Jeffrey is 32 and has struggled with addiction and substance abuse since he was 13 years old. He was a successful Hollywood writer, but his alcohol, cocaine, and prescription drug use led to two convictions for driving under the influence, plus one for possession of a controlled substance. He recently found out he has bipolar disorder. Now, the last 20 tumultuous years of his life are starting to make sense. People with bipolar disorder, which is also known as manic depression, tend to cycle through episodes of depression and mania, a euphoric state that often leads to poor decision-making. Substance abuse is also common with bipolar disorder; nearly 60% of bipolar individuals have a substance abuse problem, and many smoke. Jeffrey has quit drinking and using cocaine, but he's still struggling with dependence on a prescription painkiller.
About 15 months ago, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. When I look back at my life, the diagnosis explains a lot. I've been a manic-depressive person for as long as I can remembereven as young as age 6. I just didn’t know that it had a name. Read More