Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes dramatic shifts in mood ranging from more active (“manic”) to depressive symptoms. This disorder is most frequently detected in young adults between their late teens and mid-20s.1 People suffering from bipolar disorder often experience difficulty at work, school, and in relationships due to the instability of their behavior. Many people choose to self-medicate these emotional episodes with drugs and alcohol and the result is the need for behavioral health treatment to address both issues.
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 more emotional episodes, sufferers can go from extreme joy and excitement to disabling depression in just a short period of time. Some common bipolar disorder symptoms to look out for include:
- Accelerated speech
- Lack of concentration
- Restlessness and irritability
- Difficulty with sleeping
- Erratic and impulsive decision making
- Extreme mood swings
Someone who is experiencing these symptoms should look into bipolar disorder treatment options. Though there are medications to help alleviate symptoms and episodes associated with bipolar disorder, medication alone is usually not enough. It is a condition that needs to be managed over a lifetime. Effective bipolar disorder treatment requires expert psychotherapeutic approaches and appropriate medication.
Bipolar Disorder, Alcoholism, and Drug Abuse
Like most mental disorders, bipolar disorder is often linked to alcoholism and drug addiction. In fact, about 56% of people with bipolar disorder suffer from a substance use disorder at some point in their lifetime.2 There are several reasons for this trend.
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 experience with extreme levels of depression that often lead them to use drugs or alcohol as coping mechanisms. The same can be said during the extreme levels of euphoria as this high can lead to more impulsive behaviors and bad decision making associated with substance abuse.
How To Treat Bipolar Disorder
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 even be deadly. Unfortunately, many people don’t seek the help they need for either disease, allowing issues to spiral out of control until it is too late.
At the Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches, we focus on the behavioral health of our patients so that we can treat both their addiction issues while providing them with mental health treatment. Although bipolar disorder treatment is not its own program, we accommodate many patients who suffer from bipolar disorder and addiction problems.
To begin, our South Florida detox center will conduct a thorough psychiatric examination. We will then create a treatment plan for you or your loved one that addresses both problems. Patients may require an alcohol detox to start and then their treatment will focus on 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.
If you or a loved one is struggling with bipolar disorder and substance abuse, our experienced and compassionate professionals want to help. Learn to manage your bipolar disorder in healthy and productive ways while also overcoming your addictions. Contact us to start claiming power over your conditions and to learn more about our Florida alcohol and drug rehab.
- National Institute of Mental Health- Bipolar Disorder
- US National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health- Mood Disorders and Substance Use Disorder: A Complex Comorbidity