a woman laughs as she considers entering a bipolar treatment program in arizonaBipolar disorder is a profound and crippling psychiatric condition that is characterized by unstable mood changes. A person with bipolar disorder experiences severe mood shifts ranging from very high to very low in a very short period of time. At Viewpoint Dual Recovery Center, our psychiatric program can provide structure, support, and medication management for people struggling with bipolar disorder.

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, is more than just occasional mood swings. It’s a neurological disorder that causes sudden and intense changes in a person’s energy and mood levels, making it very difficult for them to function normally each day.

It is easy to confuse bipolar disorder with other mental health conditions because of its manic and depressive symptoms that closely resemble depression and anxiety. Manic episodes may cause an individual to experience high energy levels, restlessness, and difficulty concentrating; whereas, depressive episodes are marked by low energy levels, fatigue, indecision, disinterest and feelings of hopelessness. Both of these types of episodes can last for months at a time.

This mental disorder’s development can be attributed to genetics, trauma, environmental factors, and/or imbalanced hormones (in addition to many, many other causes). Sadly, there isn’t a way to prevent bipolar disorder; anyone can get it. Men, however, are statistically more likely to become bipolar than women.  Men also experience the co-morbidity of addiction and bipolar disorder more commonly than women do. The definitive link that causes the dual diagnosis of bipolar disorder and substance abuse remains unknown. If you have bipolar disorder, our rehabilitation center that specializes in dual diagnosis Arizona can help you manage your symptoms and begin to live your best life again.

Bipolar Disorder and Addiction

While there isn’t a single exhaustive reason that bipolar disorder and addiction are so closely linked, board-certified psychologist, Dr. Daniel Hall-Flavin of the Mayo Clinic, has generated a few working hypotheses:

Genetics: Some people develop bipolar disorder as a result of inherited traits. Those same genetic traits control the brain’s response to drugs, alcohol, and other substances, which increases a person’s risk of developing substance abuse together with bipolar disorder.

Manic episodes: When a person transitions from a depressive to a manic state, they lose their inhibitions and can be prone to making poor judgment calls. In many cases, this makes them more likely to drink excessively as a way of self-medicating and to end up in a cycle of substance abuse with every mood swing.

Depressive episodes: The painful depressive state of bipolar disorder leads to feelings of anxiousness, hopelessness, and apathy that urge a person to drink or use substances. The temporary relief from depression is enough to keep a person coming back for more alcohol.

Dual Diagnosis Research

According to recent research in the American Journal of Psychiatry, people struggling with bipolar disorder are more likely to have a substance use disorder than the general population. This puts people at higher risk of death by suicide and overdose. According to the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, substance abuse is more common among bipolar individuals than in people suffering from any other chronic mental illness. Researchers at Addiction Science & Clinical Practice have linked this dual diagnosis to an earlier onset of illnesses, more severe bipolar symptoms, higher rates of hospitalization, and greater suicidal tendencies.

Having a dual diagnosis like bipolar disorder and addiction may seem impossible to deal with on your own, but thankfully, you don’t have to. Viewpoint Dual Recovery Center can offer professional help, making your symptoms more manageable as you work your way towards a full recovery.

Even though the general cause of the overlap between these disorders is generally unknown, the effects of this dual diagnosis are apparent. A study in the Journal of Affective Disorders, Rakofsky and Dunlop in 2013 showed that alcohol causes more intense manic and depressive episodes and more rapid cycling between the two states, which results in heightened general aggression. Our bipolar treatment program in Prescott, Arizona is designed to treat these symptoms.

Treating Bipolar Disorder and Substance Abuse Together

Spotting bipolar disorder in a person with a substance abuse issue can be challenging. Addiction withdrawal and bipolar symptoms are closely related. As a result, you need the expertise of a trained professional at a bipolar treatment center such as ours in Arizona. Likewise, only a licensed doctor should ever attempt to administer treatment, as dual diagnosis treatments are complicated and should be tailored to the client. At Viewpoint Dual Recovery Center, we have vast experience with bipolar disorder and addiction and we’re qualified to help you recover through holistic, evidence-based behavioral and pharmacological therapies.

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: Cognitive restructuring helps people gradually modify harmful behaviors, ways of thinking, and beliefs for a healthier and more balanced life.
  • Family Therapy: Combat your dual diagnosis as a family. Familial involvement makes your loved ones active players in your treatment and teaches them how to help you cope with episodes and triggers and how to tackle problems as a cohesive family unit.
  • Interpersonal Therapy: Discover how interpersonal issues, including arguments, losses, and change, can trigger manic and depressive flare-ups. Learn how to respond effectively and appropriately.
  •  Medication: Our team may prescribe medications such as antidepressants, mood stabilizers, or atypical antipsychotics to ease the symptoms of mania and depression.
  • Holistic Healing: Our natural healing methods give dual diagnosis clients the treatment they need for all aspects of their dual illnesses in one place.

People who have allowed us to help them with their dual diagnosis have shown to experience higher-quality relationships, improved daily functioning and greater overall satisfaction with their lives after completing our program. A dual diagnosis of bipolar disorder and addiction gets worse over time without treatment. As a result, it’s imperative to get help from a bipolar treatment center as early as possible for the best results. Get in contact with us today for admission information.

How to Help Yourself or a Loved One

Dual diagnosis treatment at our bipolar treatment center works instantaneously. Like most good things in life, it takes time and persistence. Over the course of recovery, however, there are a few things you can do at home for yourself or with a loved one struggling with the disorder to speed up the process.

  •     Exercise regularly: Getting consistent exercise is a great way to alleviate stress, sleep better, and lessen the symptoms of bipolar disorder.
  •     Listen to your body: Meditation and relaxation techniques will keep you in touch with your body and ensure more restful and regular sleep.
  •     Learn everything you can about your disorder: Learning to spot your symptoms and what you can do to overcome them is an integral part of long-term healing.
  •     Stick to a schedule: Continue attending your recommended therapy sessions, be consistent with your medication, and above all else, know when and how to ask for help.

Why Choose Our Prescott Mental Health Center?

Our clinicians at Viewpoint are committed to helping people with bipolar disorder live better lives. Visit Viewpoint Dual Recovery Center to learn about our caring staff and alternative programs. Our dedicated therapists, psychiatrists, and clinical staff members work hard to promote your healing, understanding, and lifelong recovery. Take the first steps to a new life. Contact our bipolar treatment program in Arizona at 855.746.3633.