Substance-Induced Bipolar Disorder

Substance-Induced Bipolar DisorderMood disorders such as major depression, mania, hypomania, or bipolar disorder (in which a person moves between various types of mood disorders) can be caused by any of the following factors:

  • Trauma
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Physical injury to the head
  • Substance abuse

Substance-induced bipolar disorder can be particularly challenging to treat as it involves physiological and psychological components that can be difficult to identify and to correct. Comprehensive and holistic treatment of a person’s body and mind, however, can provide real and lasting relief from the debilitating effects of this very serious mental disorder.

Understanding Bipolar Disorder

The brain manages emotional functions through a complex system of chemical signals sent through the endocrine system. Different neurotransmitters and hormones are involved in the following behaviors and habits:

  • Sleeping and waking
  • Feelings of happiness or sadness
  • Impulse control
  • The formation and recollection of memories
  • Appetite
  • Sexual response
  • Thrill seeking or avoidance

When the levels of these chemicals, or the brain’s ability to use them, are reduced a wide range of symptoms are possible. During depressive states individuals tend to feel emotionally numb or absent, while during manic phases they feel irrationally happy, exuberant, outgoing, or invulnerable. A bipolar individual may move between times of persistent melancholy, with no motivation to engage in relationships or activities and little hope for a positive future, and times of recklessness marked by a tendency to engage in risky behavior, to be irritable, or to be unrealistically happy or excitable. Bipolar disorder will affect all aspects of a person’s life, including their sexuality, financial decisions, relationships, and self-control.

How Drugs and Alcohol Contribute to Bipolar Disorder

Drugs and alcohol have a direct and significant impact on the same part of the brain that is most closely related to the effects of bipolar disorder. When mood-affecting chemicals are present in the brain the natural balance of the brain’s chemistry can be seriously upset. In some individuals the effects correct themselves once the drug or alcohol abuse stops, but in others the effects linger. In some cases they may become permanent. Individuals suffering from substance-induced bipolar disorder tend to self-medicate with continued drug or alcohol abuse; a process that exacerbates their problems considerably.

Successfully Treating Substance-Induced Bipolar Disorder

Successfully correcting substance-induced bipolar disorder requires a fully integrated and comprehensive treatment approach. All aspects of the individual’s emotional and physiological health must be carefully assessed, diagnosed, and addressed. This type of Dual Diagnosis treatment often involves the following elements:

  • A careful medical examination
  • A thorough diagnosis of overall mental health
  • Medically supervised detox
  • Private, individual counseling sessions
  • Support group meetings
  • Coping skill development and practice
  • Empowering education
  • Strategic preparation for continued sobriety after rehab

While the intensive treatment of residential or outpatient rehab might last for only a month, the process of maintaining mental health continues long after that. Some individuals require medication long-term while others are able to manage their symptoms through behavioral modifications and ongoing counseling and coaching.

If you would like more information about treating substance-induced bipolar disorder for yourself or a loved one please call our toll-free helpline today. All treatment programs are not of the same quality or intensity. Our admissions coordinators can connect you with the best treatment options for your unique needs. The call is free, there are no strings attached, and we are available any time of night or day. Untreated bipolar disorder can destroy your health, your relationships, and your life. Call now.