Substance-Induced Mood Disorders In Los Angeles

Experts estimate that 40 to 60% of individuals with alcohol use disorders and more than half with opioid use disorders experience substance-induced depression, anxiety, psychosis, and mania. These symptoms are not isolated to recreational drugs but can include prescription medications like painkillers, ADHD stimulants, and sedatives.

What Are Substance-Induced Mood Disorders?

Substance or medication-induced mental disorders are when people experience symptoms of depression, anxiety, psychosis, or mania as a direct result of a substance use disorder. These symptoms can happen while someone is actively using the substance, when they’re intoxicated, or during withdrawal. The five main substance-induced disorders are:

When people take illegal drugs or self-medicate to improve their mood, some experience the opposite effect. Instead of feeling happy or euphoric, some individuals can become overly excited and manic or depressed. If you already had these symptoms before you began using the drug, even if drug use worsens your symptoms, it is not classified as a substance-induced mood disorder.

Causes of Substance-Induced Mood Disorders

Many experts agree that specific substances can alter or disrupt chemical messengers in the brain, resulting in substance-induced mental disorders. The four main categories include:

  • Psychoactive substances: Mood disorders can be caused by legal or illegal substances that produce stimulation or intoxication, such as alcohol, cannabis, LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, MDMA, methamphetamine, cocaine, opioids, caffeine, and even tobacco.
  • Prescription medications for medical conditions: Mood disorders can be induced by benzodiazepines, steroids, heart medications, decongestants, mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, and sedatives.
  • Heavy metals: Certain metals can cause substance-induced mood disorders, including arsenic, mercury, chromium, cadmium, and lead.
  • Toxins: Overexposure to dangerous toxins like paint thinners, glues, adhesives, gasoline, and pesticides, can induce various physical and mental disorders.

Signs & Symptoms

Substance or medication-induced mood disorders result in symptoms identical or similar to those seen in mood disorders like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, OCD, or psychosis. Substance-induced mood disorder symptoms include:

Depression symptoms:

  • Feeling sad and losing interest in activities you usually enjoy
  • Difficulty sleeping, either trouble falling asleep, waking up too early, or sleeping excessively
  • Changes in appetite and weight, either significant increase or decrease
  • Low energy levels and decreased libido
  • Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, apathy, and guilt
  • Difficulty concentrating and remembering things
  • Physical symptoms like headaches and joint pain
  • Suicidal thoughts

Mania symptoms:

  • Excessive self-confidence and superiority
  • Rapid and excessive talking
  • Racing thoughts and difficulty concentrating
  • Restlessness and inability to stay still
  • Increased feelings of anxiety and panic
  • Extended periods with little or no sleep without feeling tired
  • Irritability and frequent conflicts with others
  • Engaging in reckless behaviors, such as excessive spending or risky sexual activities

Diagnosing Substance-Induced Mood Disorders in LA

At Launch Centers, our addiction and mental health professionals understand the challenges of distinguishing primary mental disorders from substance-induced mental disorders, as they often manifest similar symptoms. To accurately diagnose a substance-induced mental disorder, our approach involves several key steps.

Firstly, our compassionate experts assess whether an individual is using or being exposed to substances or medications known to cause substance-induced mental disorders. Once this is confirmed, we closely examine the symptoms against specific criteria:

  1. The symptoms must significantly impair functioning or cause distress.
  2. Symptoms should emerge within a month of substance intoxication, withdrawal, or exposure.
  3. Symptoms did not exist before substance or medication use.
  4. The symptoms should not solely occur during an active delirium or manic episode caused by the substance or medication.
  5. In cases of withdrawal-related depression, the person’s mood typically improves within a few days after stopping the drug. However, in substance-induced depression, the depressive symptoms can begin during withdrawal and persist or worsen as the person goes through detox.

While addiction does not result in personality disorders, they may contribute to addiction. Past research indicates that between 65 percent and 90 percent of individuals evaluated for substance abuse have at least one co-occurring personality disorder. In addition, Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience noted that as many as 66 percent  of individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder have a psychological dependence on drugs, alcohol, or both.

Substance-Induced Mood Disorder Treatment At Launch Centers

Launch Centers proudly offers substance-induced mood disorder treatment in Los Angeles, California. After we assess our clients and rule out any preexisting mental health conditions, we’ll start with the initial detox program through one of our clinical partnerships. Abruptly stopping substances like alcohol or benzodiazepines can have potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms. A medically-assisted detox program can help individuals process and overcome this vital first step.

Once the withdrawal phase is over, clients can explore the underlying causes of substance abuse through psychotherapy like cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, or EMDR. Individuals also have the opportunity to learn new coping skills and mindfulness techniques to ground themselves and reduce stress during their early recovery days and beyond. These include art, music, yoga, and meditation therapy.

In addition, one-on-one counseling is often accompanied by family support to educate each member of the family characteristics involved and what recovery looks like from a personality disorder. There are also times when prescription medicine can be used temporarily to help aid personality disorder symptoms and can be used along with behavioral therapy in treatment.

Contact Launch Centers in Los Angeles, California

Launch Centers is fully equipped to diagnose, treat, and medicate individuals with substance-induced mood disorders. We understand that mental health and addiction treatment is not a one-size fits all solution, and our treatment options are always based on your needs and goals. Contact our treatment center today, and one of our admissions agents can help you get started on the path to wellness and recovery.

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    Launch Centers Treatment was a major help to me. The therapists and staff genuinely cared about me and truly helped me to make a plan for my future. My personal therapists helped me to discover where some of my deeper issues came from. All of the staff worked tirelessly with me to talk through my issues, or just about life, and offered realistic solutions to my current problems and situation. All of the staff went above and beyond and advocated relentlessly for me.

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