Addiction to Mania?

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I recently read this blog entry about the addictive quality of mania…

There is plenty of research on addiction paired with bipolar disorder (addiction to substances/alcohol), but how much research has gone into how addicting the disorder itself may be?

Hypomania or mania is like being on a high without drugs. It can feel AMAZING. Ideas seem more fascinating, colors seem brighter, creativity seems boundless… what’s not to love when you feel that way? You have tons of ideas and energy. You feel on top of the world, like you are such a special person and are capable of doing anything.

What follows, unfortunately, is the devastating crash into depression. This part, obviously, is no fun. No fun at all. Gone is all of the high energy, the grand ideas, the enthusiasm, the confidence… in it’s place is an empty shell of a person, possibly one who thinks that life is no longer worth living.

Is the longing for mania a major reason that bipolar patients are sometimes non-compliant with their medications? What can be done to draw people away from the allure of their manic highs?

Is the mania a reason that substance abuse is so common among bipolar patients? Are they trying to hold on to that hypomanic or manic high through the use of drugs?


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