How Are Bipolar Disorder and Addiction Related?

How Are Bipolar Disorder and Addiction Related?

Bipolar Disorder and Drug Addiction

Bipolar disorder is an extremely devastating psychological disorder, typically characterized by intense and sudden shifts in mood, behavior, or energy levels. The link between bipolar disorder and substance dependency has been closely studied over time, and it has been concluded that the two disorders are commonly co-occurring, and treatment for both disorders must occur simultaneously in order to be successful long-term. A recent study concluded that nearly half of all individuals who have been professionally diagnosed with bipolar disorder are currently abusing or addicted to drugs or alcohol.

It was estimated that 56 percent of all men and women who suffered from bipolar disorder had experienced drug addiction or alcoholism during their lifetimes, and that between 41 and 46 percent were still actively abusing a chemical substance. Dual diagnosis disorders are typically more difficult to treat, seeing as simultaneous treatment for both occurring disorders is essential to maintaining long-term recovery. Understanding the ways in which bipolar disorder and drug addiction are related can help make the recovery process significantly more manageable.

The Correlation Between Bipolar Disorder and Substance Dependency

One of the most common reasons as to why those afflicted with untreated bipolar disorder initially begin using drugs and alcohol is to manage uncomfortable and disruptive symptoms. Those who suffer from bipolar will frequently experience an array of symptoms such as depression, sleeplessness, anxiety, and physical pain. However, the National Institute of Mental Health suggests that chemical abuse (even occasional use) can actually severely trigger the symptoms of bipolar disorder, worsening mood swings and intensifying emotional highs and lows. Interestingly enough, age and gender may also play a major role in the correlation between addiction and this specific psychological disorder. Young males tend to be significantly more afflicted with these dual diagnosis disorders than any population group. Additionally, young men are exceedingly more likely to engage in risky and potentially life-threatening behaviors, making adequate and comprehensive treatment even more of a necessity.

It has been found that brain chemistry (and neurological inconsistencies) influence both addiction and bipolar disorder.

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Treatment for Dual Diagnosis Disorders

Finding the right drug rehab or alcohol treatment center is difficult enough; looking for a dual diagnosis treatment center that focuses on concurrently treating substance dependency and underlying psychological disorders may seem an impossible feat. Fortunately, we at Lighthouse Recovery Institute have extensive experience treating dual diagnosis disorders, and completely understand the importance of receiving adequate psychiatric care while undergoing intensive therapeutic healing. Our program of recovery utilizes a comprehensive approach to setting a solid foundation for lasting and fulfilled sobriety. For more information, please feel free to call today – we look forward to speaking with you soon!

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