Self medication . Folks with bipolar disorders use easily available drugs to self medicate. The "big three" are nicotine, alcohol, & marijuana. Unfortunately, these drugs don't help, & frequently worsen core symptoms. Patients with bpd, who are unaware of their condition, will find marginal help from their symptoms with self medication. When the diagnosis is made, they are able to get better with medications.
Depends. In many cases, people diagnosed with bipolar disorder use alcohol as the only drug that can get them to sleep outside of formal medications. Alcohol can also calm down the racing thoughts that occur. However, it is also not unusual for people who have bipolar disorder to also have a family history of alcoholism. If that is the case, you should worry about developing a problem with alcohol.