Bipolar or Long Term Residual from Drug Use?
[Home] [Bipolar News] [Bipolar Disorder] [Medications] [Treatments] [Bipolar Disorder/Job/School] [Disabilities] [Ask the Doctor] [Ask David] [Self-Injury] [Personal Stories] [Graham's Column] [Steven's Column] [Storm's Column] [Columnist Archives] [Suicide] [Community Support] [Family Members] [Expressions] [Greeting Cards] [Books] [Awards] [Links & Rings] [About Us] [Contact Us]

 


Q:  Bipolar or Long Term Residual from Drug Use?


35 y/o bipolar d/o.  I have been in recovery from alcohol/drugs for 3 yrs now.  Was heavy methamphetamine and alcohol user on/off since I was 16 yrs. old.  I have delusions and am paranoid....still in process of finding right meds.   How do the professionals know if what I have is really bipolar or a long term residual from the heavy use of methamphetamine?  For some reason, I want to know.
 

Dear Michelle -- 
Very understandable that you'd want to ask, and it's a very good question, as it bears directly on how you treat what you've got:  can you expect that the paranoia and delusional stuff will stop if you get the bipolar disorder fully under control? or might they continue when there are no other bipolar symptoms (such as mood problems, sleep problems)?  I guess that's how I'd look at it:  first get the bipolar under control, then see what's left.  I have some patients with similar histories, and have asked basically the same question:  am I having trouble controlling their bipolar disorder, or are they having some sort of after-effects from all the drug use?  At some point it really comes down to treating the symptoms, as long as the other reasonably possible explanations for the symptoms that actually have treatments (some medical conditions your primary care doctor would know to look for, especially once the bipolar stuff is controlled) have been ruled out, e.g. an adrenalin-producing tumor -- things we wouldn't want to miss underneath the rest of the symptoms.  

Dr. Phelps


Published July, 2004

 

Bipolar World   1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Owners: 
Allie Bloom, David Schafer, M.Ed. (Blackdog)
Partners:  John Haeckel, Judith (Duff) 
Founder:  Colleen Sullivan
 

Email Us at Bipolar World

 

About Us  Add a Link  Advance Directives  Alternative Treatments  Ask the Doctor   Ask Dr. Plyler about Bipolar Disorder   Ask The Doctor/ Topic Archives  Awards  Benny the Bipolar Puppy  Bipolar Chat  Bipolar Children  Bipolar Disorder News  Bipolar Help Contract  Bipolar World Forums  Book Reviews  Bookstore  BP & Other mental Illness   Clinical Research Trials & FDA Drug Approval   Community Support   Contact Us  The Continuum of Mania and Depression   Coping   Criteria    Criteria and Diagnosis  Criteria-World Health Disabilities,  DSMV-IV   Dual Diagnosis  eGroups  Expressions (Poetry, Inspiration, Humor, Art Gallery, Memorials  Family Members   Getting Help for a Loved One who Refuses Treatment  Greeting Cards  History of Mental Illness  Indigo  Job and School  Links  Manage Your Medications  Medications   Medication and Weight Gain    News of the Day  Parent Chat  Pay for Meds  Personal Stories  Self Help  Self Injury  Significant Others  Stigma and Mental Health Law  Storm's Column  Suicide!!!  The Suicide Wall  Table of Contents   Treatments  Treatment Compliance  US Disability  Veteran's Chat  What's New?