Rehab for Addicts with Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is defined by Anxiety and Depression Association of America as a cycle of mood swings that can be gradual or severe, characterized by high highs and low lows. Many with disorder find it impossible to maintain employment, relationships or friendships – and many turn to drugs and alcohol in an attempt to “self-medicate” the moods that are most uncomfortable to them.
Types of Bipolar Disorder
There is more than one type of bipolar disorder and, though similar, the effects and treatments can be slightly varied. They include:
- Bipolar I disorder: More than one manic episode or mixed episode that has no recognizable source or reason for being.
- Bipolar II disorder: Depressive episodes are followed by hypomanic episodes and the symptoms are highly disruptive to work, school or personal goals. Patients may or may not remember the hypomanic episodes.
- Cyclothymia: At least two years of fluctuating hypomanic and depressive moods with symptom-free periods that are no longer than two months.
- Bipolar disorder not otherwise specified: When bipolar symptoms do not fit the description of the other types of bipolar disorder.
Manic Phase of Bipolar Disorder
- Also called mania, or the “high” phase
- Mild highs are called “hypomania”
- Characterized by high energy and little sleep
- Can last for days or even weeks
- Person may be irritable or display inappropriate social behavior
Drug Addiction Makes Bipolar Symptoms Worse
Too often, patients who struggle with bipolar disorder attempt to deal with the symptoms that are most uncomfortable for them with drugs and alcohol. Some take stimulants to pull themselves out of depressive episodes, drink, or take depressants or opiates to quell manic episodes. In many cases, however, those living with bipolar disorder like their manic episodes. Many enjoy the energy burst, the explosion of creativity, and the way they feel throughout. Some attempt to elongate that feeling by taking stimulant drugs like crystal meth, cocaine or prescription stimulants. Unfortunately, though drug use may initially help the patient achieve the desired effect, extended use can mean worsened symptoms, debilitating depression and suicidal behavior.
Depressive Phase of Bipolar Disorder
- Disrupted patterns of sleep
- Disrupted patterns of eating
- Low energy
- Isolated and distanced from others
Medications and Treatment
When bipolar disorder is diagnosed, medication is almost always a crucial component to recovery. Too often, however, patients feel “flat” while taking meds, as compared to the violent emotional roller coaster that was previously “normal” for them. They may try and replace their prescribed medications with street drugs in hopes of enjoying the highs and eradicating the lows. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way and many patients end up developing a full-blown drug addiction and have to contend with that as well as the symptoms of their bipolar disorder.
Is Treatment for Bipolar Disorder and Drug Addiction Right for You?
If you’re ready to learn more about the treatment options available to you that address both mental health issues like bipolar disorder and drug abuse or dependence, contact us today at the phone number listed above. We can help.