Here is something that I thought was right on : Often the reason that people with Bipolar I/II have substance abuse problems are — feel like they are able to take back control (in some manner of speaking) with their lives because they are able to comprehend (sometimes unconsciously) that they need to “calm” down. the body works constantly to maintain homeostasis. unfortunately – the chemical process that regulates bipolar disorder (primarily) is dopamine. this neurotransmitter also acts in the “reinforcement” & “reward” center of the brain. thus, when patients with bipolar d/o have hypomanic/manic episodes, this stimulates the brain to do act in a way that rewards them (i.e., drinking) and to try to balance out the activity of the brain (i.e., alcohol is a chemical depressant) often bouncing back and forth between narcotic/amphetamine abuse (in the depressed phase) and alcohol (in the hypomanic/manic phase). Ok that is good to know but Lets break it down in real people language : Speaking for myself only, often times when I am manic , it is as if I am watching myself . here I am watching ME do some funny and some ridiculous shit. I know that I am in a manic moment but `i just cannot seem to stop. Like the time I thought is was my calling to bring my team in the office dresses that I bought from the market. I left the office in such wonderful spirits and I was going to do my part to help these people that had no time to shop. I never thought about where I am getting the toime to shop, and maybe leaving work and announcing it was maybe a bit nuts. I was already in my manic madness and therefore I was just being a great team player . walking back into the office , bags in hand and looking as if I had just shot up a load of speed . I was pleased with myself. It was only looking at my co-workers face that I knew I was over the top, still I could not stop. I excused myself and went home with a bottle of vodka , I had to stop . I was flying fast and high. That was the beginning of me drinking bipolar . Now some time has passed . Habits are formed and not only are you fucked struggling with bipolar and it’s secrets, you have an addiction. I think that you get the message .