Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes dramatic shifts in mood, ranging from more active ("manic") to depressive symptoms. It is most frequently initially detected in young adults between their late teens and mid-20’s. People suffering from bipolar disorder often experience difficulty at work, school and in relationships due to the instability of their behavior.
Understanding Bipolar Behavior
It can be challenging to accurately diagnose bipolar disorder, because outside of some extreme emotional episodes, people dealing with the disorder can appear to be normally functioning individuals. During these emotional episodes however, sufferers can go from extreme joy and excitement to disabling depression in just a short period of time.
Some Bipolar Disorder Symptoms
- Accelerated speech
- Lack of concentration
- Restlessness and irritability
- Difficulty with sleeping
- Erratic and impulsive decision making
Bipolar Disorder, Alcoholism and Drug Abuse
Like most mental disorders, bipolar disorder is often linked to alcoholism and drug addiction. Over 50 percent of people diagnosed with bipolar disorder also struggle with substance abuse, according to multiple studies. There are several reasons for this.
In many cases, mental health issues like bipolar disorder are genetic – just like a large portion of alcohol and drug addictions. Additionally, people struggling with the disorder deal with extreme levels of depression, which often leads them to use drugs or alcohol as coping mechanisms. The same can be said for the extreme levels of euphoria experienced, which can lead to more impulsive behaviors and bad decision making associated with substance abuse.
Treatment Strategies for Bipolar Disorder
Though there are medications to help alleviate symptoms and episodes associated with bipolar disorder, it is a condition which needs to be managed over a lifetime; medication alone is not enough. Effective treatment requires expert psychotherapeutic approaches and appropriate medication.
The mental health experts at Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches will conduct a thorough psychiatric examination in our inpatient residential treatment program. We will then create a tailored treatment plan for you or your loved one.
The primary focus of treatment for bipolar disorder is healing, education and empowerment. We want to put our patients in the best position to achieve continued long-term success and allow them to safely reenter society and live free of fear from relapses.
Alcoholism and Bipolar Disorder Treatments Available
Left untreated, bipolar disorder can cause a person great difficulties and inconveniences in their personal and professional lives. When combined with addiction, the results are destructive and can often be deadly. Unfortunately, many people don’t seek the help they need for either disease – allowing issues to exacerbate out of control. If you or a loved one is struggling with bipolar disorder, alcoholism or both, our experienced and compassionate professionals can help.