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My son has been diagnosed with a bipolar disorder. I wish that something like that never happened, but I guess he is now paying the price for the drug abuse. He has been an addict for about two years but managed to pull out. Unfortunately, the consequences are serious. What can you tell me about the frequency of manic episodes in bipolar disorder?

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Everything related to bipolar and all other psychological problems vary from patient to patient, although there are several basic signs that are the same. So, in the bipolar disorders, the main characteristic is the change of moods, usually mania and depression switch from time to time. Sometimes, this switch happens once in a year, and also sometimes, there is only one manic phase while all other are manic.
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I'm not quite sure why you think drugs caused bipolar. They intensify something that is allready there but do not cause it. He just behaves more bipolar with drugs. My son also is bipolar and i was told by our physician and a psychologist that he always had it but it came out most in his teens and smoking pot just intensified the episodes. Good luck and it is alot of hard work but can be manageable. They have to want to feel on top of the disorder or nothing will help. you can not do it for him, he has to want the help. They destroy relationships without meaning to and they hurt alot of people who love them even though they dont know they are doing it and when they do know it they cant control it. alot of research helps and a support system is the only way to get through for moms.
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for me it relapsed once with in two years. never think that drug or alcohol is a cause of it. this is a disorder ie from birth, but will pop out only in late teens. a proper biological clock, medications..etc could reduce the relapses but it will vary with persons. He could lead a healthy and procuctive life coz many people with BPD have it.
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actually I am posting this in hopes that no one takes your claim of "never think that drug or alcohol is a cause of it" to heart.

There is nothing cookie-cutter of this condition. My friend and my brother-in-law are both bipolar and marijuana has had a direct relationship with their manic episodes. That's not to say that other people will have the same reaction to marijuana, but drugs/alcohol can definitely affect you if you are bipolar.
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Let me first say that unless you are bipolar or schitzo, you will not understand this.  MOST people who are living with the disorders and are subsequently addicts, are addicts to hide the disease.  Yes, I said they cover their symptoms with drugs/alcohol.  DRUGS/ALCOHOL DO NOT GIVE ONE BIPOLAR/SCHIZOPHRENIA.  Let me be clear on that.  My uncle could go months without a schitzophrenia relapse, but once he started relapsing, he drank to cover "the voices".  My brother shifts moods on a weekly basis, and he too will drink heavily during the "psychosis" episodes.  My 7 year old son, who obviously doesn't drink or partake in recreational drugs, shifts moods several times a day (he is bipolar & schitzo).  However, i notice that during his "phsycho-mania" phases, he is prone to over-eating.  It is HIS way of coping.   I, having been bipolar all my life, have learned to cope and recognize the shifts.  I do well without medication, usually.  When I start hearing things; seeing things; feeling people touch me that aren't really there; etc..... I undoubtedly turn to alcohol to haze my thoughts.  I hope this makes sense because it UNNERVED me to read a mother's post blaming his addiction for something he unfortunately inherited somewhere in the blood line.  
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There is no causative link between mania and cannabis use, period! Cannabis has increased 100fold in popularity in the past decades, psychosis prevalence has not changed along with that.

Stimulants like caffeine (no sh*t!), amphetamine or cocaine can both induce a (hypo)manic episode and can also exacerbate existing symptoms. Most bipolar patients will tell you cannabis actually attenuates manic symptoms. Schizophrenics on the other hand should steer clear of cannabis because it can worsen their negative symptoms.

I am bipolar 1 and am studying medicine myself. Also had a keen itnerest in psychiatric illness and pharmacology all my life. It is believed to be largely determined by genetic factors, much moreso than schizophrenia. Don't tell your son it's "his fault" that is sick. That is the worst way to handle ANY type of disease, especially psychiatric ones. Imho you should inform yourself about all this BEFORE making your son's life living hell by blaming his illness on his desperate attempts to cope with it!!!

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Drugs/Alcohol can act as catalysts that precipitate episodes in either direction or they can make current episodes worse, but they do not cause Bipolar or other SMI's

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to others smoking cum them down on a hectic situation
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