Substance-Induced Bipolar Disorder

Posted in Drugs and Alcohol

Substance-Induced Bipolar DisorderMental disorders such as bipolar disorder are known to occur due to chemical imbalances in the brain. Bipolar disorder is characterized by constant alternating episodes of depression and mania in a person. Imbalances of neurotransmitters like dopamine or norepinephrine inside a person’s brain are common contributors to bipolar disorder. When one of the neurotransmitters is too low it can cause a depressive state and when it is too high it can cause a manic state. Many different types of drugs can imitate naturally occurring neurotransmitters inside the brain causing imbalances. In order for a neurotransmitter to have an effect inside the brain it has to bind to a receptor allowing the intended message to be received. Some drugs can block the neurotransmitters from binding to a receptor which can lead to depression. Other drugs can release too many neurotransmitters at one time resulting in over stimulation which can produce a manic episode. A substance-induced bipolar disorder can be diagnosed when a person experiences a manic or depressive episode as a result of one of the following:

  • Taking a drug or medication
  • Being under the influence of a drug or medication
  • Withdrawing or detoxing from a drug or medication

Substance-induced bipolar disorder is typically not diagnosed if the person has experienced symptoms of bipolar disorder before using the drug or medication. Symptoms of substance-induced bipolar disorder generally do not continue after a month or more of not taking the drug or medication. If bipolar disorder symptoms continue to occur after one month of discontinued drug or medication use than the substance is typically deemed to not be the cause of the bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder can cause several negative effects to a person’s social and occupational life. Some of the different effects of the depressive state of bipolar disorder on a person’s life can include the following:

  • Excessive sadness
  • Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
  • Constant irritability with others
  • Outbursts of anger
  • Loss of sleep
  • Eating disorders
  • Poor concentration
  • Suicidal thoughts and tendencies
  • Impaired motor coordination

Some of the different effects of the manic state of bipolar disorder on a person’s life can include the following:

  • Over confidence
  • Delusional thinking
  • Excessive energy
  • Loud and rapid speech
  • Risky or impulsive behavior
  • Increased sexual behavior
  • Over spending
  • Reckless driving
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Irritability
  • Agitation
  • Over eating

Substance-induced bipolar disorder can lead to drug or alcohol addiction and may trigger other mental health disorders. Seeking immediate treatment for both the substance abuse and bipolar symptoms is essential to experiencing a healthy recovery and avoiding further problems of addiction and mental health disorders.

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