Substance Induced Mood Disorder

A substance induced mood disorder is characterized by depressions or manic episodes which develop during either...
  • a time when the person is taking a medication which causes the depression or the manic symptoms

  • a time when the person is intoxicated by a drug

  • a time when the person is withdrawing from an intoxicating drug.
The symptoms of substance induced mood disorder are the same as during other types of depressions...sadness, emptiness, loss of interest and pleasure, irritability and anger, changes in appetite, sleep problems, restlessness, slow movement and thinking, fatigue, worthlessness and guilt, poor concentration, thoughts about death and suicide.

The manic symptoms are the same as those experienced during other manic episodes...elation, confidence, delusional thinking, high level of energy, increased activity, productivity, loud and rapid speech, racing thoughts, risky behavior, impulsive behavior, increased sexual behavior, over spending, fast reckless driving, wild business schemes, overeating, drinking too much, irritability, anger, and aggitation.

These symptoms are severe enough that they interfere with the person's ability to function socially or occupationally.

Before diagnosing a substance induced mood disorder it is important to determine that the depressive and manic symptoms are not the result of another clinical depressive disorder, such as major depressive disorder, dysthymic disorder, bipolar disorder, or cyclothymic disorder.

If the symptoms were experienced before the person started taking the medication or drug, the symptoms are probably not the result of substance induced mood disorder. Likewise, the substance is probably not the cause if the symptoms continue long after the medication or drug has been discontinued.

Medications and drugs which can cause substance induced mood disorder include the following...

  • antihypertensives such as reserpine, methyldopa, clonidine, guanethidine, hydralazine, and prazosin hydrodhloride

  • gastrointestinal medications such as cimetidine

  • anticonvulsant medications such as clonazepam

  • steroids

  • oral contraceptives such as progesterone

  • anti-inflammatory medications such as indomethacin

  • L-dopa

  • antipsychotic medications

  • all sedatives including barbiturates such as phenobarbital, benzodiazepines such as diazepam, meprobamate, methaqualone, gultethimide, elhchlorvynol, chloral hydrate, and ethanol

  • amphetamines (stimulates)

  • methadone

  • heroin

  • cocaine
If you begin to experience depressive or manic symptoms after starting to take one of the medications listed above, talk with your doctor. He or she may want to prescribe a different medication or change the dosage.

Treatment for substance induced mood disorder should begin with a medical evaluation and medically supervised detoxification (if indicated) from the substance.

Then psychotherapy should be used to help the individual establish recovery from any addiction which may be present. Psychological treatment must help the person development adequate coping skills as well.

If you are experiencing a substance induced mood disorder, The How To Transform Your Life E-Workshop can help you develop needed coping skills.

This E-Workshop should not be considered a substitute for psychotherapy or psychiatric treatment, however. When used along with psychological and psychiatric treatment, the E-Workshop may help you make more rapid progress.

To learn more about The How To Transform Your Life E-Workshop, click here.

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