Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes instability in the psychology of the brain. An individual who has bipolar disorder experiences dramatic changes in their emotional state as well as changes to cognitive functioning, behavior, and judgement. Bipolar disorder can result in changes in mood from depressed to manic high in just days or weeks. The occurrence of substance abuse is much higher for individuals who suffer from bipolar disorder than when considering the population as a whole.
When both issues are present, the potential for a negative outcome is higher. With drug abuse and bipolar disorder, there are therapy options but you must first be diagnosed. With the two conditions, you would need to seek assistance for dual diagnosis. You will not only need to be treated for the drug abuse but also for the bipolar disorder. This can be difficult, especially when dealing with drug abuse. Dual diagnosis treatment centers offer the treatment options for multiple mental health conditions, including bipolar disorder, along with drug abuse and alcohol abuse to assist you in living a healthy lifestyle.
Why Treatment is More Difficult
When you have been given a dual diagnosis, you will find that treatment can be difficult, especially with bipolar disorder. Individuals who are bipolar will experience times of intense depression that can have time frames of heightened activity as well as self-importance in exaggerated measures. The emotional instability can start to interfere with the recovery process and make it hard for you to stick with a treatment plan.
With a dual diagnosis program, you will have a rehabilitation program customized to your needs. The complex psychiatric condition takes planning by professionals in the mental health industry to ensure that both the bipolar symptoms as well as the drug abuse issues are handled with care. Such programs are staffed by individuals who are specially trained and have the credentials to deal with both conditions.
How are Drug Addiction and Bipolar Related?
One reason to explain why the bipolar condition and drug addiction are related is due to self-medication. Individuals who are bipolar tend to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol as a way to cope with the symptoms of the disorder. Symptoms can include anxiety, depression, pain or sleeplessness. However, on the opposite end of the spectrum, individuals who use drugs and are bipolar can also see the drug use trigger their manic or depressed moods.
Research has found that young men are more likely to use drugs as a coping mechanism when suffering from bipolar disorder than females or older males. Brain chemistry has also been found to possibly be an influence in regards to drug use and bipolar disorder. Individuals have been found to have levels of dopamine, serotonin, and nor epinephrine in abnormal amounts when dealing with bipolar disorder which can affect the functions of the body such as sleep, response to stress, appetite, and metabolism. When drugs are used, the brain processes are interfered with and this can cause depression and emotional instability.
Bipolar Disorder Symptoms
It is not uncommon for an individual to feel an intense episode of an emotion such as sadness or anger. But when someone has bipolar disorder, the episodes of emotions are uncontrollable. With a bipolar diagnosis, there are four major mood episodes types that are used to characterize the individual. These are: Mania, hypomania, depression and mixed episodes.
Each category has its own subcategories which are used during the evaluation process by a mental health professional. If you or someone you know has dealt with substance abuse in the past and might be facing a bipolar disorder, an evaluation is a must. Once assessed by a mental health professional, assistance can be provided for dual diagnosis which can lead to a healthier and happier life.