Why should alcohol and substance abuse be included in the differential diagnosis of bipolar affective disorder (manic-depressive illness)?

Updated: May 06, 2018
  • Author: Stephen Soreff, MD; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
  • Print
Answer

Alcohol abuse and abuse of a wide variety of drugs can present as either mania or depression. For example, speed (ie, amphetamines) and cocaine abuse can present as a manialike disorder, and barbiturate abuse can present as a depressionlike disorder.

A number of patients with bipolar disorder, or manic-depressive illness (MDI), also have a drug or alcohol addiction; that is, they have dual diagnoses. Indeed, relative to other mental illnesses, individuals with bipolar disorder have a disproportionately high rate of substance use disorders, a co-occurrence that is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. [74]


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!