Bipolar Disorder and Substance Abuse in Arizona

Bipolar disorder is a burdensome psychiatric condition that affects nearly three percent of the population — nearly 200 million people. The disorder is characterized by unstable and ever-changing moods that can swing from very high to very low in an instant. 

A recent study showed that 60% of all people struggling with bipolar disorder also had some background of substance abuse. 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. Today, bipolar disorder and substance abuse occur together more often than not. Researchers have linked this dual diagnosis to earlier-onset illnesses, more severe bipolar symptoms, higher rates of hospitalization, and greater suicidal tendencies. 

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

 

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 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 months at a time.

This mental disorder’s development can be attributed to trauma, environmental factors, and/or imbalanced hormones, which means that anyone can become bipolar. However, men are statistically more likely to become bipolar than women, and they also experience the comorbidity of addiction and bipolar disorder more commonly than women do. The definitive link that causes the co-occurrence of bipolar disorder and substance abuse remains unknown.

 

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 bipolar individual 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. The temporary relief from depression is enough to keep a person coming back for more alcohol. 

Whatever the true link is between substance abuse and bipolar disorder, science and health professionals are certain that substance abuse can precede, cause, worsen, result from, or be completely distinct from bipolar disorder, but comorbidity makes diagnosis and treatment more challenging.

Even though the general cause of the overlap between these disorders is generally unknown, the effects of this dual diagnosis are apparent. A study on alcohol abuse and bipolar disorder by 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. But you can save yourself the pain and suffering and get help from our dual recovery center in Arizona.

 

Treating Bipolar Disorder and Substance Abuse Together

Spotting bipolar disorder in a person with a substance abuse problem is difficult; addiction withdrawal and bipolar symptoms are closely related, so the expertise of a trained professional is needed for a proper diagnosis. Likewise, only a licensed doctor should ever attempt to administer treatment, as dual diagnosis treatments are complicated and should be tailored to the patient. 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 and how to respond effectively.
  • Medication: Our team may prescribe antidepressants, mood stabilizers, or atypical antipsychotics to ease the symptoms of mania and depression.
  • Holistic healing: Our natural healing methods give dual diagnosis patients 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. Co-occurring bipolar disorder and addiction gets worse over time, so it’s imperative to get help 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 doesn’t work instantaneously. Like most good things in life, it takes time and consistency. 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 Viewpoint Dual Recovery Center?

Don’t live with bipolar disorder or addiction any longer. Visit Viewpoint Dual Recovery Center to turn your life around through individualized treatment plans. Our caring therapists, psychiatrists, and clinical staff members work hard to promote your healing, understanding, and lifelong recovery. Take the first steps to a new life by calling us today at (877) 777-5150.