Diet Pills & Bipolar Disorder

Stimulant Use

In addition to altering moods, stimulant use also influences the effectiveness of the medications that bipolar people take to control symptoms (See Reference 2). Caffeine or caffeine containing ingredients such as green tea are the most common components of diet pills that have the potential to ruin the positive benefits of medications. However, natural stimulants found in diet pills have the same ill effect on people with bipolar disorder. Look for names such as guarana or ephedrine; both have the same negative impact on bipolar disorder symptoms as caffeine.


In 2005, the Journal of Family Practice published a report detailing research on the correlation between manic episodes and stimulants like those found in diet pills. Although the study focuses on children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, the research clearly shows the link between using stimulants and the occurrence of a manic episode (See Reference 3). People with bipolar disorder who use diet pills full of stimulants have a much higher chance of experiencing manic symptoms.


Besides escalating the chance of having a manic episode, diet pills increase the odds of causing an incidence of depression. After the effects of the diet pill wear off, the user experiences a significant crash. While typical individuals feel low during this phase, people with bipolar disorder easily slip into a depressed state. Even though the research is not definitive, The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry reported an apparent connection between depression and diet pill use (See Resource 1).

Diet & Exercise

Using diet pills leads people to overlook the positive nature of healthy meals and regular exercise. Quite often, the pills become a much easier replacement for the difficult demands that a healthy lifestyle requires. While everyone benefits from a healthy lifestyle, those with bipolar disorder truly thrive on it. A consistent routine filled with proper nutrition and balanced exercise encourages stability in the life of someone with bipolar disorder. People with bipolar disorder should avoid diet pills, which only interfere with the positive potentials associated with diet and exercise. Diet pills typically are inappropriate for someone with bipolar disorder. Most diet pills include stimulants as an ingredient, which is appealing to a person that gains weight because of bipolar medications (See Reference 1). Even though taking a diet pill to counteract weight gain is tempting, stimulant use agitates symptoms associated with bipolar disorder. Ingredients in diet pills also conflict with treatment methods such as medications. The best plan for a person with bipolar disorder is a natural, pill-free method that contributes to the overall routine.