Information about bipolar disorders

How can I end my consumption of addictive drugs?

The precise causes of the high consumption of drugs and / or illegal drugs in the case of people worth psychosis have not been clarified sufficiently. However, some facts exist which describe a connection:

  • Most persons afflicted start the alcohol and / or drug consumption already before the first onset of a depressive or manic phase, frequently as a reaction to their first signs: in an incipient depression in order to be able to deal e.g. with anxieties and feelings of inferiority, in an incipient mania out of an euphoric mood or in order to calm down.
  • The “self-medication hypothesis”: around two thirds of persons afflicted report additional addictions that they take alcohol and / or drugs in order to relieve the unpleasant symptoms of the disorder during its progression.
  • Continued alcohol and / or drug consumption after the onset of the disorder leads to the person afflicted hardly having a chance of permanent cure and recovery. In the short-term alcohol or cannabis may have a relieving effect and help the person afflicted to relax, in the long-term however the consumption can bring in its train clear effects. More phases, more hospital stays and a reduced quality of life are often the consequences. A maintained alcohol and drug problem (drug abuse, addiction) brings in its train a clearly worse course; this is often also shown in the social context of the person afflicted.

The above-mentioned statements are intended to illustrate that somebody with a bipolar disorder is particularly vulnerable and sensitive to the effects of alcohol and drugs. As much as this is accompanied by positive (often short-term) experiences such as relaxation or inner rest, just as much must the clearly better prognosis upon the termination of the alcohol or drug consumption be pointed out.

If an additional addictive disorder was diagnosed in your case, it is advisable that you accept this problem as quickly as possible!

Coping without addictive drugs is not easy however. There are two essential obstacles:

  1. Many persons with bipolar disorder have in the first instance no motivation at all to live without drugs or alcohol.
  2. Many persons afflicted additionally assume that they can come to terms with their addiction problem by themselves whenever they want.

Here a few tips on how you can cope despite everything:

  • Accept help. Assume that you have a greater chance of abstinence from addictive drugs with help than without.
  • Find out about the possibilities of addictive therapy and start an addiction therapy. Ask about special addiction therapies for persons with a bipolar disorder and addiction problems. Mostly, this concerns a behaviour therapy for individuals or in groups.
  • Try to work out the reasons for your special sensitivity to drugs and / or alcohol with the therapist. Understanding these connections makes it easier for you to live abstinently.
  • Assume that you will require long-term help. Do not be discouraged by relapses even is these are very difficult. If you work on the problem you will in any case some day manage to live without addictive drugs.
  • Write down arguments for and against the drug consumption and look for a therapist with whom you can discuss your arguments.
  • Visit self-help groups. There you can get emotional relief and support on the way to abstinence or to maintenance of the abstinence.
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