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Tackling substance-induced mood disorder

01-22 | By CSAA Team

Tackling substance-induced mood disorder

Withdrawal from a drug can make one feel anxious and lost. It is likely that the person experiences change in the mood as well. This could be the case of a substance-induced disorder. The chemicals present in the substances, if used or abused, affect the person’s thoughts, actions, and emotions. It can be diagnosed if the person feels uncomfortable due to regular or excessive use of prescription or illegal drugs, or alcohol.

Signs and symptoms

The symptoms of substance-induced disorder develop either when one has stopped taking it recently or due to the regular use of it. Below are the signs that a person shows when suffering from this disorder:

  • Unable to concentrate or remember things
  • Feel guilty and worthless
  • Think often about death and suicide
  • Low energy
  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in weight
  • Headaches
  • Joint pain
  • Lose sexual desire
  • Feel sad very often
  • Overwhelming mood
  • Becoming violent frequently
  • Showing signs of being extremely active
  • Talking fast

Analyzing the cause

Mood disorders may lead to major depression, dysthymic disorder, and bipolar disorder. Scientists are still researching the causes of substance-induced disorder, but the consensus is that it is caused by various factors. The brains of people with such disorders differ from healthy brains, which suggests that brain functioning may play a role in the development of several mood disorders.

There are several drugs that can have severe impact on one’s mood:

  • Non-prescription medicines
  • Cocaine or LSD
  • Medications that are majorly prescribed to treat high blood pressure, pain, anxiety, and heart problems.


Dealing with mood disorders can force you spend a fortune to get back on track. However, there are treatments which make the suffering bearable. When tackling such disorders, brain targets neurotransmitters like serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. Doctors may prescribe fluoxetine (Prozac), citalopram (Celexa), sertraline (Zoloft), paroxetine (Paxil) and escitalopram (Lexapro). These drugs fall in the category of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). Since this disorder is related to substance abuse as well, detoxification can play a vital role in reducing the harmful effects of toxic substances.

Other treatments

It is better to treat a person with substance-induced mood disorder using a mix of medications and therapy. Individual or group therapies help a person analyze the depth of his involvement into drugs. Besides, sharing thoughts with another person who is suffering from the same or similar disorder let the stress out of one’s mind and body. Behavioral therapy and lifestyle modification can make someone get rid of this disorder.

The way forward

While medications and therapies are needed to reduce the severe effects of substance-induced mood disorders, one should also learn to battle with the consequences himself. Below are some of the ways which help:

  • Exercise
  • Listening to music
  • Proper diet
  • Avoiding alcohol or drug consumption

There is always a way to get off mental illness or any other disease. With the right kind of treatment, one can find himself living a life that he wished for a long time. If you know someone who is struggling to come clean, help is available. You can contact the Colorado Substance Abuse Advisors at 866-300-5857 at any time. We can connect you to an efficient treatment center that will help you or your loved one put mood disorders at bay and get back to a happier, healthier life.

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