Bipolar Teens at Greater Risk of Substance Abuse

By lexifer · Jun 8, 2008 · Updated Jun 8, 2008 · ·
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  1. carousel
    I think it is a trap for these people, especially the ones who don't realize they're Bipolar. But I don't see why the fact that drugs make the highs and lows for people who expierence extreme highs and lows is a suprise.

    I have never seen a person with extreme bipolar, to my knowledge, but I often times think some people are suckered into believing they have a disorder when it's really just a personality trait. Can't a person just be moody? Isn't there such thing as a person who gets happy and sad by the littlest of things?
  2. Panthers007
    I know from the experience of several friends that if they walk into a psychologist or psychiatrist's office, especially if the local school told 'em to, they will walk out diagnosed as bipolar. Then out come the drugs - Seroquel, Paxil, Zoloft, bupropion, Resperdal, Remeron, to name a few. And now they are more prone to "drug abuse?" Sure!

    If they do wind up smoking pot, it's likely to be attempting to find some small pleasure as their normal joy has been chemically put in a straight-jacket.

    And remember - their is no cure for a psychiatric disorder. Only periods of "being in remission." It's a life-sentence.

    When the local school conned my parents into taking me (I called a teacher a "half-baked fascist pig" for encouraging the other kids to beat-up a kid with long hair who liked the Beatles) to a psychiatrist (two of 'em actually - a pair of Freudian lesbians no less), my sentence was pronounced within 20 minutes. They told my parents that I had seen my mother naked as a baby. And I would need intensive therapy for 20 years to even approach being normal.

    That was the last time my parents believed the local school system.
  3. MachinaDeus
    It seems like drug abuse itself can create a temporary (or permanent in extreme cases of course) ups and downs (from being on drugs to not beign on drugs) making it seem as though that person has some sort of mental disorder.In reality if they quit drugs for a while they'd turn back to the same boring old self. Sigh but its like they say doesnt matter the cause of the problem when a doc makes more money masking the syptoms instead.
  4. Matt The Funk
    I have to agree. And I think the people who actually need help, not due to drug use(though it may be co-morbid), need to get appropriate medical help though. I don't see how some symptoms could even be CONSIDERED a personality trait.
  5. nickyphilip23
    Teens with bipolar disorder are at greater risk of smoking and substance abuse, says a Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) study that supports previous research.
    It indicates both that young people with BPD (bipolar disorder) need to carefully be screened for smoking and for substance use and abuse and that adolescents known to abuse drugs and alcohol -- especially those who binge use -- should also be assessed for BPD.
    Nicky Philip

    Addiction Recovery Pennsylvania
    Addiction Recovery Pennsylvania
  6. Heretic.Ape.
    ^ that sounds like about the worst idea I've heard in a long time. Just another excuse to drug test more teens without good cause and to diagnose more teens with even less stringent criteria. Besides, stress is a primary trigger of bipolar meltdown. You want to cause a meltdown in some bipolar kid who is successfully treating his symptoms through smoking some pot (and my bipolar monkey can attest that this can be a good option for treating symptoms in his case), suddenly saying he/she needs to take random drug tests is the way to do it.
  7. Matt The Funk's always that little extra push that sends SWIM flying into mania...he can only control himself so well, when it seems as though almost every other person is trying to provoke him. That being said he does control himself well with the help of cannabis. I don't see why drug testing would be needed.
  8. BuffaloBoobs
    Swim would fall into an eternal bliss (not hypomania!!) if his monkey were simply a bit moody rather than the often hellish rollercoaster that's going on in said monkey's mind. :cry:
    As a funky dude once said about his own monkey, "he can only control himself so well, when it seems as though almost every other person is trying to provoke him."
  9. ShawnD
    Bipolar disorder is a very serious medical problem, but the term is used so often these days that nobody seems to remember what it even means. People with bipolar disorder are not "moody"; they do things like buy a $40,000 truck on a whim, then attempt suicide a month later. Their behavior is extreme, and it can quickly change from one extreme to another.

    You're right when you say people are tricked into thinking they have it. I knew a woman who had real bipolar disorder, and this was diagnosed by her constantly sleeping around (mania), cheating on everyone (mania), spending huge amounts of money that she couldn't pay back (mania), and attempting suicide (depression) all in the same month.
    The people who are diagnosed because of their bitchy attitude obviously do not have bipolar disorder.

    This is only true for the real cases. People with real bipolar disorder never get better, but they can sometimes be stabilized with medication.

    Fake bipolar disorder goes away by itself. Most teenagers are bipolar due to puberty, but it goes away. People with depression who abuse drugs often appear bipolar because the drugs put them into a manic state, and they slip back into depression when the drugs wear off. This kind of bipolar goes away when drug abuse stops, but the depression remains.

    Your statement says a lot more than you think it does. There's a strong correlation between having depression and the likelihood of abusing drugs, and while I won't get preachy and say drugs-r-bad, I will say that treatment for depression might be something to look into. Look more toward diet and exercise; stay the hell away from psychiatrists.
  10. Lobsang
    Here is an interesting little clip....Who benefits?

    Lobsang added 4 Minutes and 23 Seconds later...

    What ICD-9 code in the DMS-4 is "Fake Bipolar Disorder"
  11. ShawnD
    Apparently it's the same code as real bipolar.
    At one time there was a distinct difference between growing up and being mentally ill. That distinction no longer exists, and that's why fake bipolar (being a teen) and real bipolar (mentally ill) are under the same DSM code.
  12. Lobsang
    Well yes. I was just making the point that there is not one. And once a person is diagnosed they are kept on drugs for life. So there is no "testing of the waters" to see if they have some mania and depression due to something else external. Like drug abuse. And then there is the whole "duel diagnosis" concept relative to substance abuse. It is very fashionable. A person has signs of being mentally disturbed while on drugs and a duel diagnosis of drug addiction and bipolar is made. Or the person still has some symptoms after getting detoxed and the diagnosis of bipolar is made. The person is put on drugs and kept on for life. After a person has been drug addicted for years it may take considerable time for symptoms to pass. But no attempt is made to try and see if the symptoms have remitted. This is bad medicine. I would submit that there are mutitudes of people with "fake organic brain disease". And there is no methodology to correct this problem.

    Psychiatry has failed and continues to fail more in understanding the human factor in producing symptoms. Depression for example may be caused by life situations. Very much so. Other things can be too. Sometimes life is hard and traumatic. And yes it can cause chemical changes in the brain. But when problems are functional recovery os possible. And even structural changes in the brain are somewhat plastic to a degree if caused from functi8onal problems.

    Psychiatric drugs are taken way to lightly by the medical profession. They can cause many problems in many organ systems. They are horrible overprescribed and people are hurt. The cost of unneeded psychiatric care is phenomenal. Billions upon billions of dollers year in and year out. many of these drugs are highly toxic. And beyond that they are expensive. I mean on Zyprexia tablet is like 20 dollers. And patients may take more than one. Cost for a patient on more than one med can be into the thousands per month. Insurance, medicare and medicaid bear the cost. And ultimately the tax payers.
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