difference between bipolar and manic depression

When wondering what is the difference between bipolar and manic depression it can be a bit confusing. These two terms are still used interchangeably, leaving the impression that they are two distinct mental health disorders. In reality, manic depression is the same disorder as bipolar disorder, but happens to be an outdated label. In 1980, the DSM-3 officially reclassified this particular disorder as bipolar disorder.

Individuals who struggle with bipolar disorder understand why it was once called manic-depressive disorder, as it manifests itself with features of both clinical depression and mania or hypomania. There are different degrees of severity of the disorder, leading to a total of four types of bipolar disorder to be listed in the DMS-5. Since there is no difference between bipolar and manic depression, let’s push past the labeling and talk about bipolar disorder.

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a complex mental health disorder that is considered a “mood disorder,” and features extreme shifts between moods and energy levels. Someone with this challenging condition may find that it can impair daily functioning, career stability, and relationships. According to Mental Health America, approximately 3.3 million adults in the U.S. struggle with this mental health disorder in any given year.

The intensive mood swings between mania and depression can be very disruptive in daily life, although there may be long periods of calm that separate these mood shifts. While there is no cure for bipolar disorder, there are methods and medications that help individuals manage the symptoms and enjoy a productive life. In most cases, bipolar disorder is first diagnosed in the teen years or early adulthood, although there are cases of it being diagnosed in later years as well.

What Causes Bipolar Disorder?

To date, science has not yet been able to identify the exact cause of bipolar disorder. However, there are strong indications that there is a genetic component, as chances of developing the disorder are enhanced if a close family member has the condition. But even so, when studying identical twins there may be one twin with the disorder and the other who never develops it.

It is also thought that particular features in brain structure might predispose someone to bipolar disorder, especially in light of traumatic events or intensely stressful life events that might trigger a bipolar episode.

What Are the Symptoms of Mania?

The symptoms of mania include:

  • Very little sleep
  • Easily distracted
  • Irritability
  • Excessive energy, hyperactivity
  • Intense euphoria
  • Overly ambitious undertakings
  • Exercising poor judgment
  • Impulsivity
  • Engaging in risky behaviors
  • Aggression
  • Psychosis

Hypomania is a less severe form of mania, with symptoms lasting four days or more but which do not cause severe impairment in daily functioning as mania does.

What are the Symptoms of Depression?

The symptoms of depression include:

  • Persistent sadness, feelings of despair
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in weight
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Physical symptoms such as chronic digestive problems or headaches
  • Feelings of guilt or shame
  • Suicidal ideation

Types of Bipolar Disorder

When an individual is being evaluated for bipolar disorder they will first undergo a physical exam to rule out any medical reason for the symptoms. Then using the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria and various assessments, the mental health practitioner can pinpoint the specific type of bipolar disorder According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness there are four types of bipolar disorder. These include:

Bipolar I. Bipolar I disorder involves one or more manic episodes, with or without depressive episodes occurring. The mania must be severe enough that hospitalization is required and last a week or longer.

Bipolar II. Bipolar II disorder is characterized by the shifting between the less severe hypomanic episodes and depressive episodes.

Cyclothymic disorder. Cyclothymic disorder involves chronic mood shifts between depressive and hypomanic lasting more than two years. There may be periods of normal mood as well, but those periods last less than 8 weeks.

Unspecified bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder not otherwise specified is present when the symptoms do not fit the other three diagnoses, but still involve episodes of unusual manic mood.

Treatment for Bipolar Disorder

While there is no difference between bipolar and manic depression labeling, both the mania and the depression must be managed. Once the particular type of bipolar disorder is diagnosed, a treatment protocol will be created for the individual. In most cases, a combination of medication and psychotherapy is the first line of treatment. For those who have bipolar I, admission into a residential treatment program or hospitalization is the appropriate level of care.

Medication: Psychotropic medications are prescribed according to the predominant features of the bipolar disorder. These may include antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and anti-psychotic medication.

Psychotherapy: Talk therapy and group therapy helps individuals process the disruption that their bipolar disorder causes in daily life and find solutions for managing relationships and other stressors better. CBT can assist the individual with shifting pessimistic thoughts that drives irrational behaviors to more optimistic thinking.

Family-focused therapy: Stress that is a common feature within families when a member has bipolar disorder can undermine recovery. This involves helping family members learn to communicate better, practice better problem solving skills, and manage anger and conflicts more effectively.

Stress-management: Teaching individuals with bipolar disorder to better manage their stress level is intrinsic to a positive outcome. These methods include deep breathing, yoga, and mindfulness training.

Medical detox and addiction treatment for dual diagnosis: Substance use disorders often co-occur with bipolar disorder. If so, the individual will benefit from detox and addiction treatment in addition to the targeted treatment for bipolar disorder.

Elevation Behavioral Health is a Leading Provider of Bipolar Disorder Treatment

Elevation Behavioral Health is a residential mental health program that treats individuals with bipolar disorder. What sets Elevation Behavioral Health apart from other residential programs is its “elevation” of treatment interventions to a more focused and comprehensive level of intensity. At Elevation Behavioral Health, patients find themselves in a compassionate, supportive environment that allows them to heal. Interventions are designed to help stabilize the severity of the mood shifts, to learn new ways to recognize and manage oncoming symptoms, improving their level of functioning at school or work, and teach them methods to reduce stress and promote relaxation. For more information about whether there is a difference between bipolar and manic depression, or any other questions, please contact Elevation Behavioral Health at (888) 561-0868.

addiction and natural disasters

Substance Abuse Increases After Natural Disasters

Right now the news is saturated with heart wrenching stories about the victims of hurricane Harvey. It seems everywhere we turn there is more bad news about the damage done, people who will be displaced for years to come, and even fatalities. In addition to the aftermath of the hurricane in Houston, there are over 8,000 acres of wildfires currently burning in California caused by a severe heat wave.

Unfortunately, these tragic circumstances are often accompanied by something that is insidious and not quite as obvious as demolished houses: substance abuse. Psychology studies suggest that people abuse drugs and alcohol more often after natural disaster. While we cannot know the exact reasons for every case, it seems substances are often used to sooth psychological distress.

The Risk for People with Mental Health Disorders

Research shows that people who already have a mental health disorder are more likely to abuse substances after a natural disaster. One study assessed survivors for substance abuse after the Oklahoma City bombing. Researchers found that 6% of people without another mental health disorder used substances to cope. However, a staggering 13% – 40% of people with a mental health disorder abused substances as a coping mechanism.

If you or someone you know has been affected by the hurricane or fires and they have a mental health diagnosis, you might want to be extra cautious about substance use. It is important to offer people with these diagnoses mental health resources following tragic events. If we do not provide such support conditions can get worse as substance abuse rates rise.

Poverty and Proximity

Two of the biggest risk factors for substance abuse related complications are poverty and proximity to the natural disaster. One study published on www.nih.gov looked at how often people were hospitalized for substance abuse disorders following Hurricane Katrina. The study found that people were hospitalized more for substance abuse ofter the hurricane. However, they found that this increase was even more dramatic among certain people. Specifically, low-income individuals and people living closer to the flood zones had a dramatic increase in the number of hospitalizations following the storm

Here is what we can assume based on this research: people who have less money and face the most devastation are at a higher risk of substance abuse after natural disasters. So, what can we do in order to help? You can donate money that will help the victims, support first response organizations, and make recovery easy to find. This means trying to find places for recovery meetings following disasters or volunteering to lead phone meetings.

Mental health and disasters

Statistics About Substance Abuse Following Disasters

Numerous studies about different disaster all over the world show the same thing. When a disaster happens the rates of substance abuse and even addiction go up.

  • In New Orleans, hospitalizations for substance abuse increased 2.5% in the years following Hurricane Katrina
  • Following 9/11, alcohol consumption went up 24.6%, smoking went up 18%, and marijuana use went up 3% among New Yorkers
  • After the devastating earthquake in Haiti, the rate of substance addiction went up more than 4%


Heads Up

The Global Journal of Mental Health

Why Substance Abuse Increases

It is impossible to say with certainty what causes substances abuse to rise after disasters. However, one good explanation is that people use drugs and alcohol in order to self soothe. Most of the studies mentioned above found that people had all kinds of psychological distress after disasters. In some cases this manifested as an increase in PTSD, depression, or anxiety. In others, people just reported feeling worse after these traumatic events.

Alcohol and other depressants effect the brain in such a way that it often has a down-regulating effect. In other words, these types of drugs feel calming for the mind and the body. To learn more about how some of these kinds of drugs effect your brain you can click here. People sometimes use these types of substances because it helps them relax or feel better. When you consider people often feel stressed and agitated after disasters, it makes sense why they would turn toward these substances for help.

Another reason that substance abuse might increase is that there are less available mental health services or places for social support. If you were in treatment for a mental health disorder and now you are unable to see your care provider or get your medication, it might make you feel like turning to substances. Likewise, if you went to church every week and now you are unable to you might start to feel isolated and alone. This lack of social support might be one big reason that substance abuse increases after natural disasters.

Healthy Ways to Cope with Stress

We know that a lot of this post has focused on what can go wrong after a natural disaster. However, there are ways to cope with psychological stress that are much healthier than drugs or alcohol. Of course, one of the big issues is that people are often torn from there homes and have few resources. So, it is important to remember the coping mechanisms that require little or no money and are relatively easy to do.

You can try meditating. Even just a few minutes of meditation might help boost your mood and calm you down. You don’t need any special equipment or even a phone. You can just sit on your bed for 2-5 minutes and focus on relaxing the different places of tension in your body. You can try other breathing exercises like taking in a deep inhale and making a “s” sound as you exhale very slowly. Elongating your exhale will engage the parasympathetic nervous system and help calm you down. You might also try striking up a conversation with a stranger, focusing on something that feels positive, or taking a short walk. All of these things have been shown to improve mood and functioning.

We know that it is hard to find healthy ways to cope when things get tough. There is arguably nothing more difficult to get through than the aftermath of a natural disaster. However, we hope that you are able to remain vigilant about the increased risk of substance abuse and hopefully find another way to get through the hard times.

Percocet Withdrawal Symptoms

Percocet Withdrawal Symptoms, Timeline, and Treatment

Prescription painkillers have been an increasingly popular recreational drug in the past few decades. As opioid use has been on the rise, much attention goes to heroin and not to it’s prescription cousins like Percocet®. SAMHSA’s 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that non-medical use of opioid painkillers is more common than many people realize.
Here are a few of their findings:

  • Almost two million Americans met criteria for prescription painkiller use disorder
  • About 1.4 million Americans tried painkillers recreationally for the first time in 2013
  • About 4.3 million Americans use prescription painkillers recreationally every month
  • The average age of first-time users was only 21.2 years

What is Percocet?

Percocet is the trade name for a mix of acetaminophen and oxycodone. Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and fever reducer best known by its trade name Tylenol®. Oxycodone is a semisynthetic opioid painkiller made from thebaine. It is commonly sold by itself under the trade name Oxycontin®. Together they make Percocet, a potent painkiller.

Percocet is most commonly taken orally as a pill, and may be prescribed for a number of different pains. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s 2016 Monitoring the Future survey, over 11% of eight graders reported that it would be “fairly easy” or “very easy” to get prescription painkillers. People acquire oxycodone for recreational use by purchasing it from drug dealers, getting it from a doctor, or stealing it from a medicine cabinet. Because there are so many prescriptions written, it has be come relatively easy to acquire.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Like many other drugs, removing Percocet from your system may result in severe withdrawal symptoms. Unlike alcohol withdrawal or klonopin withdrawal, oxycodone withdrawal will not directly kill a person. However, the symptoms of withdrawal may be dangerous and indirectly lethal. Because of the level of discomfort withdrawal symptoms drive many individuals to return to using opioids.

Physical symptoms of Percocet withdrawal may include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea and irregular bowel movements
  • Fever and chills
  • Aching and sore muscles
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Heightened blood pressure
  • Irregular sleeping patterns, especially insomnia
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Changes in appetite and eating habits

The psychological symptoms may include:

  • Anxiety or panic
  • Intense cravings to use drugs
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Impaired memory
  • Fits of anger or rage
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Depression and lack of motivation
  • Agitation and irritability

Timeline of Withdrawal

Percocet’s timeline of withdrawal symptoms depends on many factors, including length of use, amount of use, age of individual, general health of individual, and outside factors such as mental health disorders or disabilities.

First Few Days

During the first few days after quitting Percocet, withdrawal symptoms will generally peak. Because oxycodone has a relatively short half-life of about four hours, the detox process usually begins withing the 24 hours after the last dose is taken. During this period, individuals are likely to experience physical discomfort and pain, intestinal problems, and intense cravings to use.

This is an incredibly vulnerable period in the detox process, and it’s important to be in a safe place during this time. Without proper care, the withdrawal symptoms can be overwhelming and drive the individual to seek out more opioids to cope with the pain.

Weeks One and Two

After the first few days, it’s common to experience muscle aching, difficulty sleeping, and fever and chills. Anxiety may grow and the individual may find themselves experiencing moments of agitation or anger. Again, this is an important period in the process, and professional care can help get one through these symptoms with minimal discomfort.

Weeks Three and Four

Even after the drugs have left the system, a person may continue to experience symptoms of withdrawal. As an opioid, Percocet can cause a lingering withdrawal, perhaps persisting for more than a month after quitting. People may experience depression, dopamine depletion, and heightened anxiety as they learn to cope with life without the drugs.

Percocet Addiction Treatment

There are many different ways to treat Percocet addiction. Healthline.com suggests social support, counseling, and reaching out for help. The first piece of the puzzle is detoxing off oxycodone safely. With the help of medical professionals at a detox facility, you can go through the detox process with the least amount of discomfort. Those that try to detox at home often find it too difficult and end up relapsing.

Detox isn’t the only phase of treatment. People who continue into residential treatment and outpatient programs have much higher rates of success in staying sober. Although removing the opioids from your body is a great first step, you also must learn to face life without drugs. In order to prevent relapse, it’s best to seek professional help to move on with your life!

Klonopin Withdrawal Symptoms

Klonopin® is the trade name of Clonazepam, a benzodiazepine approved by the FDA to treat seizure disorders and anxiety disorders. Klonopin was patented in the 1960’s and became available in the US in 1975. Since then, it has become a commonly abused recreational drug for its relaxing effects.

Klonopin withdrawal timeline

How Does Clonazepam Work?

Clonazepam increases gamma amino-butyric acid in the brain, which is more commonly known as GABA. The neurotransmitter works by inhibiting the central nervous system, creating a sense of ease, comfort, and muscle relaxation. Because it acts on the GABA receptors, withdrawal and detox from clonazepam can be quite uncomfortable and physically dangerous.

Klonopin has a longer half-life than many other benzodiazepines. The half-life of a drug is how long it stays in your system, and clonazepam’s is over twice as long as the related drug alprazolam (Xanax®). This makes clonazepam more well-suited for longer term care of anxiety disorders, and alprazolam more effective in short-term interventions. However, the long half-life leads to a long withdrawal process as it can take weeks or months for the drug to leave the system completely.

Klonopin Withdrawal

Like other benzodiazepines, klonopin withdrawal can be serious or fatal if not treated properly. As such, it is not advisable to stop taking clonazepam “cold turkey.” Generally, your doctor will wean you off the drug slowly over time in order to minimize discomfort and danger. It’s important to come off benzodiazepines correctly in order to maintain your health and comfort.

Klonopin Withdrawal Symptoms

The severity of symptoms in withdrawing from clonazepam depends largely on the individual. Factors in severity of withdrawal symptoms include amount of use, length of use, the individual’s health, and the presence of any co-occurring disorders.

Klonopin withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Hallucinations and/or nightmares
  • Memory loss/lapses
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Anxiety and panic
  • High blood pressure
  • Impaired motor control
  • Depression, fatigue, and lack of motivation
  • Seizures

Psychological Symptoms of Withdrawal

Psychological Symptoms of Withdrawal

Like the withdrawal process from many substances, coming off klonopin can cause intense psychological symptoms. An individual coming off this benzodiazepine may experience waking hallucinations, intense nightmares, pervasive sadness, heightened anxiety and panic, severe drug cravings, and bouts of anger or rage.

Those detoxing from klonopin use are at a heightened risk of suicidal ideations. Along with the previously mentioned psychological symptoms that may arise, this makes klonopin withdrawal a dangerous process to go through alone. With proper medical attention and therapeutic care, these psychological symptoms can be eased in order to help the person detox with minimal discomfort.

Physical Symptoms of Withdrawal

As clonazepam impacts the GABA receptors in the brain, the withdrawal process is physically dangerous as well. When suddenly ceasing klonopin use, an individual may experience headaches, nausea, shaking, irregular sleep patterns, heightened blood pressure, dizziness, muscle tension and spasms, and irregular bowel movements.

In addition, more severe cases of klonopin withdrawal can result in the individual having seizures or falling into a coma. It’s important to know that the detox process can be incredibly dangerous and fatal. The physical symptoms of withdrawal make it imperative that you seek professional medical help when coming off klonopin.

Klonopin Withdrawal Timeline

Because klonopin is a long-acting benzodiazepine, the withdrawal process takes time and patience. Generally, withdrawal symptoms begin arising 2 or 3 days after the last use, which is when it begins to leave your system. During this time, an individual is likely to experience anxiety, insomnia, heightened blood pressure, fatigue, and mental confusion or memory lapses. During this period, the cravings for more clonazepam are often strong.

After a couple weeks, the acute withdrawal symptoms generally begin to subside. However, an individual may experience continued physical and psychological discomfort for weeks or months after. The longer-term withdrawal symptoms are often more mild, but may include anxiety, irregular sleeping patterns, and increased sensitivity to stress.

The timeline of withdrawal depends on the nature of the use and the individual’s biology. The longer you used klonopin, the more likely you are to experience a lengthy withdrawal process.

Klonopin Withdrawal Help

If you or somebody you know is coming off klonopin, it is crucial to seek help. Without help, klonopin withdrawal can be lethal. In addition to the physical dangers, the cravings from withdrawing can be overwhelming and lead the person to continue using.

Unfortunately, klonopin withdrawal needs to be monitored by professionals even if you’ve been taking it as prescribed. With a trained medical team, you can come off clonazepam and stay completely safe. At a quality treatment center or detox, you may be treated with medications, monitoring of vitals, and therapy. This level of care helps ensure your safety and comfort throughout this difficult process.

What is a 12 Step Call?

What is a 12 Step Call?

A 12 step call is an important part of the recovery process for many. Generally, an individual or group sits or speaks with somebody suffering from addiction in order to help them find recovery. It has become less popular as treatment has grown in availability, but it still is an important part of the process.

Interventions may be seen as a type of twelve step call, although they often cost money. Traditional twelve-step calls are free and done in the spirit of service. People may call into AA Central Office or reach out to a trusted friend or family member. A member of the twelve-step community volunteers to either speak to the struggling individual or meet with them in person.

What is the Twelfth Step?

The twelfth step of Alcoholics Anonymous reads: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs. This is the step in which sober individuals begin helping those who are still struggling with addiction. This may come in the form of sponsoring other people, taking service commitments, or participating in things like twelve step calls.

Why do a Twelve Step Call?

The main purpose of a call is to offer the person struggling a friendly and nonjudgmental ear. The belief is that there is just nothing quite the same as one alcoholic talking to another. As such, the person who is struggling to stay sober can hopefully trust the person making the call.

Often, the ultimate goal of a 12 step call is to get the person to commit to a first step toward recovery. This may be something simple like coming to a meeting or seeing a therapist. As with cases like interventions, it may be to get the person to admit to detox or treatment. Recovery may look different for different individuals, but the intention remains the same: to help the person recover from the suffering caused by addiction.

Sometimes, those of us in recovery or surrounded by recovery forget that many individuals don’t know sober people or have sober friends. When people reach out to a Central Office or ask a friend for help, it’s a courageous and scary thing to do. The person who shows up or calls the individual has a really powerful opportunity to impact their life.

12 Stepping Someone

When to do a 12 Step Call

Sometimes we are asked to participate in a call, while other times we may do so out of care and worry for a friend or loved one. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to remember a few things about your choice of timing. First, it’s not advisable to do a twelve step call when somebody is still intoxicated. When somebody is high or drunk, they are not clear-minded. Furthermore, we tend to be less desperate when we are intoxicated and feeling alright. It generally is best to work with someone when they are sober.

If the person who needs help is sober, it’s best to make contact as soon as possible. If you have experienced addiction yourself, you know how fast the mind can change. One moment we are desperate for help, and the next we have succumbed and are getting high. If someone is reaching out for help, we can make a huge difference by responding in a timely manner.

You may show up for an individual even when they don’t necessarily reach out for help themselves. Sometimes, a family member or friend may reach out for help. There’s also the intervention-style method in which the person is surprised with the helping individuals. We must be careful about when we show up to intervene on somebody. It can be a fragile situation and we want to be mindful of their needs and health. We also need to know our limitations and when somebody needs professional help.

Twelve Step Call Tips

Jumping into a 12 step call is a big task, so we thought we’d offer a few tips we’ve found helpful in our personal and professional experience.

Be Present

First, do your best to really be present for the person suffering. If they call, try to answer. If you can’t make sure to call them back! They’re in a vulnerable state and you have a lot of power in your hands to make them feel welcome. Of course you’re not in charge of their recovery, but you do have the opportunity to help.

It can also be helpful to really be present and not distracted. When we’re struggling, simply having someone there to listen to us can make a world of difference. Practice compassionate listening and really make an effort to be present with the person as they share their struggles.

Get the Individual Alone

First, it must be mentioned that we have to be careful in making these calls. We don’t want to make anyone feel unsafe or activate any trauma. As such, we must be mindful of gender differences and the dangers associated with working one-on-one with an individual of another gender. It’s generally best on a 12 step call for the people to be of the same gender.

With that out of the way, it may be best to separate the person from any loved ones or family members. A person is generally more likely to be honest and open when speaking without these people around. If you’re doing a twelve step call and the person’s spouse is home, it may be best to try to speak with the person without the spouse present.

Be Aware of Needs

These calls are valuable methods of helping others get sober, but they can’t fix everything. Sometimes, we go on a twelve step call and see that the person needs immediate medical attention, psychiatric help, and/or emergency services. This may be because the person has taken a lot of drugs, is considering causing harm to themselves or another, or is physically hurt.

Although the twelve steps have helped millions of people get clean and sober, they can’t address absolute everything. Know your own limitations and be aware of the person’s needs. Keep in mind that the person may need more than you can offer. It doesn’t make you a bad twelve-stepper; it just means the person needs a different type of help in this moment!

Share Your Story

Although listening is one of the most important pieces of 12 stepping someone, it can also be helpful to share a bit of your story. By sharing your story honestly, you can let the person know they’re speaking with someone who understands and is not there to judge you. You can share as deeply as you’re comfortable with, showing the addict or alcoholic that they’re not alone in their experience.

When you share your story, make sure to include what it’s like today! Offer some hope to the person. By giving them a glimpse of your addiction and your recovery, you can offer them something to work toward. Maybe they don’t want their life to look exactly like yours, but the principle of hope will come through.

Leave Them with Options

This can make a huge difference. When you get off the phone or leave the individual, don’t just leave them hanging! You want to offer a next step, some way to take action, and/or an actual path toward recovery. This can come in many forms, and will vary depending on the situation. You can’t force the person to take the next right action, but you can do your best to make sure it’s accessible to them.

You may consider leaving a meeting directory, giving them some phone numbers for detox facilities, private treatment centers, or free drug rehabs, or making a plan to go to a meeting together. Use your best judgement and perhaps you can ask your own mentors or sponsors, but make sure you offer the person a way to move forward. In that moment of desperation, they may be willing to take action where they weren’t previously.

Don’t Judge Yourself too Harshly

Finally, remember that your job isn’t to cure or fix anyone. You’re only in charge of your own behavior. Show up, be honest and open, and don’t cling to any specific result. You may do the best 12 step call ever, but the person isn’t ready. You also may make many mistakes but the person still gets sober! Do what you can, be willing to learn new things, and remember that you cannot control the behavior of anyone else!

Meth Induced Psychosis

Methamphetamine is a stimulant that can be consumed orally, intravenously, or nasally. Methamphetamine is similar in chemical formation to amphetamine, the common drug used to treat ADHD. Forms of methamphetamine are referred to meth, speed, ice, crank, and crystal. Methamphetamine is highly addictive and can cause severe psychological effects during withdrawal.

Like many substances, methamphetamine produces both short-term effects and long term side effects. There are many long term effects of methamphetamine abuse, one of which is meth induced psychosis. Prolonged abuse of methamphetamine may also cause weight loss, “meth mouth,” extreme anxiety, and mood swings. A 2001 study found that meth abuse can also cause impaired memory and motor skills.

Meth Induced Psychosis Symptoms

Meth Withdrawal Symptoms

One of the most common withdrawal symptoms of crystal meth is craving for more of the drug. This is fairly common among stimulants and other illicit substances. Although meth withdrawal symptoms are unlikely to be lethal, it’s imperative that the individual seek help. The depression, psychosis, and mood swings that may arise can lead a person to become suicidal or violent.

Symptoms of methamphetamine withdrawal include:

  • Meth cravings
  • Vivid dreams
  • Decreased motor function
  • Irregular sleeping patterns
  • Suicidal ideation
  • An inability to feel happy (anhedonia)
  • Overeating/increased appetite
  • Depression and/or mood swings
  • Meth induced psychosis
  • Involuntary spasms and twitches

Symptoms generally last anywhere from a few days to a couple weeks. Meth leaves the body fairly quickly, resulting in withdrawal symptoms that come on quickly and strongly and can subside more quickly than withdrawal symptoms of other drugs. Each individual is different, and withdrawal may manifest differently from person to person.

What is Meth Induced Psychosis?

Meth induced psychosis is perhaps one of the most well-known symptoms of methamphetamine abuse. Drug induced psychosis can be dangerous, painful for all involved, and quite scary. Meth induced psychosis is a state that generally comes about during the withdrawal process. It may also arise from overdose, which is often referred to as being “spun” or “tweaking.”

The APA (American Psychiatric Association) defines psychosis as the presence of both hallucinations and delusions. Drug induced psychosis can put the individual at great risk of causing harm to themselves or others, as they are often not aware or perceptive of the world around them. Crystal meth psychosis can last for a period of a few days up to a few months in more severe cases.

Meth Induced Psychosis Symptoms

Like any withdrawal symptoms, experience may vary from individual to individual. Generally, meth induced psychosis symptoms may include:

  • Hallucinations (auditory, visual, olfactory, tactile, or gustatory)
  • Delusions (grandeur, persecution, reference, somatic)
  • Obsessive behavior

Hallucinations may occur at any of the five senses. The individual may hear sounds that are not really there, such as voices, noises of people moving around, or static. They may experience visual hallucinations, seeing movement from still objects or seeing things that are simply not present. The person may smell an extremely unpleasant smell wherever they go. They may feel things on the skin that aren’t there, causing the itching and scratching often seen in long-term meth abusers. They may also believe their food to taste strange.

Delusions can arise in a number of different ways. One of the most common delusions is that of persecution, or believing that others are out to harm them. Delusions of grandeur are also common, which is when the user believes they are special in some way or chosen. Delusion may also arise as the belief that random events are connected or important to the individual, as the belief that they are under someone else’s control, or that their body is changing in some way.

The combination of delusions and hallucinations can lead to aggressive and violent behavior. This may manifest in fits of rage, unexplained anger, and/or misdirected fury.

Obsessive behavior is common among meth users, especially those experiencing psychosis. Those experiencing meth psychosis may compulsively clean, repeat a behavior such as tapping or twitching, or take things apart and put them back together.

Meth Psychosis Treatment

There are many drugs used to treat meth induced psychosis. Some drugs may help ease the person down from psychosis, while others can reduce cravings. In the long term, meth addicts benefit from psychotherapy and appropriate addiction treatment. Drugs used to treat ice psychosis may include antidepressants, anticonvulsants, antipsychotics, and stimulants.

People experiencing psychosis need proper medical attention. Without care, meth induced psychosis can result in a lot of harm being caused. With professional care, those experiencing psychotic symptoms can recover and live a healthy life. Although symptoms of meth abuse may last for some time, a team of clinicians and professionals can help the individual to regain control over their lives.

If you or somebody you know is struggling with methamphetamine addiction, call us today at (888) 561-0868 .

Take Elevation Behavioral Health’s quiz to test your knowledge about varying aspects of drug abuse, addiction, and history! See what you know about substance abuse!
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Addiction Recovery Quotes

Many of us in the recovery world collect addiction recovery quotes and sayings like other people collect snow globes or stamps. If you have been in recovery for a while you might notice yourself remembering a saying that you heard at a meeting a year ago and using it in your life when you need it. Maybe you have wished at some point that you could write them all down or have them in one place. So, we compiled a list of our favorites that you can refer to at any time! This list includes recovery sayings you may hear in meetings, recovery quotes from books, and addiction quotes from authors.

Recovery Sayings

Recovery SayingsThis collection of sayings includes many phrases you may hear in treatment, at a meeting, or from a sober friend.

One day at a time

First things first

Whatever I put before my recovery I will lose

We are only as sick as our secrets

Principles before personalities

Pay attention to the similarities rather than the differences

It works if you work it

Think through the drink

Keep your first step close

One drink is too many and one thousand is never enough

Fake it till you make it

Stay away from the first drink

Be part of the solution, not the problem

To thine own self be true

Stick with the winners

Count your blessings

Take what you can and leave the rest

More will be revealed

Alcoholics don’t have relationships, they take hostages

Meeting makers make it

Pain is the touchstone of spiritual growth

Right now, it’s like this

Alcoholics Anonymous Quotes

AA QuotesThese quotes come from the popular twelve-step group’s publications, Alcoholics Anonymous (The Big Book) and Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

“We do not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.”
~ Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 83

“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
~ Alcoholics Anonymous p. 40-41

“The greatest enemies of us alcoholics are resentment, jealousy, envy, frustration, and fear.”
~ Alcoholics Anonymous p. 145

“As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action.”
~ Alcoholics Anonymous p. 87

“This answer has to do with the quality of faith rather than its quantity.”
~ Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 32

“An honest regret for harms done, a genuine gratitude for blessings received, and a willingness to try for better things tomorrow will be the permanent assets we shall seek.”
~ Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 95

“Where humility had formerly stood for a forced feeding on humble pie, it now begins to mean the nourishing ingredient which can give us serenity.”
~ Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 74

Refuge Recovery Quotes

Refugee Recovery QuotesThese quotes about addiction and recovery come from the Refuge Recovery program, a meditation-based path to recovery. Find Refuge Recovery meetings.

“I take refuge in the potential of my own recovery, I take refuge in the dharma, I take refuge in the community of fellow recovering addicts.”
~ Refuge Recovery

“We begin by accepting all the ways that addiction has caused suffering in our lives and the lives of others.”
~ Refuge Recovery

“We train our minds to meet all pain with compassion and all pleasure with nonattached appreciation.”
~ Refuge Recovery

“Addiction is the repetitive process of habitually satisfying cravings to avoid, change, or control the seemingly unbearable conditions of the present moment.”
~ Refuge Recovery, Preface

“We try to be of service to others whenever possible, using our time, energy, and resources to help create positive change.”
~ Refuge Recovery

“Everything is impermanent – every pleasure, every pain, every body.”
~ Refuge Recovery

“We practice present-time awareness in all aspects of our life. We take refuge in the present.”
~ Refuge Recovery

“A refuge is a safe place, a place of protection – a place that we go in times of need, a shelter.”
~ Refuge Recovery, Preface

SMART Recovery Quotes

Smart Recovery QuotesThese quotes are pulled from the SMART recovery program, an increasingly popular recovery program.

“What Gets Measured Gets Managed.”
~ Kim Miller

“Identify specific and important goals you want to achieve to bring more meaning to your life.”
~ Rosemary Hardin

“What do I want for my future? What am I currently doing to achieve that? How do I feel about what I’m currently doing?”
~ SMART Recovery Handbook

Other Addiction Recovery Quotes

Sharon Salzberg QuotesThese are quotes from a few different authors and notable individuals about drug addiction, alcoholism, and sobriety.

“Recovery is an ongoing process, for both the addict and his or her family. In recovery, there is hope. And hope is a wonderful thing.”
~ Dean Dauphinais

“Recovery is something you have to work on every single day and it’s something that doesn’t get a day off.”
~ Demi Lovato

“Addiction begins with the hope that something ‘out there’ can instantly fill up the emptiness inside.”
~ Jean Kilbourne

“What is addiction, really? It is a sign, a signal, a symptom of distress. It is a language that tells us about a plight that must be understood.”
~ Alice Miller

“It is hard to understand addiction unless you have experienced it.”
~ Ken Hensley

“No matter how dark the moment, love and hope are always possible.”
~ George Chakiris

“Even in the midst of devastation, something within us always points the way to freedom.”
~ Sharon Salzberg

Addiction Recovery Acronyms

Addiction AcronymsThe acronyms below are commonly used in twelve-step programs, recovery circles, and by sober individuals!

HALT = Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired

EGO = Edge, God, Out

GOD = Good, Orderly, Direction

FEAR = Fuck Everything And Run

FINE = Fucked up, Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional

HOW = Honesty, Open-Mindedness, and Willingness

KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid!

NUTS = Not Using The Steps

STEPS = Solution To Every Problem in Sobriety

ISM = Incredibly Short Memory

Self Compassion in Recovery

For many of us, our addiction is filled with thoughts and behaviors that cause harm to ourselves and those around us. Part of the difficulty we face getting sober is that often we beat ourselves up for our behavior, past and present. We are incredibly harsh on ourselves, sometimes treating ourselves worse than we would ever treat others. Although it is beneficial to push ourselves to grow, we must find a way to change our relationship to ourselves. Our habits of self-resentment and self-blame can cause quite a bit of suffering in our lives, and bringing forgiveness, compassion, and acceptance into our sober lives can help us recover.

The Blame Game

We often play the blame game in our using and early recovery. Unfortunately, the nature of addiction is that we often hurt those we care about, including ourselves. These realities can be hard to face when our minds clear and we don’t have drugs or alcohol to subdue the thinking mind. Whether we are recovering from an addiction, a mental disorder like depression, or a co-occurring disorder, we behave in ways of which we aren’t proud. We respond by judging ourselves, holding onto resentment toward ourselves, and even harboring anger.

The harsh self-judgement seems to serve us at times. I have felt like it helps me set boundaries for myself and prevent me from causing harm in the future. Our self-talk can serve as a protector against the truth of what we’ve done in the past, and make us feel like we are preventing ourselves from causing future harm. These adversarial relationships we build with ourselves bring us out of touch with what is really going on, and prevent us from actually feeling what is present.

Self Kindness in Recovery


Self-forgiveness is one of the first steps toward a healthy relationship with ourselves. Self-forgiveness is the ability to let go of resentment toward ourselves for something in the past. Perhaps Lily Tomlin said it best when she said, “Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past.” Forgiveness is allowing ourselves to move forward. The Vietnamese Buddhist monk and author Thich Nhat Hanh reminds his students the forgiveness requires us to forgive ourselves for not being perfect.

“Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past.”
-Lily Tomlin

It’s important to note that forgiveness is not an act of giving ourselves permission to behave poorly in the future. We can forgive ourselves for causing harm without endorsing the behavior or allowing it to happen again. When we work on forgiveness, it becomes a constant attitude, not just a one-time effort. Developing a working attitude of forgiveness can be greatly beneficial in our recovery. A 2005 study by Romero, et. al. investigated self-forgiveness in women with breast cancer and found that an attitude of forgiveness toward self was linked to less mood disturbances and better quality of life.

So how do we jump into a state of self-forgiveness? It takes time. We can’t suddenly change the way our minds work just by making a decision. However, we can start on the path of forgiveness right away. Try noticing how you’re talking to yourself during the day. What happens when you think of your past or when you make a mistake? You don’t need to push down any harsh thoughts. Instead, just notice them and try to bring a little bit of kindness to the thoughts. You don’t have to buy into each and every thought you have!


This is likewise a powerful way in which we can change our relationship with ourselves. Humans, especially those struggling with addiction, have a tendency to dislike unpleasant emotions and experiences. Rather than feeling what is present, we push the feeling down or take ourselves away from the situation. Of course, this can be beneficial if we are in serious danger. However, we often respond with aversion when we are actually rather safe.

Maybe you have a painful thought about some harm you caused a loved one. In the past, you may have taken a drink or used drugs to keep this thought away. Without substances to push these thoughts down, we may turn to process addictions, sleeping, or any number of other behaviors. Instead of finding another way to not feel, we can try responding with some self-compassion. By caring about our pain, we can learn to be with our experience without needing to use drugs or other experiences to run away. A 2007 study by Neff, et. al. found that increased self-compassion led to increased psychological well-being, suggesting there is some truth the power of compassion.

Like we may do with self-forgiveness, self-compassion takes repeated effort. It is not our habit to respond to pain with care and attention, so we may benefit from letting go of expectations. We can forgive ourselves for not being perfectly compassionate! Here’s a practice to try: When you notice that you’re having an experience of pain, offer yourself a phrase of kindness such as “I love you” or “I care about you.” This simple act of trying to care about ourselves can really help retrain the mind to respond with care when we’re in pain.

Self Compassion in Recovery


It feels sometimes like we’re so often focusing on the difficult experiences when we get sober. We do an inventory in twelve-step programs, talk about difficulties in therapy, and have to deal with some wreckage of our past. These are all incredibly useful pieces of recovery, but we mustn’t forget to tune into the happy moments as well. When we experience joy in early recovery, we glaze right over it or feel unworthy. Dr. Mario Martinez has done research on this, finding that joy releases cortisol, the stress hormone, in the brain. If we feel unworthy of the joy, the body physically becomes stressed when happiness is present.

To grow happier, we have to learn to be with the moments of happiness and appreciate the joy we experience. In any given day we go through a number of emotions, pleasant and unpleasant. We unfortunately tend to focus on the unpleasant experiences, and they stick in our minds with more weight. Bestselling author Dr. Rick Hanson points out that we can help ourselves by pausing when joy is present and really taking it in. Whether you’re noticing a beautiful sunset, grateful to be sober, or proud of yourself for the work you’re doing, take a moment and really allow yourself to appreciate yourself and your joy!

The journey away from self-hatred and toward self-love isn’t easy. It takes time and persistence. We don’t just wake up one day with unconditional kindness toward ourselves. What we can do is hold the intention to respond with more forgiveness, compassion, and appreciation, and make an effort to take action to cultivate these new states of being.


To paraphrase the law of attraction, the thoughts, energy and actions that you put into the universe will come back to you in some way shape or form. The power of our thoughts and actions are powerful enough to attract whatever goals or objectives you have in mind. This can also be true of negativity. Sometimes when we are sick, and we think about how sick we are and we end up feeling worse than we did before we thought about it. Our symptoms start to show, and we become hyper-sensitive to sensations we may not have felt before.

In recovery from addiction, one of the most powerful skills to learn is to keep a positive mindset. If the law of attraction (which has great examples to support it) is in fact true, then keeping positive in early recovery can be crucial. Telling yourself that you are going to succeed can lead to success, simply by putting that thought into the universe. This can also be called self talk. In recovery from addiction, negative self talk gradually lessens through actions such as attending recovery support meetings, talking to a therapist, attending an outpatient rehabilitation or treatment program, taking medications that are prescribed by a physician or psychiatrist, and/or meditation and a spiritual practice. These are all things that can help support a healthy and positive mental mindset.

Saying Yes to Life

Often times, when asked in early recovery from addiction to attend support groups or to go out on activities our first instinct is to say no. If we begin to be conscious of this habit, we may see that we pause before answering. A pause between answering questions of whether or not we would like to attend some sort of social or leisurely activity may allow us the opportunity to consider whether or not we honestly want to attend, or if our habitual use of the word no is driving our thought process and decision making skills. By eliminating or considering minimizing the use of the word no we allow ourselves the space to have new opportunities; opportunities we may not have had experienced if it weren’t for this pause.

Do the Next Right Thing

Many addicts in early recovery hate this phrase or “cliche.” Doing the next right thing simply means taking action instead of remaining stagnant. By doing the next right thing, we may eliminate our negative self talk completely, or at least take time away from our negativity to allow ourselves new experiences, such as a recovery meeting or a leisure activity as mentioned. A body in motion stays in motion, and a body in motion seldom allows a mind, after time, to stay negative or to remain in a state of contemplation. When we are moving we aren’t thinking, unless we are thinking about what action we are taking or what motion we are engaged in. Movement is beneficial, and doing the next right thing or even the next thing can be essential for recovery in early recovery from drugs and alcohol.

Don’t Give Up

We can learn from each other, which is an important factor in growth. Sometimes, our mindsets can be affected by those we surround ourselves with. Considering our surroundings, our support systems, and our friends, we can quickly analyze whether or not we are setting ourselves up for success. Through practices like meditation we can learn to quiet our minds, or at least learn to observe our thoughts and to let them come and to pass. Remaining positive is essential in recovery, and many successful people will confess that their success is a direct result of remaining positive and believing in themselves. If you have recurring negative thoughts, talk to a friend or a therapist about them, try journaling about them or meditating. There are many ways to remain positive. Your reality is created by your thoughts; you attract what you put into the universe, and if you believe that you can live a happy, healthy, sober life, then you’ll put the action in to do so, and the universe will conspire in remarkable ways to show you that it is in fact listening, and it may surprise you that it is working in your favor. Remember, you may be amazed before you are halfway through!