An estimated 56 percent of individuals with bipolar disorder had experienced drug or alcohol addiction during their lifetime. Of that group, approximately 46 percent had abused alcohol or were addicted to alcohol. Alcohol is said to be the most commonly abused substance among individuals suffering from bipolar disorder. Misdiagnosis of bipolar disorder co-occurring with substance abuse is common.
Diagnosing Bipolar Disorder
There are four commonly recognized types of bipolar disorder with two types being the most commonly diagnosed. Bipolar I is the classic form of bipolar disorder and used to be called "manic depression." With bipolar I there is no doubt as to whether or not someone is in a manic phase of illness. The individual's behavior and mood is one of extreme elation as their behavior quickly escalates until they are out of control.
Bipolar II is four times more common than bipolar I and is characterized by much less severe manic symptoms. These signs can be harder for people to see in themselves and it is often left up to friends or family to encourage them to get help.
It is thought that age and gender may play a part in the relationship between bipolar and addiction. Substance abuse is said to be more common among young males than in other population groups. It is believed among researchers that brain chemistry may influence both bipolar disorder and substance abuse. It is not uncommon for patients to use drugs or alcohol to self-medicate the symptoms of bipolar disorder.
Treating Bipolar Disorder and Addiction
The treatment of bipolar disorder and addiction requires a unique approach in which both the addiction and bipolar disorder are treated together. The process of detoxification can leave an addict feeling raw and vulnerable causing their mental health to decline rapidly. Dual diagnosis treatment is a specialized approach used to treat patients suffering from both a mental health disorder and substance abuse.
There are a number of medications that can be used in the management and treatment of co-occurring disorders. A combination of medications can be used while completing detox and managing the symptoms of bipolar disorder. Additionally, a rehabilitation program that provides intense treatment for both disorders is advised.
At Silicon Beach Outpatient Center, we are a substance abuse treatment center in Los Angeles, California providing intensive outpatient and outpatient services for substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. Our program provides clients seeking treatment for drug and alcohol addiction with a recovery program that is focused on healing the entire person. Along with therapy, clients receive additional treatments including trauma support, relapse prevention, mindfulness meditation, yoga, transportation and more.
To learn more about treatment for bipolar disorder and addiction available at Silicon Beach Outpatient Center, please call us today at 310.846.8215.