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The Relationship Between Bipolar Disorder and Addiction

The Relationship Between Bipolar Disorder and Addiction

By on May 9, 2024 in Addiction, Blog, Mental Health

A significant number of people who suffer from alcohol and drug addiction also have mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. When both addiction and a mental disorder are present, the person is said to have co-occurring disorders. 

Bipolar disorder has a particularly close relationship with addiction. Studies show that “people with bipolar I disorder have a 5.8 times increased lifetime risk of a substance use disorder diagnosis.”  

If you have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and are struggling with addiction, know that help is available. At Victory Addiction Recovery Center, we offer comprehensive drug and alcohol addiction treatment, and we can provide you with exceptional support as you navigate your co-occurring disorders. 

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition involving intense mood swings and sometimes extreme behaviors. Many people with bipolar disorder have a genetic link to it, such as a parent or grandparent who suffered from the condition. Symptoms typically fall into two areas: mania and depression. 

During mania, you may experience intense periods of emotional highs that may include:

  • Jumpy, excitable behavior
  • Abnormally talkative behavior
  • A heightened sense of agitation
  • Higher energy levels
  • Racing thoughts that are hard to control
  • Trouble making decisions

 During periods of depression, the symptoms of bipolar disorder often include:

  • Feelings of sadness and hopelessness
  • Sleeping more than 8 hours a day
  • Avoidance of people or things that usually make you happy
  • Low self-esteem
  • Trouble thinking or concentrating
  • Suicidal ideation or planning

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms of bipolar disorder, it is critical to take action. Seek out immediate support if you have thoughts of suicide.

The Connection Between Bipolar Disorder and Addiction

Often, a person with bipolar disorder turns to substances as a form of self-medication. That means they use substances to numb or escape from their symptoms. For example, they may turn to stimulants when feeling more down and depressed. Or, they may use alcohol and depressive substances during manic periods to quiet the mind or “take the edge off.”

Over time, consistent use of substances leads to addiction and dependence in many people. Addiction will also worsen the symptoms of bipolar disorder. In a person with a predisposition to mental health disorders, it is possible for addiction to lead to early onset of bipolar

What Does Having Bipolar and Addiction Mean for Your Future?

Having co-occurring disorders means you need a very specialized type of treatment that can address both conditions simultaneously. This is done through dual diagnosis treatment, which we offer at Victory Addiction Recovery Center. Dual diagnosis treatment typically involves a combination of medication and therapy. Clients begin with medical detox to rid the body of drugs and alcohol and “clear the slate” for our healthcare team to begin to untangle the client’s symptoms and adjust bipolar medications as needed. 

As the body stabilizes, clients engage in inpatient treatment programming, which includes group and individual therapy from our highly trained therapists. We can help you learn about both conditions and how to manage them so you can create a life you love.

Getting Help for Bipolar Disorder and Addiction Starts with a Call

To learn more about the symptoms and causes of bipolar disorder and to get addiction treatment, contact our team in Lafayette, LA. We are ready to support you in this recovery process. It does get better, especially with professional help and ongoing support. 

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