Dealing with addiction is inherently challenging, and when coupled with a mental health issue such as bipolar disorder, things can get worse. Those grappling with both bipolar disorder and addiction encounter unique challenges that call for a unified and integrated approach to treatment.
Bipolar Disorder and Addiction
Bipolar disorder, previously referred to as manic depression, is characterized by extreme changes in an individual’s emotional states, often swinging between manic highs and depressive lows. These extreme fluctuations in mood and energy levels often wreak havoc on the person’s relationships and occupation, affecting their quality of life.
The feelings associated with bipolar disorder can be uncomfortable and many who struggle with this mental health issue may turn to drugs and alcohol to manage symptoms. Many bipolar individuals also enjoy the manic period and may attempt to extend it by taking stimulants. On the other hand, frequent substance use can result in changes in the brain that may trigger the onset of bipolar disorder symptoms. Any of these scenarios can quickly degenerate into addiction.
When an individual is struggling with both addiction and a mental health disorder, they are said to have co-occurring disorders or a dual diagnosis. The coexistence of these conditions can complicate treatment, calling for an integrated approach to address both disorders simultaneously.
Integrated Treatment for Bipolar Disorder and Addiction:
Effective treatment and rehabilitation for those with bipolar disorder and addiction should address both conditions concurrently while providing comprehensive care to meet individual needs. This type of integrated treatment is available on an inpatient or outpatient basis and may include:
- Medication -Medication plays a crucial role in stabilizing mood swings and managing symptoms. Medication for bipolar disorder may include antipsychotics and anticonvulsants while for addiction, medication may be prescribed to help stifle cravings and ease withdrawal symptoms.
- Counseling and psychotherapy – Evidence-based therapeutic approaches e.g. cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) are often employed to address the underlying causes of both substance abuse and mental health issues. Coupled with counseling, these methods can help individuals understand their actions and manage their behavior. Counseling sessions can be on an individual or group basis with the inclusion of family therapy sessions.
- Support groups – Support groups specifically for those with dual diagnoses offer a sense of community and understanding. Sharing experiences with others facing similar challenges can help those in treatment feel supported, empowered, motivated, and less isolated. That’s why such groups are an integral part of drug rehab programs.
- Holistic treatment – Holistic therapies such as mindfulness meditation, yoga, art, or music therapy can complement the treatment of bipolar disorder and addiction, helping to reduce stress, build resilience, and promote overall well-being.
Get Help For Bipolar Disorder and Addiction
If you’re dealing with both addiction and bipolar disorder, you’re facing unique challenges but with proper treatment, you can find long-term recovery. At Findlay Recovery Center in Ohio, we understand the unique challenges those struggling with co-occurring disorders face. That’s why we are dedicated to providing comprehensive, integrated treatment for both disorders, helping to set our clients’ lives back on track. Contact us today to learn more about our integrated treatment options.