Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, referred to in the past as manic-depressive disorder, is characterized by varying degrees of mood swings, shifts in energy, manic behavior and suicidal thoughts. Those who have bipolar disorder may self-medicate using drugs and/or alcohol to either eliminate or encourage symptoms. However, substance abuse will worsen symptoms of bipolar disorder. A dual diagnosis treatment center will effectively treat bipolar disorder and addiction.

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a fluctuating mood disorder that, if left untreated, can cause tremendous damage to an individual’s life.  The intense emotional instability associated with bipolar disorder can have a negative impact on social, occupational and financial functioning. Average age of onset for both men and women is 20 and genetic predisposition is a factor in bipolar disorder.

There are two different types of bipolar disorder, Bipolar I and Bipolar II, and they are based on specific recurring patterns:

Bipolar I:

  • Extreme changes in mood
  • Manic episodes with psychotic features (hallucinations and/or delusions)
  • Major depressive episodes

Bipolar II:

  • Major depressive episodes
  • Hypomanic episodes absent of psychotic features

Bipolar II is more common in women.

Bipolar I and II have similar symptoms that can be extremely debilitating to the sufferer. Oftentimes, an individual will attempt to control symptoms or cope with the destructiveness of their mood disorder by using drugs and alcohol. The evolving addiction worsens the bipolar disorder and dual diagnosis treatment for addiction is suggested to eliminate substance abuse and help gain control over the mood disorder.

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a combination of manic, hypomanic and depressive episodes. All three have specific features and are measured by levels of severity, duration of time and types of symptom. The combination of mood episodes will indicate whether it is Bipolar I or II that is being diagnosed.

The four mood types in bipolar disorder are:

  • Mania
    • Delusions or hallucinations
    • Racing thoughts
    • High distractibility
    • Insomnia
    • Impulsivity
    • Extra energy
  • Hypomania
    • Less severe manic episodes
    • Absence of psychotic symptoms
  • Depression
    • Thoughts of death or suicide
    • Sadness or feeling empty
    • Sleep problems or loss of energy
    • Irritability
    • Trouble concentrating
  • Mixed
    • Mania or hypomania combined with depression symptoms
    • Extra energy
    • Low mood

Medication for Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a chemical imbalance in the brain that creates extreme fluctuations in mood and behavior. The individual who suffers from bipolar disorder may partake in impulsive and risky behaviors associated with drugs and alcohol that counteract or enhance the symptoms of bipolar disorder. Substance abuse can make episodes of bipolar disorder worse.

Medication for bipolar disorder is often needed. Drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers that treat mental health disorders and addiction will utilize medication for the dual diagnosis treatment of Bipolar disorder and addiction. A list of some of the medication for bipolar disorder:

Looking For Treatment?

Undiagnosed bipolar disorder can be difficult to manage. Once you have added substance abuse to try to handle the symptoms, the problem is compounded. Let Recovery Connection coordinators at 866.812.8231 help find a dual diagnosis treatment center that can provide you with an accurate diagnosis and quality drug and alcohol addiction treatment. Get the support you need and the help you want today.

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