Mood issues can hinder your ability to fully recover from drug or alcohol addiction. You may become depressed or struggle with bipolar disorder. Extreme rage can bubble up out of nowhere and make you feel like you’re going to explode. This article will discuss mood issues you may experience post-treatment and how you can practice self-care to manage the symptoms.
What Is a Mood Disorder?
Mood disorders are a category of mental health disorders that negatively impact a person’s emotional state. A person with a mood disorder experiences frequent mood disturbances that hinder their ability to carry out daily functions with ease.
Data from National Comorbidity Survey Replication shows that an estimated 9.7% of adults aged 18 and older had a mood disorder in the past year. The prevalence among males was lower (7.7%) when compared to females (11.6%). It was also estimated that about 21.4% of adults experience a mood disorder at some point throughout their life.
Two Common Mood Disorders
As an individual in recovery, you may experience depression or bipolar disorder. These two conditions are the most common mood disorders.
Depression comes in multiple forms, including major depressive disorder, persistent depressive disorder, seasonal affective disorder, and psychotic depression. All forms are characterized by extreme sadness and hopelessness but are distinguished by their duration of symptoms. For instance, some episodes occur during the fall and winter seasons, while others occur at any time of year and can last a few weeks to a few years.
Bipolar disorder comes in multiple forms: bipolar I, bipolar II, cyclothymia disorder, and unspecified bipolar disorder. If you have bipolar disorder, you will experience periods of extreme highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression). Depending on the type, your mood can swing between highs and lows at any time and can last for weeks at a time.
Could You Have IED?
Intermittent explosive disorder (IED) is another mood or impulse disorder that is not as well-studied but is important to consider. This condition is marked by sudden angry or violent outbursts that seem inappropriate given the situation. You may become extremely irritable, tense, angry, combative or argumentative, or threatening. This extreme rage and hostility can put yourself and others in harm’s way.
Although substance use is not known to be a risk factor for developing IED, the mood instability and lack of impulse control associated with this disorder can cause an individual to be more vulnerable to abusing substances.
A study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry by Emil F. Coccaro explained that substance use disorders were found to be at least three times more common in persons with IED. In addition, IED was found to co-occur with depressive mood and anxiety disorders, both of which are risk factors for drug or alcohol abuse.
Monitor Yourself for These Signs
Mood disorders can make simple daily tasks and interactions a painful chore. The ups and downs can be unpredictable. The challenge of getting work done or following through on plans with friends and family can make you feel like giving up completely.
If you are concerned that you may have a mood disorder, consider these signs and consult with your doctor as soon as possible to get help:
- Undereating or overeating
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Thinking about death or suicide
- Losing or gaining significant weight
- Feeling extreme sadness, anger, irritability, or aggressiveness
- Losing interest in relationships and hobbies that you normally enjoy
- Experiencing issues with concentration, sexual desire, and performance
- Having extreme energy
- Engaging in risky behavior
- Feeling irritable and restless
- Having insomnia or trouble sleeping
- Undergoing extreme mood swings
- Experiencing depressive symptoms
- Feeling on edge and having racing thoughts
Addiction Can Trigger Mood Issues
Addiction and mental health disorders frequently co-occur. Individuals with substance use disorder are about two times as likely to suffer from mood and anxiety disorders.
MentalHealth.gov also notes that over “one in four adults living with serious mental health problems also has a substance use problem.” Some self-medicate to manage the symptoms of an underlying mood condition like depression, bipolar, or IED.
Others develop mental health problems as a direct result of substance use. Although the directionality of this relationship is still under study, there is some evidence that withdrawal and chronic abuse exacerbates mood degradation. Moreover, “chronic substance abuse sometimes ‘unmasks’ bipolar or other mood disorders—that is, triggers an increase in symptom severity from a subclinical to a clinically significant level.”
Treat Yourself By Practicing Self-Care
While a mood disorder may require some clinical help to manage symptoms effectively and avoid relapse, there are some things you can practice on your own.
- Step away from the situation and reflect on how you feel emotionally and physically. Try to identify what triggered you.
- Find an outlet like exercise, art, music, hiking, or other activities that allows you to regularly express your emotions.
- Talk to your Brothers. The Band of Brothers is always here for you, especially when you’re feeling vulnerable.
- Take responsibility for those you lashed out on and apologize. By acknowledging your behavior, you create the opportunity to learn and improve.
After receiving treatment for addiction, it is common to experience mood issues associated with depression and bipolar disorder. Knowing the signs and how to manage them can help you succeed in recovery. At Renaissance Ranch, we have seen how addiction can affect a person, even after being properly treated. We know you might be angry, depressed, overactive, or struggling to focus on the next stage of your journey. That’s why we’re here and will always be here to help you stick to sobriety. We have a continuing care and recovery coaching program that involves advanced group therapy. Here, you will have the chance to address long-term sobriety maintenance and problems with a mood disorder. Our facility in Utah has been effectively helping men recover from addiction for more than 20 years. Call Renaissance Ranch today at (801) 308-8898 for information on how you can get help managing mood issues post-treatment.