Q. Are Bipolar disorder and alcoholism related to each other? I need to know this. A. People with bipolar disorder have a higher risk of becoming dependant on alcohol or drugs. It is called self medicating. Usually this behavior begins before there is a diagnosis or if diagnosed and being treated the treatment is not working properly. The substance offers the person a "mental break" the problem is this break is temperary because alcohol is a depressant so only for a little while is their any relief and then the depression worsens. It becomes a nasty cycle. If you or someone you know is self medicating and is being treated for bipolar disorder I would suggest going to the doctors and talking about your/their adictions and deside with a professional if the medications currently being taken are effective. From there hopefully the need for alcohol or drugs will lessen, then it is an issue of making a decision to stop all together.