Bipolar disorder (formerly called “manic depression”) and substance addiction often occur together. This is called a co-occurring disorder, or dual diagnosis.
If you’re living with addiction and bipolar disorder, the intense highs and lows can be hard to manage. You may be struggling at home or work, and your personal relationships may be suffering.
Regardless of whether you started using drugs or alcohol to cope with your symptoms or your bipolar symptoms came on after you started using substances, it’s vital to get help from a qualified treatment provider.
Adelante’s residential inpatient program is run by an experienced team of healthcare professionals and addiction specialists who are trained to treat co-occurring bipolar disorder and addiction. Our compassionate team will help you get your symptoms under control so you can get a fresh start.
Keep reading for more information about bipolar disorder and how Adelante Recovery Center treats substance addiction plus bipolar disorder.
What Is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings. These mood swings alternate between intense emotional highs (called mania) and periods of depression.
Some people with bipolar disorder rarely have mood swings. Others experience them several times a year. Some people experience emotional symptoms between episodes, while others have none.
There are four types of episodes people with bipolar disorder may experience:
- Manic episodes – During a manic episode a person with bipolar disorder may be abnormally upbeat and talkative; they may be highly energetic and appear to have an exaggerated sense of self-confidence (euphoria) or well-being. They may have racing thoughts, and they may be highly distractible or agitated. Manic episodes can lead to poor decision making—for example, going on buying sprees or taking sexual risks.
- Hypomanic episodes – Hypomanic episodes cause the same symptoms as manic episodes, but hypomania is less severe and typically doesn’t last as long.
- Major depressive episodes – A major depressive episode causes debilitating symptoms that can make it hard to function day-to-day. Symptoms can include depressed mood (feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or emptiness); feelings of worthlessness or guilt; loss of interest in almost all activities; significant weight loss, weight gain, or appetite changes; insomnia or sleeping too much; restlessness; trouble thinking clearly or concentrating; and thinking about or attempting suicide. When a person has five or more of these symptoms, it is considered a major depressive episode.
- Mixed episodes – Some people with bipolar disorder have mixed episodes. These episodes can include symptoms of manic, hypomanic, and major depressive episodes.
There are two categories of bipolar disorder: bipolar I and bipolar II disorder.
People with bipolar I disorder experience one or more manic/mixed episodes followed by major depressive episodes or hypomanic episodes. Those with bipolar II disorder have one or more major depressive episodes followed by a hypomanic episode. Bipolar I disorder is considered a more severe form than bipolar II disorder.
The Link Between Bipolar Disorder and Addiction
Like other mental health conditions, having bipolar disorder increases a person’s risk for substance abuse. Conversely, abusing substances can contribute to the development of bipolar disorder—this is called substance-induced bipolar disorder.
People often experience the two conditions together. Data show that around 1 in 4 individuals with mental health disorders also have a substance use disorder, and this number may be even higher for people with bipolar disorder.
There are three main pathways that contribute to the connection between bipolar disorder and addiction, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA):
- Genetic differences may contribute to both conditions
- Bipolar disorder symptoms may drive a person to use substances
- Using substances may contribute to the development of bipolar disorder (substance-induced bipolar disorder)
Bipolar disorder and substance abuse/addiction is a dangerous combination. These two conditions can feed off each other, worsening the symptoms of the other.
If you experience extreme mood swings or have diagnosed bipolar disorder and you’ve lost control over your drinking or drug use, it’s important to get help as soon as possible from a treatment center that specializes in treating co-occurring disorders.
Treatment Options for Bipolar Disorder and Addiction
Treating co-occurring bipolar disorder and addiction involves tackling both problems at once. Treatment programs typically use a combination of mood-stabilizing medications and therapy.
Medications to manage bipolar mood swings may include:
People with more severe drug or alcohol addictions may need to go through a detox program to rid the body of chemical substances. During this process, treatment providers may also prescribe medications to stifle cravings and ease withdrawal symptoms.
Therapy is a core part of most addiction treatment programs and has proven benefits. Most treatment centers offer private therapy sessions (individual counseling) with a trained therapist, as well as group therapy sessions. Each has its benefits. Some facilities also offer family counseling.
One of the most effective and frequently used therapeutic tools is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). It helps people address the thought patterns and beliefs that can lead to destructive behaviors. Clients learn how to recognize self-defeating thoughts and replace them with healthier coping strategies.
Other research-based therapies include motivational interviewing, trauma therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), and eye-movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR).
Adelante’s Addiction Treatment Program for People with Bipolar Disorder
Adelante Recovery Center offers world-class care for people struggling with co-occurring bipolar disorder and substance addiction. Our specialized treatment program in Orange County helps people who have moderate to severe addictions plus bipolar disorder.
Clients in our program live on-site and receive round-the-clock supervision, care, and support. Treatment lasts anywhere between 4 and 12 weeks, but it all depends on your individual needs. Our experienced administrative and clinical teams will offer guidance on which level of care is best for you.
Clients in our specialized treatment program benefit from:
- On-site medical experts and trained therapists
- Medication management by experienced clinicians
- Private treatment center with ocean views and access to open space
- Luxury amenities in a home-like setting
Our beautiful Orange County treatment center in Corona del Mar is the ideal setting for healing and recovery. Beautiful ocean views help clients relax and unwind so they can focus on recovery. We’ve thoughtfully designed our Southern California inpatient drug rehab programs to feel like home away from home.
Call us to learn more about our drug rehab program and for a tour of our addiction treatment center.