Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness with alternating, often abrupt states of elation or joy (mania) and hopelessness or sadness (depression). According to the National Institute of Mental Health, around 5.7 million adult Americans suffer from bipolar disorder. Studies show that of all mental illnesses, bipolar disorder most commonly occurs alongside alcoholism, with the exception of antisocial personality disorder.

Bipolar Disorder Symptoms

People with bipolar disorder swing between drastic emotional highs (mania) and low moods (depression).

Bipolar mania symptoms may include:

  • Elation or extreme joy for significant periods of time
  • Overconfidence
  • Agitation or restlessness
  • Impulsivity, risky behavior and poor judgment
  • Quick speech
  • Jumpiness
  • Racing thoughts

Bipolar depression symptoms may include:

  • Sadness or hopelessness for significant periods of time
  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts
  • Slow speech
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Withdrawal from loved ones

Bipolar Disorder and Addiction

Many people with bipolar disorder turn to drugs or alcohol in an effort to manage the troublesome symptoms of their illness. While drugs or alcohol may help temporarily ease some of these symptoms, substance abuse ultimately makes the problems worse. If you are already on bipolar medications such as Lithium or Depakote, drugs and alcohol may interfere with your ability to control your symptoms and can also pose severe health complications such as organ failure. Drug and alcohol abuse can also change the brain’s chemistry, affecting the brain’s reward center and making depressive symptoms more intense.

Addiction and Bipolar Disorder Treatment

Effective treatment for substance abuse and co-occurring mental health disorders must address the physical, psychological and spiritual challenges of these issues. Many times, treatment will begin with medical detox and biopsychosocial assessments. During this time, a team of nurses, physicians and a psychiatrist can ease any substance abuse withdrawal symptoms with research-backed medications and help you mentally and physically stabilize. They can ensure that all prescribed meds for withdrawal are safe to use with any current medications that you are taking for bipolar disorder. They will also ensure that any current diagnoses are accurate and you are on the most clinically appropriate medications and dosages for your issues.

Following detox and assessments, you’ll enter an inpatient mental health and addiction program. This gives you space from triggers and provides 24/7 addiction and mental health care. You’ll not only receive expert medical treatment for bipolar disorder and addiction, you’ll learn healthy coping skills to apply in everyday life. Our medical staff will educate you on your mental health disorder and how to manage your symptoms. You’ll also get specialized addiction treatment to help you stay sober when you face the challenges of everyday life.

You Can Get Better

If you or a loved one is suffering from bipolar disorder and addiction, we can help. Our treatment team has specialized training in psychiatry and addiction. We effectively treat both of these challenges with evidence-based approaches and therapies. You’ll begin healing the physical, emotional and spiritual wounds of addiction while getting expert psychiatric treatment for bipolar disorder.

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