When Bipolar ,and Drug abuse hits like shooting stars


Not a pretty picture.

I am being a bit lazy, I have someting to share but I need a day to think it over. In the meantime I just read this and wanted to share this with you . Being bipolar and recovering from my addiction to anything I am always reading everything possible to understand my sometimes drama queen, sometimes insane self . It’s all about being aware . I hope that everyone has had a safe weekend . Here in Amsterdam it is finally not snowing on this bright and sunny day .I wish I could say cheerful ( yet not depressed) day.

When Bipolar Patients Abuse Drugs

What is the link between these two seemingly disparate conditions? Why do bipolar disorder patients abuse alcohol and other drugs at rates far higher than other populations of psychiatric patients, or the population at large? In his article, professor Tolliver, who is with the clinical neuroscience division at the Medical University of South Carolina, lists several theories, along with their limitations:

–Drug abuse as self-medication for an existing bipolar disorder. This explanation is often invoked to explain the very high rates of cigarette smoking among schizophrenics. However, it fails to account for the fact that manic depressives often use stimulant drugs when they are manic, and sedating drugs when they are depressed, rather than the other way around.

–Co-morbidity as the result of common genetic risk factors. A compelling hypothesis, but, according to Tolliver, specific evidence in the form of genetic linkage studies is lacking.

–Drug abuse as a symptom of bipolar disorder. The problem with this explanation is simply that most bipolar disorder patients do not have drug problems. And, in those that do, there is a “poor correlation of onset.”

–Drug abuse as a trigger for bipolar disorder. In this case, the counter-evidence is that “emergence of mania before substance use disorder is common.” However, when the onset of mania precedes the development of drug abuse, particularly during adolescence, it “may predict a more severe course of both illnesses,” writes Tolliver.

“There is a particular kind of pain, elation, loneliness, and terror involved in this kind of madness. When you’re high it’s tremendous. The ideas and feelings are fast and frequent like shooting stars, and you follow them until you find better and brighter ones. Shyness goes, the right words and gestures are suddenly there, the power to captivate others a felt certainty. There are interests found in uninteresting people. Sensuality is pervasive and the desire to seduce and be seduced irresistible. Feelings of ease, intensity, power, well-being, financial omnipotence, and euphoria pervade one’s marrow. But, somewhere, this changes. The fast ideas are far too fast, and there are far too many; overwhelming confusion replaces clarity. Memory goes. Humor and absorption on friends’ faces are replaced by fear and concern. Everything previously moving with the grain is now against– you are irritable, angry, frightened, uncontrollable, and enmeshed totally in the blackest caves of the mind. You never knew those caves were there. It will never end, for madness carves its own reality.”
― Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness

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One response to “When Bipolar ,and Drug abuse hits like shooting stars

  1. Pingback: Review on Good Mood, Bad Mood by Charles D. Hodges M.D. | Bipolar for Christ

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