There is no easy explanation for the high rate of substance abuse and chemical dependence among bipolar individuals. One reason for this phenomenon is that a large percentage of individuals try to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol in an effort to numb the painful symptoms of their bipolar disorder. The symptoms of bipolar disorder, such as anxiety, pain, depression, and insomnia, are so alarming that many people turn to drugs and alcohol as a way to compensate for the discomfort, even for a short time. On the other hand, the National Institute of Mental Health notes that drinking and using drugs can trigger depressed or manic mood in someone with bipolar disorder.



 Young men are more likely than women or older men to take dangerous risks or to engage in self-destructive severe impulses. In young people with bipolar disorder, the incidence of substance abuse is much lower. 

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