Substance-induced mood disorder is defined as a change in the way you feel, think, or behave as a result of taking or stopping a drug. These changes in mood can last from days to weeks. Many prescription medications and illegal drugs can cause depression or mania. If you had these symptoms before using the drug, then you do not have a substance-induced mood disorder.
What causes substance-induced mood disorder?
Chemicals in the brain regulate our thoughts, emotions, and behavior. Any imbalance of these chemicals can cause problems with how you think, feel, or behave. Most drugs, including prescription medication, are designed to alter the amounts of these chemicals in the brain.
Some drugs can cause mood problems while you are taking them, while others may cause mood problems long after you have stopped taking them. Drugs that can cause mood problems include alcohol, illegal drugs such as heroin and meth, some over the counter medicines like cough syrup, prescription medication for depressions, anxiety, blood pressure, and pain management, and more.
Symptoms of substance-induced mood disorder
It is important to note that if you had these symptoms before starting the medication, it is not a substance-induced mood disorder, even if the drug exacerbated the symptoms. The symptoms of substance-induced mood disorder are the same as the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and mania. Depression symptoms include lack of interest in activities, isolation, low energy, sleep problems, appetite changes, crying spells, low libido, inability to concentrate, body soreness, and thoughts of death or suicide. Many symptoms include feelings of invincibility, overly high self-worth, rapid speech, interrupting, anxiety, panic attacks, sleeplessness, inability to relax, reckless behavior, aggression, and irritability.
It is essential to be completely honest with your doctor about any drugs you use, including vitamins, over the counter medicines, prescription medications, and illegal drugs. The doctor is not going to have you arrested for drug use. Your doctor may ask about your symptoms and medical history and give you a physical exam.
Do not attempt to treat your substance-induced mood disorder on your own. Talk to your doctor if you believe any drug is affecting your mood. Your doctor may change your medication or prescribe a medicine to treat your symptoms. Do not adjust dosage on your own or quit any drug or medicine cold turkey as this can be dangerous and even fatal. Talk to your doctor about weaning off medication safely.
Do not use other drugs, including over the counter medicines and alcohol, to soothe symptoms unless prescribed by your doctor. Talk therapy, healthy diet, yoga, exercise, and meditation are all helpful forms of treatment.