Former Creed frontman Scott Stapp’s revelation to ABC news that he has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder follows a very recent public breakdown that the singer says was the result of overdosing on prescription drugs.
Manic psychosis---marked by hallucinations, delusions and irrational behaviors—as a result of attempts at self-medicating are quite common according to Scott Krakower, DO, a psychiatrist and substance-abuse specialist at the Zucker Hillside Hospital.
“Patients with psychiatric disorders often attempt to ease their pain by using whatever medications they can access. What usually happens is these medications only serve to exacerbate the original disorder and leave the person in more distress.”
In his book, “Sinner’s Creed,” Stapp admitted that addiction and depression led to a suicide attempt and the disbanding of his group. Following a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Stapp turned to Adderall to help ease his demons. His over-use of that medication led to a full-blown psychotic episode.
“As is often the case, stimulants such as Adderall can originally offer some relief of ADHD symptoms. But, it’s a double-edged sword. If patients are suffering from a mood disorder, these medications may only serve to worsen the underlying condition,” said Dr. Krakower.
Late in 2014, Stapp received the correct diagnosis of bipolar disorder and is finally getting the treatment he needs. He is sober and hoping to move forward with his life.
“It’s important for patients to receive a correct diagnosis from behavioral health professionals specially trained to care for the particular disorder,” said Dr. Krakower. “We know that early intervention in mental illnesses leads to a more optimistic outcome. The take-away message from all this is to seek help if you need it. Don’t try to self-medicate and go it alone. There are professionals ready to help you.”