Addiction Helpline and Resource Center

Substance-Induced Bipolar Disorder

Substance-Induced Bipolar DisorderBipolar disorder, also commonly known as manic-depressive disorder, is associated with mood swings that range from the lows of depression to the highs of mania.  When an individual becomes depressed, he or she may begin to feel sad or hopeless and lose interest or pleasure in most activities.  Some individuals may resort to recreational drug use to help alleviate symptoms of their bipolar disorder.

Effects of Bipolar Disorder on an Individual’s Life

Anyone can be affected by bipolar disorder.  Included in the following are some examples on the common signs of bipolar disorder:

  • Grandiosity and overconfidence
  • Periods of anger and aggression
  • Easy tearfulness

Symptoms such as feeling trapped, overeating, excessive worry, and anxiety may indicate the presence of a psychiatric disorder, which may require an evaluation.  Other possible disorders to consider include unipolar depression, anxiety disorders, substance use disorder, adjustment disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and personality disorders such as borderline personality disorder.

How Substance Abuse Inhibits Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis

Substance abuse complicates the diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder. Included in the following are some examples of how substance abuse inhibits diagnosis:

  • Patient has difficulty managing symptoms when under the influence of substances
  • Doctor has difficulty differentiating the effects of drugs from the symptoms of the disorder
  • Substances can interact with bipolar medication, complicating treatment

Substance abuse can make it almost impossible to manage mood symptoms of bipolar disorder.  Substance abuse can also make it difficult to make a confident diagnosis of bipolar disorder when an individual is actively abusing substances that cause mood swings.  Substances such as alcohol and/or cocaine can cloud or mask symptoms of bipolar disorder.  For example, an individual who is high on cocaine can appear manic when they are not, or have a depression when the drug wears off.  Some individuals suffering with bipolar disorder use drugs and/or alcohol as a part of the impulsivity and/or recklessness of mania.  Substance abuse may cause bipolar episodes to become more frequent and severe, and medications used to treat bipolar disorder are usually less effective when an individual is using and abusing drugs and/or alcohol.

Drug Addiction and Bipolar Disorder Treatment

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction and mental illness, please call our toll-free helpline today.  Our highly trained counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer your addiction questions and help you find the best treatment available.  One call today can change your life.

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