It’s common for people with addiction to also have a co-occurring mental health issue. Bipolar disorder and drug addiction are one of the more likely combinations due to those with bipolar disorder being more at risk of becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol. Studies and statistics have shown that over half of those with bipolar disorder have also been substance abusers at one time.
Understanding Bipolar Disorder and Drug Addiction
According to the American Journal of Managed Care, those with bipolar disorder are seven times more likely to be addicted to drugs than the rest of the population. Unfortunately, there’s not a clear understanding of why those with bipolar are more likely to become addicted. Though some people take drugs or drink alcohol to alleviate symptoms, both substances actually make the disorder worse. Further, being addicted to drugs or alcohol can even cause some people to develop bipolar disorder despite not having any previous history of mental health problems.
Those with bipolar disorder often experience extreme mood shifts. These periods might last for weeks, or they might only last for a few days. Some people get episodes only a few times a year while others may get them more than once a week. Both genetics and a chemical imbalance in the brain have some responsibility for causing bipolar disorder. Those living in a traumatic environment also have a greater risk of developing bipolar disorder. People with bipolar may suffer from four different types of episodes. These include:
- Manic is characterized by excessively cheerful or hostile behavior and may last over a week and require hospitalization
- Hypomanic is like manic, only less severe and shorter duration
- Major depressive is characterized by depression and lethargy lasting over two weeks
- Mixed combines traits of the other three
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder and Drug Addiction
As previously mentioned, it’s possible for someone with no previous history of bipolar or other mental disorders to develop it through drinking or drug addiction. Drugs can rewire the brain, and addiction changes the reward system. These changes can then lead to bipolar disorder. Another interesting fact is that symptoms of bipolar episodes often resemble drug use symptoms. Mood swings, hyperactivity, insomnia, risky behavior, and depression are all possible symptoms of a bipolar episode. However, they can also present as symptoms of using certain drugs. This is part of what makes it very difficult to diagnose bipolar disorder in someone suffering from addiction. Dual diagnosis treatment typically uses a series of tests to screen for bipolar disorder and to distinguish it from addiction.
Treatment For Bipolar Disorder and Drug Addiction
If you or a loved one are suffering from addiction with possible symptoms of bipolar disorder, then a bipolar disorder treatment center Florida can help. Pearl of the Sea Retreat on Anastasia Island offers a luxury level of care for addiction and co-occurring disorders. Some of what we offer includes:
- Amazing setting with nature, dolphins, and beaches
- Gender-specific programming
- Relapse prevention
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Pet therapy
If you’re dealing with bipolar disorder and drug addiction, reach out for help today. You can overcome your addiction through treatment at a quality drug rehab center. Call Pearl of the Sea Retreat at 8557632545 to find out more and start the road to recovery.