AM
Posts: 974
Senior Member

Heya Kimba (AND Gypsy.... Hi, Pal!),

Thanks for your post--short, complete, and to the point.

I am so anxious for others like you and me to post on this forum in the way you have--both to describe the problem and to offer some perspective on the solution you have applied.

In 2002--2003, when I began my recovery, on antidepressants, I too began suddenly to rapid cycle. That was my first clue that recovery from BP with addiction/alcoholism/substance abuse, is somehow different and more difficult than recovery from BP alone or addiction alone.

The substance abuse, etc. somehow rewires us in a way that makes pharmaceutical treatment unpredictable.

A few weeks ago, I described a manic "rebound" which I believe I had experienced after being sedated for surgery.

You apparently have discovered the same, as you described your rapid cycling--that something is weird and unexplainable (enigma), and that's the point I try to make with others--especially medical professionals. Sometimes I think the meds which work for BP somehow put the DD person in harm's way.

I am glad to hear you talk about the holistic (balanced) approach to your treatment and recovery, because the issue of balance, or seeking balance, really is the goal for management of the diseases.

I hope you will understand that, during early recovery, we DD's generally have trouble "maintaining" the very complicated ("constant battle"Wink holistic tools. It is often easy for us to lose our commitment and direction, and relapse can occur.

If or when that happens, and I don't say it WILL happen to you, it helps to get right back on the horse, so to speak--to re-start immediately, to put aside guilt, to stand tall, and to understand that you made a bad choice and that, with daily commitment and practice, your choices, your state of mind, and your life will get better!

Please keep coming back--to share your progress, to encourage the rest of us--to share your successes as well as your setbacks.

Thanks for your encouraging post!



Post edited by: JR1, at: 11/20/2007 13:07


Share this discussion with your friends:

Disclaimer: The information provided in MDJunction is not a replacement for medical diagnosis, treatment, or professional medical advice.
In case of EMERGENCY call 911 or 1.800.273.TALK (8255) to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Read more.
Contact Us | About Us
Copyright (c) 2006-2014 All Rights Reserved