Bipolar Disorder and Substance Abuse

Some studies have found that approximately half of those that are diagnosed with bipolar disorder struggle with substance abuse as well. The chaos and flood of overwhelming feelings associated with rapid cycling can cause individuals to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. Bipolar is characterized by manic highs and periods of extreme lows. An individual in the middle of a manic episode will act out impulsively and irrationally. They may participate in high risk behaviors, such as drug use. During this “high” they may think they are doing great, unaware of the dangerous situations they put themselves in. Manic episodes are often followed by periods of crushing depression. The depressive symptoms often include feelings of worthlessness and regret and loss of energy and enjoyment in activities.

Because the symptoms of bipolar disorder and the behaviors of active addiction are so similar, one disorder can often mask the other, making it difficult to diagnosis. If an individual has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder but continues to abuse drugs and alcohol, any treatment, including medication, they receive for their mental illness cannot be fully effective.

Dual diagnosis treatment refers to the process of treating both disorders alongside each other. Until the substance abuse issue is addressed, a proper diagnosis cannot be made. A rehab center that specializes in dual diagnosis treatment offers clients a combination of therapeutic and psychiatric services with a strong focus on recovery. Relapse prevention groups place a strong emphasis on the way both illnesses can exacerbate one another and how to focus on recovering from both. For example, an individual can go to 12 Step meetings, get a sponsor and begin working the steps, but if he or she does not take the steps to treat their bipolar disorder, such as get on the correct medication and meet regularly with a psychiatrist, they made find themselves susceptible to relapse.

There is a Solution can help you or your loved one get help. We specialize in finding the proper level and type of care for your specific needs. We work with a large network of detox centers, outpatient clinics, residential treatment facilities, dual diagnosis treatment centers, intensive outpatient programs and sober living residences. We can help you find a recovery program that accepts your insurance or can provide an affordable financial option. To speak with someone today, call 1-800-832-5250. Our caring staff is available 24/7 to answer your questions.

Depression and Addiction

Studies have shown that those who suffer from a mental illness are significantly more likely to use drugs and alcohol to the point that it becomes a problem. Rates of depression are 3 to 4 times higher in the addicted population. If an individual is struggling with depression, he or she may find it easier to turn to drinking or using instead of seeking professional help. This can be dangerous as they are at a higher risk for developing a substance abuse problem. And if they already are depressed, alcohol and drugs will in fact exacerbate the depression. If you suspect that you may be struggling with depression and addiction, call 1-800-832-5250.

If you are still actively using, it can be difficult to determine if your depression is a result of your use or an underlying cause of your use.  Prolonged use of drugs has the potential to affect neurological changes in the brain resulting in a depressive state. It is necessary to remove the drugs from the equation in order to make a proper diagnosis. So many of the symptoms of addiction and depression overlap:

  • Disturbed sleep  (insomnia or sleeping all the time)
  • Constant fatigue/lack of energy
  • Feeling of worthlessness and shame
  • High risk behaviors
  • Suicidal Ideation

Risk factors for addiction parallel risk factors for depression. These may be social, environmental and genetic factors.

Dual Diagnosis treatment refers to the process of treating both the mental illness and the addiction concurrently. Getting support for both illnesses is part of a comprehensive treatment process. Individuals suffering from depression who attempt to work a program of recovery for their substance abuse issues but neglect to get help for their underlying issues will experience greater difficulty remaining sober and have higher relapse rates. If you decide to enter into a drug treatment program, you will work with a team of addictions specialists including board certified psychiatrists, licensed therapists and certified addictions counselors. Treatment consists of individual therapy sessions, clinical groups and, if necessary, medication. A multimodal approach is the best way to approach the treatment process and allows for the creation of an individualized recovery program.

There is a Solution is a treatment placement service. We work with a number of dual diagnosis treatment centers that specialize in treating addiction alongside psychiatric illness. Depending on the level of care you require, we can recommend the best facility for your needs. To learn more about how we can help you and your family, call 1-800-832-5250.