What is the link between bipolar disorder and substance abuse? If you or a loved one struggles with bipolar disorder, you know it can be hard enough to manage your moods from one day to the next. Add drug and alcohol abuse, and the picture becomes much more complicated. Addiction can make the symptoms of mental health issues worse and can create a cycle that is difficult to break. Once you understand the connection between bipolar disorder and addiction, you’ll know why substance abuse isn’t the answer. You will also understand how dual diagnosis treatment is essential if you struggle with both.
What Is Bipolar Disorder?
This mental health condition is characterized by extreme changes in mood and energy levels. These changes can take place from day to day or week to week. People with bipolar disorder can also suffer from compromised cognitive functions along with dramatic mood fluctuations. During periods of mania, they might experience feelings of euphoria, which can cause individuals to make dangerous decisions. On the other end of the spectrum, bipolar disorder can involve periods of depression. During times of depression, individuals might feel hopeless or lose interest in activities they once enjoyed.
The Link Between Bipolar Disorder and Substance Abuse
People with any mental health disorder have a higher chance of developing an addiction. It doesn’t matter if it’s depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. In many cases, they try and self-medicate with drugs and alcohol when they find it too difficult to cope with symptoms of the disorder.
When someone is in the middle of a manic phase, and their brain is racing, they may abuse depressants like alcohol to create feelings of relaxation. However, when an individual is in a depressive low, they may turn to stimulants to boost their energy. They may do this even if they have prescribed drugs from their doctor if they feel that the medication doesn’t act as quickly as they want it to.
By abusing drugs and alcohol, both bipolar disorder and substance abuse become worse, as addiction has a negative impact on mental health.
Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders Is Key
The combination of bipolar and substance abuse can make treatment challenging, but it’s entirely possible to address both issues. Addiction specialists who have experience in dual diagnosis will understand the most appropriate ways to approach bipolar disorder treatment.
Mood-stabilizing medication may be required, along with evidence-based therapy like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). With proper care, bipolar disorder can be managed effectively. A carefully managed approach can give people with this disorder a new lease on life. They’ll see that using drugs and alcohol to cope with depression or mania is not the answer, particularly since it can exacerbate the symptoms of bipolar disorder.
Addiction Treatment That Changes Your Life
San Antonio Recovery Center offers addiction treatment programs designed to help you overcome drug and alcohol dependency. Our treatment methods stem from the 12-step philosophy. We believe in providing affordable rehab because everyone deserves the chance to be healthy and sober. If you are struggling with bipolar disorder in addition to addiction, our treatment center offers a dual diagnosis treatment option that can help you recover.
In addition to our dual diagnosis treatment programs, our services include:
- Drug and alcohol rehab
- Inpatient drug rehab program
- 90-day treatment program
- Intensive outpatient program
- Aftercare treatment
By combining advanced treatment models and accurate diagnoses in a safe, supportive environment, we give each client an excellent recovery opportunity. If you are ready to find hope for the future and the healthy coping skills you need each day, reach out to San Antonio Recovery Center today at 866.957.7885, or contact us online.