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Although bipolar disorder and addiction are not officially symptomatic of each other, they often occur concurrently.
These two conditions are commonly related to one another; therefore, many medical professionals will routinely check for substance abuse and addiction in people who have been diagnosed with bipolar mood disorder.
Bipolar disorder is most commonly characterised by extreme fluctuation in mood as well as general energy levels.
Although changes in mood are the most obvious signs of bipolar, there are several other negative effects that this disorder has on those who suffer with it.
These include dramatic changes in:
People who suffer with bipolar mood disorder can change rapidly and uncontrollably from a severely depressed state to an extremely manic high in a matter of days.
Generally speaking, these changes can cause:
Although the exact cause remains unclear, there are some factors that will contribute to developing bipolar mood disorder:
Bipolar disorder and addiction are closely related as a high percentage of people with bipolar are also suffering from some form of addiction or substance abuse.
As with most mental illnesses, people who suffer with bipolar disorder often turn to substance abuse as a means to escape from their emotional states.
During their depressive episodes, they may seek some form of substance which temporarily elevates their mood.
Furthermore, when they are feeling manic and emotionally out of control, they might indulge in a substance which numbs their thoughts and feelings.
In addition, there are many cases where long-term drug and alcohol abuse have caused such significant damage to the chemical structure of the brain that it actually results in an individual inducing the onset of bipolar.
The most obvious change that occurs in the brain is the reward system which makes alcohol and drugs more enjoyable, thereby encouraging further abuse.
This is a dual-diagnosis situation and must be treated as such. Close attention must be paid to the symptoms of mental illness as well as the behaviours associated with addiction.
When patients with a dual-diagnosis such as this one, are treated for both conditions at the same time, the treatment is generally much more successful.
Therefore, it’s crucial that staff in treatment facilities are cross-trained in substance abuse treatment as well as mental health care.
Our staff are compassionate and competent in dual-diagnosis treatment. We take special care when treating patients with bipolar disorder and addiction. Contact us for more information.
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