Facing Bipolar Depression in Sobriety - Anxiety and Depre...

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Facing Bipolar Depression in Sobriety


Hello everyone. I've been sober since 2007. Around the time I stopped drinking, I was also diagnosed with bipolar II. I was prescribed Citalopram, which I took for years and typically felt pretty good (or thought I did). But last year, I went on a manic bender and got myself in some real financial trouble with gambling. I began seeing a new doctor who re-diagnosed me as bipolar I and questioned why I was on Citalopram. My medication was changed to Latuda. I am no longer manic, but for several months I've been quite depressed. It is hard for me to discern just how much of it is due to the gambling fiasco, the medication change, the winter weather, etc. but I'm trying to take positive steps to get better. So I joined this group and just wanted to say hello. I'd be interested in connecting with others who are in sobriety and still working on recovery from depression. My understanding is that there are plenty of us out there.

11 Replies

I'm so glad you've joined, Sober. I find this to be one of the best support forums I've ever been on. There is so much positivity and a feeling of 'we are all in this together'. I hope it will be a help to you as much as it has been to me.

Sober2007 in reply to socalpoppy

Thank you! I look forward to being a part of it.

You have been through a lot. I’m glad you found this place.

Sober2007 in reply to Kat63

Thank you Kat!

Hello! I've been sober for 22 years and my anxiety disorder kicked in (at least in a way I couldn't ignore) in 2004. It wasn't until last year that it became a giant problem. I felt oddly guilty - developing a mental issue so far into sobriety. I wanted to be a shining example for newcomers, not a dysfunctional basket case. Now, intellectually I know that getting through this and staying sober IS a great example to others in the same boat, but my emotions and ego don't always see it that way. In the past few months some depression crept in and WOW, it's an intense feeling. I always though it meant 'just really sad', but now I know differently. I still drag my butt to meetings. There are some things that I just make myself do while I recover from anxiety and depression and keeping in touch with my sobriety is definitely one of them.

Sober2007 in reply to JAYnLA

It's great to hear from you Jay. I know exactly what you mean about feeling somehow guilty about it. Like I must not be doing what I'm supposed to be doing, or not working my program the right way or something. I've had a sort of "faith crisis" too, wondering why my Higher Power is "letting this happen to me." And then there is the negative thinking - the ruminating and all that. My sponsor tells me that many recovering alcoholics do go through periods of depression, and I guess even Bill W did. I believe this too will improve if I just take action and try to get out of myself by looking for ways to help others. I'm truly grateful to be sober and for having the chance to connect with you.

JAYnLA in reply to Sober2007

Oh, how I relate! Great to meet you. Glad you're here.

Hi. I am in recovery. I’ve been sober since February 27,2017. I have also been diagnosed with bipolar disorder 1 ptsd anxiety. It has been very hard year trying to stay sober but yet treat my mental health. I am currently taking lexapro. And that it. I have been really struggling. I finally made an appointment for mental health. In the mean time I just try and do anything I can to keep this brain of mine in check. I wish you the best and I’m here if you need anyone to talk to. The struggle is real.

Good to hear from you, and thanks for responding to my post. I'm so proud of you for staying sober despite the other challenges, and I'm glad you made an appointment to see someone. I'm here for you as well, so feel free to reach out any time. I just try to keep in mind that whatever's going on with me, a drink isn't going to fix it!

so proud of you for reaching out. Latuda is definitely a tough one; I was on it for about two years and in my opinion it caused more damage to me than it mended. I could never function with less than 12 hours of sleep, my eyes and affect were perpetually blunted and dead looking, my once lively voice slowed to a creaky drawl, and i no longer knew how to interact with people. Not to mention the psychosis never fully went away, it just slowed down. Of course, there were many other things at play as well (trauma + not many social skills to begin with) but Latuda was quite damaging to me. I am a transgender female and the most startling side effect of Latuda was completely destroying my motivation to transition. Dysphoria was still there, to some capacity, but I suddenly couldnt be myself. I was on the road to transition a few months before I was prescribed, and couldn't fully continue until a few months ago when I was finally taken off.

Latuda might be different for you, and I'm sure our life experiences differ vastly, but I just wanted to share my experience with it.

Peace be with you,


Thanks Marcy. I appreciate the feedback on Latuda. I've been experiencing some of the same side effects, particularly not being able to interact with people very well in person. I feel like it has been effective at curbing my manic episodes, but it has almost amplified the depression. My parents in particular have told me that I don't seem like myself, as I used to be very spontaneous and now I only speak if someone else takes the initiative. That's how it feels to me too. It sort of feels like I'm inside a well. I have a med appt coming up and am going to address all this with the doctor. Maybe there's a better option for me.

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