Cocaine and Bipolar | Can Cocaine Cause Bipolar Disorder?
Cocaine use and bipolar disorder can occur together, and people often wonder if cocaine can cause bipolar disorder. It’s a complex question, and the relationship between cocaine and bipolar can be similarly complex. Below are some things to know about cocaine and bipolar disorder as well as information that will answer the question, “Can cocaine cause bipolar disorder?”
Before exploring the relationship of cocaine and bipolar and answering the “Can cocaine cause bipolar?” question, it can be helpful to have a clear understanding of what bipolar disorder is. Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that can be managed and treated with medication, and symptoms are related to extreme mood changes and changes in behavior and energy levels. It’s also often called manic depression, because of the alternation between highs and lows. These changes can last anywhere from hours to months.
- Cocaine has an effect on the brain, and it alters dopamine, which is an important chemical in communication between the brain and the rest of the body. Dopamine is an essential part of the functionality of the brain, including the processes controlling pleasure and reward, as well as movement.
- In many instances, cocaine can also affect the parts of the brain that control memory, new information and emotions.
- Most mental illnesses, including bipolar disorder, involve imbalances in the dopamine system of the brain, so with the use of cocaine, particularly over the long-term, symptoms of mental illnesses can either start to occur or become worse.
- Difficulty with decision-making
- Impulsive behavior
- Attention problems
- Problems with planning for the future
- Cognition issues
- Increased energy and mental alertness
- An extremely happy mood, optimism and self-confidence
- In some cases, people may be irritable or aggressive during this time
- A person can go for days without sleep
- Racing thoughts
- Increased sex drive and recklessness
- Sadness, depression or crying
- Changes in mood
- Anger, anxiety, worry
- Low energy
- Feelings of guilt
- Concentration problems
- Thoughts of suicide
Have more questions about Cocaine abuse?Read the most frequently asked questions
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