View Full Version : Substance abuse as a trigger for bi polarity?


Worriedoldie
09-18-17, 05:20 AM
What is the general consensus on bipolarity being triggered by substance abuse?

It is a thing, or is it backwards? As in, the bipolarity came first and then caused the abuse?

As for substance, I talking cannabis, cocain, amphetamine and ecstacy (today called MDMA I think...)

namazu
09-18-17, 06:55 AM
I don't think there's really a consensus, even within the scientific community, but there's evidence that it can go both ways:

People who are in the prodromal (early, pre-full-on-emergence) stages of bipolar disorder are more likely to use/abuse substances.

Use/abuse of some drugs (including stimulants like ADHD medications, meth, or ecstasy) may indeed trigger manic or depressive episodes as a result of the drug use. In some cases, where the person had no predisposition to develop one of these disorders otherwise, stimulant-induced psychosis, mania, or other side effects may be a one-time thing that resolves after the substance use stops. In other people, they may not be.

When people have bipolar disorder or another condition that can cause psychosis, it's usually recommended to stabilize that condition before trying stimulants because there is a risk that stimulants will throw moods or state of mind out-of-whack.

sarahsweets
09-19-17, 04:26 AM
I dont think that the two are triggered by each other either way. I have bipolar and I am an alcoholic. I was always bipolar first and got stable on meds and still became an alcoholic. I believe that genetically I was predisposed to developing addictions and that alcohol just flipped on that switch.

sarahsweets
09-24-17, 09:14 AM
I also meant to add that I believe that bipolar, especially untreated can lead to self medication which then leads to addiction issues of all kinds. I believe if I had been treated for bipolar as a teen during my first hospitalization, I would have had a very different relationship with all things addictive. I still think I would have some issues but not quite as across the board and I would have been able to address them sooner with proper medication. I am 42 so when I was 16 they knew almost nothing about bipolar and still called it "manic depression" and never blinked at it being something kids can suffer with,.

Joker_Girl
09-30-17, 11:44 AM
I don't know about bipolar specifically, although I have thought before that some of my thoughts and behavior seem kind of that way, I have been told instead I suffer depression, anxiety, and ADHD. I do not think that is all, I do have a generalized feeling of mistrust of others often, and I think I have some little OCD things here and there.

But the big three for me are in this order 1) depression, 2) ADHD, and 3) anxiety. And my priority for treating them is in that order as well. I need medicated for the first 2 every day, and the antidepressant is the most crucial. Anxiety for me comes and goes.

I can tell you with 100% certainty EVERY time I've ABUSED alcohol or drugs, it's because I am feeling some inner turmoil and pain. I say abused because I'm capable of being a social drinker without problems, and could probably even use other drugs recreationally if I chose...AS LONG AS I'M MEDICATED. As long as I take meds to keep myself running along relatively smoothly, I WILL NOT abuse alcohol or drugs. Or at least, I haven't.

Unmedicated, I WILL try to numb myself with whatever I can get, although I prefer cocaine and speed. But I will take pills, drink, whatever. I will do whatever I can to alter my reality.

That's why I have to be careful, because I have a horrible self destructive thing inside of me, and when I don't take meds, I'm unwell, and I will suffer and seek to relieve it.

In my case, the pain of my mental illness ALWAYS comes first, and I try to relieve it through substance abuse. If no pain, I have no reason to get drunk or high.

daveddd
10-01-17, 01:13 AM
I don't know about bipolar specifically, although I have thought before that some of my thoughts and behavior seem kind of that way, I have been told instead I suffer depression, anxiety, and ADHD. I do not think that is all, I do have a generalized feeling of mistrust of others often, and I think I have some little OCD things here and there.

But the big three for me are in this order 1) depression, 2) ADHD, and 3) anxiety. And my priority for treating them is in that order as well. I need medicated for the first 2 every day, and the antidepressant is the most crucial. Anxiety for me comes and goes.

I can tell you with 100% certainty EVERY time I've ABUSED alcohol or drugs, it's because I am feeling some inner turmoil and pain. I say abused because I'm capable of being a social drinker without problems, and could probably even use other drugs recreationally if I chose...AS LONG AS I'M MEDICATED. As long as I take meds to keep myself running along relatively smoothly, I WILL NOT abuse alcohol or drugs. Or at least, I haven't.

Unmedicated, I WILL try to numb myself with whatever I can get, although I prefer cocaine and speed. But I will take pills, drink, whatever. I will do whatever I can to alter my reality.

That's why I have to be careful, because I have a horrible self destructive thing inside of me, and when I don't take meds, I'm unwell, and I will suffer and seek to relieve it.

In my case, the pain of my mental illness ALWAYS comes first, and I try to relieve it through substance abuse. If no pain, I have no reason to get drunk or high.

Cocaine sure did numb that stuff. And while I battle with the term self medicating for me because I feel like it's me justifying it. Back in my coke days i was a sporadic binger and it definitely was driven by an episode

daveddd
10-01-17, 01:16 AM
Op

I don't believe someone who isn't predisposed to bipolar will get it from substance. But substance may help it along if you are

Also addiction tends to send emotions all over the place leading to a false bipolar diagnosis

Abi
10-01-17, 02:48 AM
What Namazu said

But I'm inclined to think the moods that one has due to genetic predisposition makes us abuse substances.

I am also bipolar and alcoholic, I used to abuse the drink before my official diagnosis but I was prone to anxiety (GAD) from a very young age (toddler) and depression from young adulthood (20ish) despite my official BP dx only being made at 25.

Worriedoldie
10-03-17, 03:00 AM
Ok, from this I understand that we cant really generalize about it, since we have different genetic markers. Makes sense.

The reason I asked was because some years ago I was heavily into buddhism... or... wanted to be, this lead to Alan Watts and Terrence McKenna and I did a lot of prepping and eventually did three experiences of mushroom trips in a year. The first was magical, the next two not so much... the last one wad pretty freightening but I "survived" it.
As far as I understand bipolartiy often shows up as weak blood flow in the prefrontal lope on brainscans and that is exactly what psilocybin causes... less bloodflow. (Which incedentally is also why its being speculated that its good for anxiety and depression because that is all about excessive communication in the pre frontal lope.)

As for addiction apart from that, I have none, although I will induldge in a yearly or twice a year joint with cannabis. I rarely drink alcohol. I think my poison is softdrinks and crisps / chocolate which I consume almost every night :(