Substance abuse disorders, including addiction and alcoholism, and mental health conditions, like bipolar disorder, are both chronic, incurable and progressive diseases. Mental health symptoms, especially when left untreated, can become disabling. Mental health disorders can also increase your risk of using or abusing drugs and alcohol. When you have a co-occurring disorder, like bipolar and addiction, symptoms of one condition can aggravate the other.
For example, if your bipolar disorder is causing depression, you may self-medicate by using drugs and alcohol in excess. When you have a co-occurring disorder, it is important to seek help from a bipolar disorder treatment program to ensure both of your conditions are treated side-by-side.
How Bipolar and Addiction Are Linked
Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder that causes significant and intense periods of depression and mania. Depressive and manic episodes last for at least several weeks. You can rotate immediately between depressive episodes and manic episodes or have periods of stability in between episodes. Bipolar disorder can also cause:
- Poor decision making
- Suicidal ideation
- Altered thinking and logic
- Lowered inhibitions and risk-taking behaviors
Nearly half of all people with a substance abuse disorder have a co-occurring mental health disorder, so bipolar and substance abuse co-exist regularly. Addiction and substance abuse disorders cause changes to your brain chemistry and prolonged and severe neurotransmitter imbalances. Likewise, neurotransmitter imbalances also occur in bipolar disorder. Therefore, having a substance abuse disorder and bipolar disorder can make bipolar medications ineffective.
The severity of neurotransmitter imbalances can require a significant amount of time to fully recover from without help from a substance abuse and bipolar disorder treatment program. A dual diagnosis program can ensure that you have regular access to a mental health treatment team during your recovery.
The first step in the recovery process is detoxing from your substance of choice. Withdrawal symptoms can begin within hours of your last use and make it difficult to remain abstinent. The intensity of symptoms can leave you bed-ridden without treatment.
Addiction detox programs can monitor your physical and mental health symptoms and use medications and other therapies to alleviate your symptoms. A dual diagnosis detox center can also ensure that your mental health symptoms are treated, as mental health symptoms can magnify during detox. Withdrawal symptoms typically last for several days, but no more than a week. You can experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms during early recovery, but the symptoms are mild and temporary.
Following detox, you can choose to attend inpatient or outpatient treatment. If you have a severe addiction, a co-occurring condition or multiple attempts at recovery, inpatient offers the highest level of care and support. Outpatient treatment programs can be used as a step-down following completion of a residential program.
Reaching Out for Help Today
If you are struggling with a substance abuse problem, like bipolar and addiction, treatment is only a phone call away. Call us today at 866.782.0247 to learn more about how our nationally recognized substance abuse and mental health treatment programs can help you find recovery.