Bipolar Disorder and Addiction Treatment: Signs and Symptoms

by | Nov 8, 2022

Addiction can be a challenging and isolating struggle, but it is important to remember that you are not alone. If you are seeking addiction treatment in Louisville, Kentucky, there is hope.

Extreme mood and energy swings are a symptom of bipolar disorder, a mental health disease. It is characterized by both periods of despair and intervals of significantly heightened mood, or “manic episodes.” 

Addiction and bipolar disorder are closely related; about 60% of bipolar disorder sufferers will battle these issues at some point in their lives. Bipolar disorder patients are more inclined to experiment with drugs and alcohol, according to studies. 

In addition, they may use stimulants like cocaine or methamphetamines to treat their depression and depressants like alcohol and painkillers to prevent manic episodes.

Bipolar disorder causes severe changes in emotional states, cognitive function, judgment, and behavior in addition to the usual mood swings. Depending on the type of the condition and the characteristics of their episodes, people with bipolar disorder can go from a depressive to a manic high in a matter of weeks or even days. 

Bipolar disorder has a wide range of negative outcomes, including difficulties in relationships and at work, a higher risk of suicide, and a general reduction in quality of life.

Substance misuse flips the bipolar condition the other way in both situations, turning mania into depression and vice versa. Even though it might be a fast fix, this is ultimately incredibly ineffective. 

The phrase “dual diagnosis” is used to describe this condition when a person has both a mental health condition (such as bipolar disorder and addiction) or a drug misuse issue at the same time. A person with two different ailments, each requiring its own treatment strategy, is said to have a dual diagnosis and needs special care at a treatment center.

Symptoms and Signs Sometimes the symptoms of addiction and bipolar disorder are so similar that it can be difficult for a person without medical training to tell which is which. Even though it can be challenging to spot them, it’s important to understand how to spot the indicators of bipolar disorder and addiction. The warning indicators include the following:

  • You struggle to recall the last time you were completely content with a life devoid of drugs or alcohol. 
  • You turn to drugs or alcohol in an effort to get rid of your tension, worry, and anxiety.
  • Anxiety can only be eased by particular routines and behaviors. 
  • You struggle to maintain employment or complete your academic or professional obligations. 
  • Using drugs and alcohol as coping strategies. 
  • Abrupt changes in energy or mood. extreme anxiety or tension. 
  • An inability to focus Relationship difficulties due to behavior or mood swings. 
  • You isolate yourself from loved ones, friends, and anyone who can help you. 
  • Intense or enduring dejection, hopelessness, or worthlessness. alterations in sleeping habits (excessive sleep or insomnia). 
  • Changes in weight or appetite. 
  • Suicidal thoughts.

Temporary effects 

Patients with bipolar disorder who misuse drugs or alcohol claim that it lessens their violent mood swings, racing thoughts, and obsessive thought patterns. It is also said that stimulants like meth and cocaine might lessen the symptoms of depression. 

The manic and depressed symptoms of bipolar illness are subordinated when a patient utilizes an addictive substance. This gives them complete control over their brain and has a direct impact on the neurotransmitters, which then flood the brain with pleasurable compounds like dopamine and serotonin.

Withdrawal Symptoms 

When a person with bipolar disorder abruptly ceases taking the drug to which they are addicted, they experience agonizing withdrawal symptoms. Depending on the substance being misused, withdrawal symptoms can appear anywhere from 90 minutes to a day after the last dose. 

The ‘crash’ phase, which is the crash that follows the ‘high’ from the substance ingested, is when withdrawal symptoms become apparent. The patient will go through this stage with low energy and mood. Suicidal thoughts and depression can also develop.

For bipolar addicts, the physical, psychological, and emotional discomforts that come along with withdrawal symptoms include: 

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Hostility
  • Fatigue
  • Body aches
  • Chills
  • Nightmares

Treatment for Recovery A very particular, custom treatment is needed for both bipolar disorder and addiction. The best treatment for bipolar and addiction is integrated dual diagnosis, in which the patient receives treatment for both their bipolar disease and substance misuse. 

For those trying to recover from alcohol and drug addiction, private rehab facilities offer treatment and services that have been particularly tailored so look to admit yourself

Benefits of rehab 

There is no waiting list, therefore admittances are immediate. 

  • Careful and supportive medical detox 
  • Combat the underlying causes of addiction 
  • Experienced medical and therapeutic staff 
  • An individually tailored rehabilitation program 
  • Improve your appearance, mood, sleep, and confidence. 
  • Study relapse prevention methods.

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