Cannabis-Induced Bipolar Disorder: Understanding How Cannabis Use Can Awaken Bipolar Disorder

To best understand cannabis-induced bipolar disorder, we should take a step back to first examine bipolar disorder itself. Once you have a better understanding of how bipolar disorder influences your thoughts and actions, and what signs and symptoms represent the two distinct poles of this disorder, it is often more apparent why it does not mesh well with cannabis and its most common side effects.

Do you experience extended periods of time in which you suffer from low energy, low motivation, and loss of interest in your personal and professional life? After these depressive episodes, do you often experience periods of time in which you have a surprising amount of energy, reduced need for sleep, and disorientation from your everyday reality? If so, you are not alone.

Millions of people share experiences similar to yours. While feeling as though you’re living on an emotional seesaw can be frightening and exhausting, and you may not fully understand what is happening to you, please know that a road to understanding and overcoming this dual life is available. The answers you have been looking for, and the tools to calm this storm, can be discovered at Alta Mira Recovery.

 

Untreated Bipolar Disorder

So, what is the reason behind these polar opposites in emotions that you are facing? If you are in fact experiencing extremes between manic and depressive psychological states, there is a chance you are suffering from bipolar disorder. And if these symptoms didn’t present until you’d been using cannabis regularly, there is a chance that cannabis use “awoke” the bipolar disorder that was lying dormant beneath the psychological surface.

Living with untreated bipolar disorder can be one of the most difficult experiences an individual will ever endure. It is, in essence, a disorder that can pull an individual in two vastly different directions without warning. One direction is that of incredibly energetic periods—also known as mania, or a manic episode.  The other direction is that of absolutely low periods—also known as depression, or a depressive episode.

Your radical swings in emotions can be very worrisome to you, your friends, your employer, and your family. And that worry is completely natural. People tend to be afraid of what they do not understand, particularly when it is something they are personally experiencing. In order to overcome your dependence on cannabis and properly treat your cannabis-induced bipolar disorder, turning your full attention to learning, understanding, and changing certain aspects of your life is of paramount importance. Our professional staff brings some of the most experience in the field to help you understand what you are experiencing, and importantly to develop an individualized recovery plan for your unique needs and goals.

 

Treating the Right You: Are there Different Types of Bipolar Disorder?

For many years, bipolar disorder was known as manic depression. In the 1980s, the term “manic depression” was officially changed to bipolar disorder due to years of negative social connotations. As time went on and advances in understanding bipolar were achieved, further classification of the disorder developed. Today we know there are two different types of bipolar disorder: Bipolar I and Bipolar II. Let’s take a closer look at how these types differ:

 

Bipolar Disorder I:

  • Focus is on manic and depressive swings in emotions and actions.
  • Often considered the more severe disorder to manage.
  • Must have had one major manic episode and one major depressive episode to be diagnosed with Bipolar I.
  • Oftentimes the manic and depressive episodes can result in hospitalization.

 

Bipolar Disorder II:

  • Focus is on hypomanic and depressive swings in emotion.
  • Often considered to be the less severe of the two types of bipolar disorder.
  • It is frequently reported that Bipolar II is often misdiagnosed as depression.
  • Must have had a major depressive episode lasting at least two weeks and at least one hypomanic episode.

It is important to note that within these two types of bipolar disorder, as with all things, there is a spectrum of how greatly they affect the individual experiencing them. While Bipolar Disorder II can impact someone’s life less severely, it is by no means to be thought of as a minor problem that can be brushed off and left untreated. Whichever type of cannabis-induced bipolar disorder you are experiencing, you deserve to have the correct treatment plan in place to live a healthy, happy, balanced life.

 

What Causes Bipolar Disorder?

Technically speaking, the exact cause of bipolar disorder is not completely understood. Some researchers point to the root cause as being genetic factors; however, on the other side of the fence, many researchers claim that the cause of bipolar disorder is deeply rooted in environmental factors. What are we to make of these opposing claims?

We are left to assume that the cause of bipolar disorder lies somewhere in a mix of genetic and environmental factors. In fact, its cause may differ from person to person. For example, if an individual is born to one parent who has bipolar disorder, then he or she has a 10% chance that they will develop the disorder themselves. To make the odds even higher, if an individual is born to two parents that have bipolar disorder, their chances rise to 40%.

Looking at things from an environmental angle, what happens if an individual consumes too much cannabis? In other words, what happens to someone who regularly uses cannabis in some form, be it through smoking, vaporizing, consuming, or otherwise introducing cannabis into their system. Can that be an environmental explanation of bipolar disorder? The answer is—yes.

Cannabis-Induced Bipolar Disorder: What Exactly Does It Mean?

Studies have indicated that cannabis is the most commonly abused drug among those diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Why is this? While the answer may not be completely understood, as is the case with many co-occurring disorders, drug abuse and mental illness often go hand-in-hand. Cannabis-induced bipolar disorder is, by definition, bipolar disorder that has arisen from using cannabis. Cannabis abuse can lead to acute psychosis in many individuals, and can produce symptoms of pre-existing mental disorders.

In essence, cannabis-induced bipolar disorder can be thought of as a condition that was caused by the abuse of cannabis. Many times, it actually develops while an individual with bipolar disorder is self-medicating with cannabis. Interestingly, a recent study found that bipolar disorder has a higher rate of substance abuse comorbidity than any other disorder. While some of these cases are likely people who know they have bipolar disorder and are using cannabis in hopes of alleviating their symptoms, it is likely that in most cases it is individuals who don’t know why they’re experiencing these waxing and waning periods of emotional discomfort, and are simply hoping cannabis will help them feel better.

If you are suffering from cannabis-induced bipolar disorder, what can you do to help yourself? If you decide to seek treatment, what could you expect?

 

Cannabis-Induced Bipolar Disorder: How is It Treated?

If you decide to take back control of your life from cannabis-induced bipolar disorder, you should expect cutting-edge treatment.  Doctors and other medical and psychological specialists usually treat cannabis-induced bipolar disorder with a combination of medications and psychotherapy. Here at Alta Mira Recovery, our highly-trained staff of medical and psychological professionals will work with you to undermine the roots of your dependence on cannabis and the effects of bipolar disorder on your life. Our caring staff will work closely with you to craft a recovery plan that will help you achieve unity between your physical, mental, and spiritual selves.

The journey to your permanent recovery is just about to begin. Despite the fear and trepidation that may fill you at the thought of putting your life on hold and seeking treatment, the temporary sacrifices will be more than worth it. Our goal is to help you become the best, happiest, healthiest you that you can be.
If you are experiencing cannabis-induced bipolar disorder and are ready to regain control of your life, please do not hesitate to contact us for more information.  We look forward to hearing from you and walking with you on the journey to clarity, wellness, and balance!