Can you tell me why is it that I’m Bipolar..and the only thing that can keep me happy, when I’m using is drugs or alcohol.Then after i have came down on the drugs/Alcohol.I get depress More or worst.Can you help me please.
- Dr. Dombeck responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
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- Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.
Bipolar disorder is a disease of brain chemistry as much as it is anything else. People who are bipolar experience mood swings and other symptoms when the chemicals in their brain that help regulate mood get out of balance with one another causing the person to swing between painful depressions and wild manic episodes that can start out happy and become frightening.
Some people with bipolar disorder get attracted to drugs because drugs affect their brain chemistry in a way that makes them temporarily feel better. When people use drugs in an attempt to make themselves feel better (as opposed to just wanting to get ‘high’, it is called ‘self-medication’.
Alcohol is a drug that belongs to a class of drugs known as ‘depressants’. Depressant drugs like alcohol basically work their magic by putting your brain to sleep. The brain doesn’t go to sleep all at once, however (you would just pass out if this were the case). Rather, the parts of the brain that give you impulse control and anxieties tend to go to sleep first. People tend to feel happier when their brain is asleep and they are not worried about things – and this is why people like the feelings they get when they drink alcohol; they stop worrying and just do what they feel. The problem with alcohol and with all depressant drugs is that the good feelings you get from them don’t last. Alcohol actually can cause depression when you use it a lot. The more you drink – the more you are making yourself depressed!
What goes up must come down. Drugs cause their effects by changing how the chemicals in your brain are functioning. If you use drugs to push your brain into a ‘good’ feeling state, your brain pushes back by making you feel lousy when the drug effect has worn off. The way it works with most drugs is that you get a tolerance to them, and you start needing more and more of the drug to get any of the good effect. Ultimately, if you become addicted, you start having to take the drug just to avoid feeling bad all the time.
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Drugs and alcohol are a dead end. They are a special danger to people like yourself who have a mental illness. I urge you to get help for both of your problems as soon as you can. People like yourself, who have both an addiction and a mental disorder too are said to be ‘dually diagnosed’ meaning that they have two diagnoses or problems at the same time. You might ask around to see if there are any ‘dual diagnosis’ clinics in your city as a dual diagnosis clinic is the best type of treatment clinic for someone like yourself to get help in. Good luck.
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