For people struggling with bipolar disorder, every day seems to become a white-knuckle ride. With unpredictable mood swings and shifts in energy, bipolar disorder is a nightmare to experience. While quality mental health treatment is available, many bipolar sufferers turn to substances to cope with their feelings. While people do feel a sense of short-term relief, substances end up doing more harm than good. Without the root cause being addressed, those with bipolar continue to suffer and they develop a co-occurring substance abuse issue.

We will explore bipolar disorder and addiction, the signs of bipolar disorder, and why those dealing with bipolar turn to drugs and alcohol. If you or a loved one are struggling with the co-occurring disorders of bipolar disorder and addiction, contact My Recovery Source toll-free today. My Recovery Source provides free nationwide assistance to those struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues. Our dedicated staff will work with you in finding the right treatment program that will help you find lasting recovery.

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What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a form of mental illness that causes unpredictable and unusual shifts in a person’s mood, energy, concentration, and level of activity. People with bipolar disorder will cycle between periods of mania where they are extremely energetic and happy and depressive periods where they feel sad, hopeless, and “flat”. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) lists three major types of bipolar disorder:

  • Bipolar I Disorder is defined by manic episodes that last for at least 7 days or by manic symptoms that are so severe that the person needs immediate medical care. Depressive episodes occur as well and typically last 2 weeks.
  • Bipolar II Disorder presents episodes and hypomanic episodes that are less severe than the manic episodes in bipolar I disorder.
  • Cyclothymic Disorder is defined by recurring hypomanic and depressive symptoms that are not intense enough or do not last long enough to qualify as hypomanic or depressive episodes.

People who experience bipolar disorder can cycle between manic and depressive episodes in a matter of days, weeks, or even months.

What Is The Connection Between Bipolar Disorder and Drug Addiction?

For people who experience bipolar disorder, the tug-of-war of moods, emotions, and energy can be too much to bear daily. While there are an increasing number of treatment programs that can help them better manage their symptoms, many will often turn to substances to cope. Bipolar disorder and alcohol addiction seemingly go hand in hand in the fact that alcohol (and other substances) helps numb feelings and helps people cope with what they experience.

While drugs and alcohol provide relief, it is a temporary solution at best. Without addressing the root cause of bipolar disorder, their condition will only grow worse over time. Additionally, the use of substances will increase over time in the absence of healthy coping skills. As a result, they are likely to develop a substance abuse issue along with their bipolar disorder. This results in a condition known as dual diagnosis which is very difficult to treat and requires specialized treatment.

Solutions in Treatment Bipolar Disorder and Addiction

To effectively treat bipolar disorder and addiction, people must undergo treatment at a dual diagnosis treatment facility. Dual diagnosis treatment is a dynamic fusion of mental health and addiction treatment services under one roof. Addiction treatment and mental health professionals work side by side to create comprehensive treatment programs that complement each other and adequately address both issues. Many dual diagnosis treatment programs feature the following components:

  • Detox
  • Individual, group, and family therapy
  • Medication management (MAT programs)
  • Emotion management
  • Holistic therapies such as art therapy, animal therapy, and music therapy
  • 12-step programs
  • Relapse prevention
  • Aftercare programs including continuing counseling and therapy.

To fully address a client’s bipolar disorder and addiction issues, they should undergo intensive residential treatment at the facility itself. In this safe, supportive, and non-judgmental environment, clients have the time and space to work through their issues. While many dual diagnosis programs run for 30 days, it is recommended that clients seek longer stays of 60 days, 90 days, or even longer.

Are You In Need of Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

The search for the best dual diagnosis treatment program can be difficult and full of anxiety. You may not know what to look for, and you may not know where to turn if you have questions or concerns. Fortunately, the dedicated team at My Recovery Source can help! We will work with you to find the treatment options that best fit your needs. My Recovery Source will also help you find all available payment options that will help you pay for treatment and give you peace of mind.

Don’t wait another day to address your dual diagnosis; call My Recovery Source right now and take charge of your health and life.

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