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Carol Kryder LMFT
Carol Kryder LMFT, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 808
Experience:  APA Board Certified, Diplomate,Substance Abuse Professional, 20 years family therapy experience
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I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder about 15 years ago-i

Resolved Question:

i was diagnosed with bipolar disorder about 15 years ago-i was given antidepressants that shot me into mania after an initial diangosis of depression. i think i have substance induced mood disorder now, not bipolar. i have smoked pot for over 40 years and i've done lots of other drugs and alcohol.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Carol Kryder LMFT replied 7 years ago.

The standard of care is that substance abuse of any kind will preclude a mental health diagnosis until the substance is not being used, unless the mental health diagnosis was diagnosed first. Your significant history of substance abuse certainly clouds the diagnosis of bipolar.

Having said that, if you take an SSRI and shoot into mania conventional wisdom is that you have bipolar tendencies. Are you asking if you are truly bipolar?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
i am asking if i am truly bipolar. i'm not sure what you mean in your first sentence-substance abuse 'precludes' a mental health diagnosis. i was busted for dope when i was 16 but not diagnosed with substance abuse. then i was diagnosed with bipolar 20 years later. i haven't exactly been honest about my substance abuse with previous psychiatrists but now i am. i am leaving the house for a few hours, so i'll have to check my emails when i get back. thanks for your honest input now. sue
Expert:  Carol Kryder LMFT replied 7 years ago.
Hello Sue:

If you have been clean and sober for a period of time, at least 6 months and have no mood swings, you are probably not bipolar.

"Precludes" means that we don't like to diagnose bipolar until someone has been clean and sober for a while, because drug and alcohol use can cause bipolar-like symptoms.

I hope this has been helpful. I wish you well.
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