Stine Holmstul Olsen

Phd Candidate

Academic interests

Bipolar disorder, sleep, substance use, affect, self-medication.

The PhD Project

Bipolar disorder is considered a severe mental disorder, affecting approximately 1 % of the general population worldwide. Use of substances like cannabis and alcohol is common in people with bipolar disorder. Even though this initially can ameliorate symptoms, the long-term consequences seem to be increased symptom severity and poorer functioning. In this project, we want to investigate whether affective symptoms (depression and mania) look any different in persons with bipolar disorder and current substance use disorders, and to try to answer the question of “the chicken and the egg”: do people with bipolar disorder use substances to regulate their symptoms (self-medication), or does the substance use trigger these symptoms, and do we see signs of a “spiral”? We will try to answer these questions by having the participants self-monitor their symptoms and substance use in an app over time, as well as wear an actigraph that registers activity (acceleration). The goal is to get a better understanding of substance use in bipolar disorder, which in turn can contribute to better prevention and treatment.

Title of the project: Self-medication in bipolar disorder: the temporal relationship between mood, sleep and substance use.


Clinical Psychologist.

Funding and collaboration

Empolyee at NORMENT (Norwegain Centre for Mental Disorders Research), Oslo University Hospital.

This project is financed by the Norwegian Research Council.

Research Team

This project is a part of the research group Mechanisms of psychopathology at NORMENT. Main supervisor is Trine Vik Lagerberg (OUS/NORMENT). Co-supervisors are Sofie Ragnhild Aminoff (OUS/NORMENT) and Roger Hagen (UIO).

Tags: Bipolar Disorder, Substance abuse


  • Bjella, Thomas; Høegh, Margrethe Collier; Olsen, Stine Holmstul; Aminoff, Sofie Ragnhild; Barrett, Elizabeth Ann & Ueland, Torill [Show all 14 contributors for this article] (2022). Developing "MinDag" - an app to capture symptom variation and illness mechanisms in bipolar disorder. Frontiers in Medical Technology. 4(910533). doi: 10.3389/fmedt.2022.910533.
  • Høegh, Margrethe Collier; Melle, Ingrid; Aminoff, Sofie Ragnhild; Olsen, Stine Holmstul; Lunding, Synve Hoffart & Ueland, Torill [Show all 7 contributors for this article] (2022). Affective lability and social functioning in severe mental disorders. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience. ISSN 0940-1334. 272, p. 873–885. doi: 10.1007/s00406-022-01380-1. Full text in Research Archive
  • Høegh, Margrethe Collier; Melle, Ingrid; Aminoff, Sofie Ragnhild; Haatveit, Beathe ; Olsen, Stine Holmstul & Huflåtten, Idun Bernadotte [Show all 8 contributors for this article] (2021). Characterization of affective lability across subgroups of psychosis spectrum disorders. International journal of bipolar disorders. ISSN 2194-7511. 9.34, p. 1–10. doi: 10.1186/s40345-021-00238-0. Full text in Research Archive
  • Lagerberg, Trine Vik; Icick, Romain; Aminoff, Sofie Ragnhild; Nerhus, Mari; Barrett, Elizabeth Ann & Bjella, Thomas [Show all 9 contributors for this article] (2021). Substance Misuse Trajectories and Risk of Relapse in the Early Course of Bipolar Disorder. Frontiers in Psychiatry. ISSN 1664-0640. 12, p. 1–9. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.656912. Full text in Research Archive

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Published Dec. 6, 2021 3:39 PM - Last modified Dec. 7, 2021 12:48 AM