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Old 03-04-2019, 09:47 AM #1
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Default Replacement addictions

Has anyone else had issues with replacement addictions? In my case, I have very often been prone to self medication in various ways. As a teen, I was obsessed with ballet (the music, ballet world, and of course the physical aspect). I took 7 to 8 classes per week after school and practiced at home and/or listened to classical music much of the remainder of time. Then alcohol abuse slowly started. That was my worst self medicating behavior ending in detox and years of AA meetings. In lighter periods of alcohol abuse I also became obsessed with my job and would be considered a "workaholic". Even during a couple years in highschool and college I was like that, reading and researching all day when not in classes. Then that would ease.

After I stopped abusing alcohol, I had periods of abusing a benzo and then times I abused stimulants. Off and on I would have binge eating periods, though binge eating has not been an issue most of my life.

I take plenty of bipolar medications. I'm on my best cocktail yet. I have also had therapy for about 15 years, some more helpful than others. There have been times when I wasn't really "abusing" anything, but that never lasts that long-term. Some times when I'm seemingly not exhibiting addict behavior, I have mildly compulsive habits like clenching and grinding my teeth, touching my face, picking my face (more when I was younger), picking at my cuticles, and the like. I have other very mild compulsions, as well. I don't believe I have OCD, though if there's a spectrum, I may fall at the very mildest part.

I wonder if there is a link between all of these things (bipolar, addictive behavior, obsessive/compulsive behavior)?
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Old 03-04-2019, 11:35 AM #2
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Default Re: Replacement addictions

I have bever experienced this, BirdDancer, so unfortunately I don't have a lot of advice to give to you. From what you wrote, I do believe that you may be on some sort of spectrum. Being obsessed with certain things, compulsive habits are all symptoms of this. That's just my opinion though. I may be completely wrong. The only way to know for sure is to go to a doctor and get a proper diagnosis. I hope you'll be able to get the help you need. I'm not sure how these things are connected, but some MI can definitely overlap. Some people use alcohol or other substances to cope with their Depression, for example. Do you think that may be your case? I'm so sorry I can't be more helpful to you. I hope I have given you something to think about at least. I hope you'll be able to get the help you need and deserve. Remember that we're here for you if you need it. Feel free to PM me anytime. Let me know if I can do something to help you. Wish you good luck! Let us know how it goes. Sending many hugs to you
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Old 03-04-2019, 12:49 PM #3
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Default Re: Replacement addictions

Yeah I have an addictive personality so I stopped drinking liquor and went to full fledged shopping addiction. I find deals and use coupons...but over a months time I can spend lots of money on amazon and the grocery store.
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Old 03-05-2019, 02:02 PM #4
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Default Re: Replacement addictions

I quit drinking over 4 months ago. Now I find I'm eating and smoking more. I'm already obese and pretty much a chain smoker. My health isn't great but definitely could be worse. When I was drinking I did over eat and smoke a lot but not to this degree.
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Old 03-05-2019, 04:53 PM #5
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Default Re: Replacement addictions

I used drugs heavily recreationally and became addicted to stimulants for a year. I’m now dealing with alcoholism. I also have long-standing nicotine addiction, now using e-cigarettes, but still a slave to nicotine.

My mum thinks I have an “addictive personality”.

I think there is definitely something to the notion that one can be prone to addictions and substitute one for another. I guess some of us are just prone. I think for me it’s somehat down to a lack of impulse control and a liking for mind-altering substances.
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Old 03-06-2019, 08:56 PM #6
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Red face Re: Replacement addictions

I know that I have an addictive personality.
alcohol, eating and internet. A trifecta.
I have been addicted to losing weight. I weighed 190.8 pounds this morning and weighed 137....3 years ago.That is over 50 pounds in 3 years. sigh my poor body.
I have even been 123, I was manic and obsessed with dieting. I was sick.
I fell down and broke my collar bone and that stopped me from going to the gym and out snapped my mania.
I need to be focusing on my paper work....trying hard to not ignore it or procrastinate. I have some charting to do which won't take long.
It is hard focusing on this paper work when I think it is stupid, getting doctors orders to give pedicures. But that is the requirement.
sigh
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Old 03-30-2019, 02:25 PM #7
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Default Re: Replacement addictions

Your case just sounds like a classic case of not knowing where to put all of your excess energy. If you're the type of person that puts 110% into everything you do, that's actually an amazing quality. Channeling that energy into something like exercise, the same way you did for ballet, would not only give you the killer bod of your dreams but it'll help you replace some of your unhealthy addictions with something productive. Or maybe you can start a new hobby like painting or sculpting, playing a new instrument, writing, or even start dancing again! Those are just a couple of ideas.
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Old 03-30-2019, 03:38 PM #8
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Default Re: Replacement addictions

Addiction and bipolar is two separate things, often co-morbid but non the less separate. I've often heard that addictive personality will find other things to replace the original addictive object. I've always wondered if anxiety isn't the root problem.
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Old 03-30-2019, 06:18 PM #9
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Default Re: Replacement addictions

I recently read that they have not yet been able to isolate the gene for bipolar, but that what they found so far is one that appears to be tied in with other disorders, and as I recall (really too exhausted today to try to google that, sorry)they mentioned OCD and ADHD. So this might explain that. Ive always been a binge eater and a stress eater particularly craving carbs. They say there is some link between carbs and serotonin. Tho I have serious problems with anxiety,I took almost no xanax or related meds for most of my life because my. Dad was an alcoholic and I feared I would end up addicted. I take xanax only when I am super stressed, but my tolerance for it is so low that even half the lowest dose seems to effect my driving, so I got some 10 mg CBD gummies w no THB (no high)to try but my research suggests that they can effect yr driving so haven’t tried them yet. Just got a new used car so I’m nervous about that.LOL
BOTTOM LINE in my opinion is that I bet this is very common for biological reasons or just that we need an outlet for all the feelings that tend to swamp us. The challenge is to reject the harmful ones and keep things in moderation. I guess how to do that would be different for everyone.
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Last edited by admin; 03-31-2019 at 03:01 PM. Reason: edited at member request
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Old 03-31-2019, 05:02 AM #10
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Default Re: Replacement addictions

I am a smoker and a recovering alcoholic. I believe my addictions stem from something genetic combined with trauma and mental illness/adhd.
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