If you have done research on addiction, you are probably aware that there’s a strong link between drug use and mental illness. Many people take illicit drugs to calm symptoms of mental illness as they may temporarily provide feelings of calm and euphoria. But in the long run, doing drugs will only make mental illness worse. 

In fact, in some cases, drugs can cause mental illnesses to develop. This is due to the way they affect the chemistry in the brain. Bipolar disorder is a severe mental illness categorized by feelings of soaring highs and devastating lows. But can drug addiction cause bipolar disorder? 

What is Bipolar Disorder? 

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition characterized by extreme mood swings. People will experience periods of emotional highs, also called mania or hypomania, accompanied by states of severe depression. 

When a person is in a manic state, they will feel euphoric and full of energy. They may also be prone to anger and irritability. When they are depressed, they will feel sad, hopeless, and they may withdraw from social settings.

Mood swings can occur occasionally or multiple times a year. People may or may not experience symptoms between episodes. 

Bipolar disorder can not be cured, but it can be managed with the right combination of therapy and medications. 

There are various types of bipolar disorder, including the following: 

  • Bipolar I Disorder: This is characterized by at least one manic episode followed or proceeded by one depressive episode. 
  • Bipolar II Disorder: People with bipolar II will experience hypomania and depression, but never mania. 
  • Cyclothymic Disorder: People who have had at least two years of hypomania and depressive symptoms may be diagnosed with cyclothymic disorder. 
  • Other Types: Bipolar disorder may also be brought on by drugs, alcohol, or a medical condition. 

What are the Signs of Bipolar Disorder?

The following symptoms characterize bipolar disorder: 

Mania and Hypomania Symptoms:

  • Excessive amounts of energy
  • Inflated sense of self-confidence
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Agitation
  • Excessive talkativeness
  • Racing thoughts 
  • Distractibility 
  • Poor decision making

Depressive Symptoms:

  • Feelings of sadness and hopelessness
  • Inability to enjoy the things you once loved
  • Changes in sleep habits 
  • Fatigue
  • Weight fluctuations
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of energy
  • Feelings of guilt and worthlessness
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Indecisiveness
  • Thoughts of suicide and suicidal behavior

Can Drug Addiction Cause Bipolar Disorder? 

There is no doubt that there is a strong connection between bipolar disorder and addiction. On the one hand, people that deal with bipolar disorder may self-medicate with illegal drugs. They may use stimulants to increase and extend feelings of euphoria and energy. They may also rely on drugs to get them out of slumps of depression. 

While doing drugs may seem to relieve symptoms of mental illness, they do more harm than good in the long run. This is due to how they change the chemistry in the brain. 

Certain drugs, like marijuana and heroin, activate neurons because their chemical structures are similar to those of the natural neurotransmitters in the brain. The drugs attach to and activate the neurons mimicking the brain’s chemicals. 

But even though these drugs resemble the brain’s chemicals, they don’t activate neurons in the same way. This results in abnormal messages being sent through the network.  

Stimulant drugs like amphetamine and cocaine, can cause neurons to release an excessive number of neurotransmitters that prevent the normal recycling of brain chemicals. This also disrupts communication between neurons. The disruption in communication can cause various types of mental illness to develop, including anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. 

How to Find Drug Addiction and Bipolar Disorder Treatment in Atlanta, GA?

Bipolar and addiction can send you into a vicious circle, with one making the other worse. If you are looking to break the cycle, Atlanta Recovery Place offers the help you need.

Atlanta Recovery Place is dedicated to helping patients achieve long-term recovery. We take a dual diagnosis approach that simultaneously treats addiction and its underlying cause. We offer a variety of Georgia outpatient options, ensuring you can get the care you need without taking valuable time away from your everyday life.
At Atlanta Recovery Place, we offer the bipolar and drug addiction treatment in Georgia. Contact us to find out more about our services. We will provide the care you need to help you move on to a higher quality of life.

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