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HomeAnswersPsychotherapyself-medicationCan self-medicating bipolar disorder lead to drug dependence?

Can someone who self-medicates for self-diagnosed bipolar disorder develop a drug addiction?

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Answered by

Dr. Bharat Udey

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At November 11, 2022
Reviewed AtOctober 17, 2023

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

My sister self-diagnosed herself as bipolar and is now taking the tablet Tegretol. She has been taking it for the past six weeks and is noticing progress. But I am worried that she will continue the medication forever and get into a dependence cycle. In addition, she has been suffering from depression for the past few days. Please tell me what to do as getting her to visit a doctor is difficult.

Please help.

Answered by Dr. Bharat Udey


Welcome to icliniq.com.

I went through your query and understood your concern.

It is good that you took the initiative on behalf of your sister to seek an opinion on her condition. Tegretol (Carbamazepine) is an antiepileptic agent that can be used to manage bipolar disorders to prevent further relapses. However, it is not the drug of choice, as long-term usage of Tegretol can cause neutrophilia, making the person prone to various secondary infections. Moreover, if taken for a long time without supervision, it becomes difficult to taper it off, as sudden stoppage of medicine can precipitate seizures.

Hence I suggest you to take your sister for a consultation with a psychiatric specialist in regard to her illness as early as possible and to change the medications if needed as well.

I hope this has helped you out.

Thank you.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Bharat Udey

Dr. Bharat Udey


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