How Bipolar Disorder Affects Addiction?

If you’re suffering from addiction,  you also may be suffering from a mood disorder such as bipolar disorder.  More than half of those who suffer from bipolar disorder also suffer from addiction to drugs or alcohol.  If you suspect that you may be suffering from a mental illness such as bipolar disorder, it’s important to seek bipolar disorder treatment.


Do I Have Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is one of the most common mental health issues for those with addictions.  The older and more common name is manic depression.  It is characterized by mood swings, being “up” and having high energy for a period, followed by a “down” time when you feel low and have little energy to do things.  These mood swings can cause problems in everyday life and can be highly destructive to your life.  This is why it is important that someone who suffers from addiction should also consider treatment for bipolar disorder if they are diagnosed with this disease.  It is believed that 60 percent of those addicted to drugs or alcohol are also suffering from a mental illness.  The National Institute of Mental Health published a study which showed 56 percent of those who had bipolar disease were also substance abusers.  So, there is a good chance that you might have bipolar disorder if you are a substance abuser.

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

Obviously, the symptoms of bipolar include a manic phase and a depressed phase, but how they manifest themselves in a person can vary.  That is why it is important to seek bipolar disorder treatment if you think you might have bipolar disorder.   Symptoms include:

For manic episodes

  • Having high energy
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Feeling up or high
  • Being more active than normal
  • Attempt risky things like gambling or dangerous stunts
  • Become agitated or angry easily
  • Talk faster than normal
  • Feeling wired or jumpy
  • Racing thoughts
  • Think they can do several things at once

For depressive episodes

  • Feeling down or depressed
  • Has little energy
  • Sleep too much, or has trouble sleeping
  • Forgets things
  • Has trouble focusing
  • Feels tired all the time
  • Thinks about suicide or death
  • Either overeats or under eats
  • Doesn’t enjoy normal pastimes

Types of Bipolar Disorder

There are four different types of bipolar disorder:

  • Bipolar I Disorder is characterized by a week-long (or longer) manic episodes or episodes that are so severe that you have to be hospitalized.  Depressive episodes last at least two weeks.  Your depressive episodes may have a mixture of manic and depressive characteristics.
  • Bipolar II Disorder is characterized by less severe manic episodes called “hypomanic.” You will also get depressive episodes.
  • Cyclothymic Disorder is characterized by depressive episodes which last two years and hypomanic episodes that do not fit the other categories.
  • Unspecified Bipolar Disorder is a bipolar disorder that doesn’t match the other three types.

Does Bipolar Disorder Cause Addiction or does Addiction Cause Bipolar Disorder?

When you have two conditions that need to be treated, they are called “comorbid.”  It isn’t that the addiction causes the disease — the disease is often already present and hasn’t appeared until the drugs or alcohol cause it to manifest itself.  Another possible explanation is that people who have these diseases may seek drugs or alcohol in an attempt to escape from the symptoms bipolar disorder causes.  By seeking treatment for bipolar disorder, you will be treated with medications which can help your symptoms far better than the drugs and alcohol you used.

When looking at bipolar treatment centers, be sure to look at a treatment which helps you with comorbidity.  That way, you are treated for both diseases.  At His and Her Houses, we specialize in treating addiction and bipolar disorder.  Contact us today.