Bipolar & Addiction
The Link Between Bipolar & Addiction
About 2.8% of U.S. adults struggle with bipolar disorder, according to the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R). One study found that almost half of people with bipolar disorder also struggle with substance abuse in their lifetime. Treatment for both conditions can be essential for finding long-lasting recovery.
What are Bipolar Disorders?
Experts categorize mood episodes as manic, hypomanic, or depressive with bipolar disorder. A neutral mood may occur in between episodes of depression and mania.
This condition can disrupt relationships with family, friends, and loved ones. Difficulties working and going to school may occur when in a depressive or manic episode. Receiving treatment for bipolar disorder can help with living a productive and full life.
Types of Bipolar Disorders
Three categories of bipolar disorder include²:
Depressive episodes can include:
Manic episodes typically include:
What is Addiction?
Addiction can manifest with:
Signs of Addiction
Emotional and behavior changes linked with addiction include:
Dual Diagnosis: Bipolar & Addiction
Gender and age also affect addiction development. Young adults have a greater risk of participating in reckless behaviors or abusing substances compared to other individuals. Men have a greater chance of engaging in illicit drug and start using substances at a younger age than women.
Brain chemistry also is a contributing factor. Irregular norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin levels can increase the risk of developing a co-occurring disorder.
Co-occurring alcohol or drug addiction also magnifies bipolar disorder’s negative outcomes. Because of this, inquiring about combining therapies that will target both addiction and bipolar disorder may be beneficial.
Treatment for Bipolar & Addiction
Healthy Life Recovery in San Diego, CA, offers dual diagnosis treatment for bipolar disorders and addiction. If you or a loved one are struggling with bipolar and addiction, reach out to us today. Our team can answer any questions you may have and give you a better understanding of our outpatient program.
Medically Reviewed By:
Dr. Sanjai Thankachen
Dr. Sanjai Thankachen graduated from Adichunchanagiri Institute of Medicine in 2000. He completed his residency in psychiatry in 2008 at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in New York. Dr. Thankachen is currently working with Pacific Neuropsychiatric Specialists in an outpatient practice, as well as working at multiple in-patient psychiatric and medical units bringing his patients the most advanced healthcare treatment in psychiatry. Dr. Thankachen sees patients with an array of disorders, including depression, bipolar illness, schizophrenia, anxiety, and dementia-related problems.
Edited for Clinical Accuracy By:
Sean Leonard, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Sean Leonard is a board-certified psychiatric nurse practitioner. He received his master’s degree in adult geriatric primary care nurse practitioner from Walden University and a second postmaster specialty in psychiatry mental health nurse practitioner from Rocky Mountain University. Sean has experience working in various diverse settings, including an outpatient clinic, inpatient detox and rehab, psychiatric emergency, and dual diagnosis programs. His specialty areas include substance abuse, depression, anxiety, mood disorders, PTSD, ADHD, and OCD.
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