The Relationship Between Addiction and Bipolar Disorder

The Relationship Between Addiction and Bipolar Disorder


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    Addiction and mental health sometimes go hand in hand. A person who experiences addiction and a mental health illness such as bipolar disorder can receive proper treatment. With the correct diagnosis, they can not only be treated properly, but they can also live fuller lives.

    There are many links between depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and substance abuse. However, often overlooked is the connection and relationship between bipolar disorder and addiction. Learning about the striking connection between both could help those seeking treatment. This connection could offer them a new perspective on how to treat and get proper help.

    The Definition of Bipolar Disorder

    Bipolar disorder is the experience of mania symptoms and euphoria. A person who experiences bipolar may often experience periods of manic energy or extreme depression. They may also experience overactivity, insomnia, and impaired judgment when making important decisions. These experiences can affect their overall quality of life.

    According to an article published by the National Library of Medicine, substance abuse was prevalent in bipolar I and II patients. The study also stated that there was minimal treatment research when looking at the connection between the two disorders. When co-occurring, these disorders can have a major impact on one’s quality of life.

    Addiction and Bipolar Disorder

    Together, those experiencing both addiction and bipolar disorder tend to also experience impulsive behaviors. They also tend to experience mood episodes. These mood episodes can cause the person to demonstrate erratic behavior that could become dangerous and highly disruptive to one’s life.

    These changes in mood and behavior can have profound consequences if left untreated. In fact, studies have shown that criminal behavior has been linked to those experiencing bipolar disorder and addiction. They have also found that when a person experiences comorbidity, they tend to get treatment for just one ailment.

    Often overlooked, bipolar disorder usually is left untreated when one is seeking help for addiction. Both illnesses have similarities but if the person works on being treated for both at the same time, the greater the outcome is for them to be successful.

    Seeking Proper Treatment

    Talk therapy or psychotherapy is a common way for those experiencing addiction and bipolar disorder to get proper treatment. Psychotherapists can work with the person to devise a proper treatment plan. In turn, that treatment plan can also lead them to get help for both illnesses at the same time.

    Another way of seeking treatment is to get help from a psychiatrist. Psychiatrists are there to help a person cope and manage their symptoms through medication. They can also give you holistic options. The most important thing about a psychiatrist’s job, however, is diagnosis. 

    Unlike a psychotherapist or a licensed professional counselor, a psychiatrist can help give the proper diagnosis. They can diagnose based on the symptoms and help find the right therapist or group for their client.

    By talking to a doctor about what they are feeling and the behavior being exhibited, they can get the proper treatment. Seeking proper treatment for both bipolar disorder and addiction at the same time increases the ability to grow and overcome the experience.

    Whether it is an addiction to substances such as medication, drugs, or alcohol, getting proper treatment is important. In fact, the suicide rate is approximately 25 times higher in those experiencing mental illness and addiction. 

    Comorbidity Rates Between Bipolar Disorder and Substance Abuse

    The comorbidity rates between those with bipolar disorder and substance abuse are also high. There are only just now studies indicating the significant link between the two illnesses. However, getting the proper diagnosis may be a little difficult. Recent studies are being conducted into how and why bipolar disorder is linked to addiction.

    Addiction and bipolar disorder aren’t easy to experience. Whether someone is experiencing one or both illnesses, getting help is essential to living a healthy life. There is no substitute for overcoming the severest symptoms. However, new studies are being conducted every day to show the prevalent link between the two.

    It is this light of hope that can be relied on to know these studies and scientific advancements will help in the quest to overcome addiction and manage bipolar disorder.

    Understanding these severe mental illnesses in conjunction with addiction can also help provide better treatment options in the future. Substance abuse can occur at the onset of the illness or during the course of the illness. However, it does not affect the severity of the addiction.

    Experiencing addiction and bipolar disorder together can be a scary prospect, especially with a former misdiagnosis. There is hope that with new forms of treatment tailored to treating both at the same time, managing symptoms will be easier. The hope is to find a way to properly treat both before the severity of each illness increases.

    If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health and substance abuse, there is help, and there is hope. At Villa Oasis San Diego, we have been helping people overcome their addictions for years and heal from their mental illnesses. We guide you through therapeutic and recovery treatment plans that work best for you. With the help of our caring staff and luxurious grounds, our residents see true progress. We help turn those who feel lost in their battle into warriors who never give up the fight. Please call us at (619) 373-9792 to speak more with our team and get the help you deserve. We look forward to helping you and know that you can find wellness.

    Your rise begins.