Similar to the effects of addiction, bipolar disorder can affect a person’s emotional and physical well-being. People with bipolar and addiction disorder have a higher economic instability rate, more unexpected injuries, can experience relationship problems, and a higher suicide rate than the general population.

According to a study, about 60 percent of people with bipolar have or had some history of substance abuse and addiction.

What Is Bipolar Personality Disorder?

A bipolar personality disorder is a mental disorder that is characterized by unexpected and intense changes in behavior, mood, and energy levels. Symptoms range from emotional high (mania or hypomania), emotional low (depression), and mixed episodes.

Mental health disorders, like anxiety, depression, and bipolar, occur due to chemical imbalances in the brain. These conditions can be triggered by interpersonal conflicts and interaction with people. Mental illness and mood disorders are complex conditions that affect 46.6 million adults in the United States.

Some symptoms of bipolar personality disorder include:

  • Trouble controlling thoughts or managing emotions
  • Unstable and intense relationship with people
  • Intense and uncontrollable fear of abandonment
  • Moment to moment swings with their mood, behavior, emotions, self-image, and relationship with people
  • Impulsive and sometimes reckless nature
  • Self-harm or suicidal feelings
  • Paranoia
  • Depression
  • Mania

Are Bipolar Personality Disorder and Addiction Connected?

Yes, there is a link between bipolar personality disorder and addiction. People with a bipolar personality disorder often turn to drugs or alcohol to ease their depressive and mania symptoms. 

However, in some cases, bipolar disorder is triggered by substance abuse. Addiction causes changes to happen to the brain. It may cause the brain to depend on the drug, creating a compulsive need to consume drugs. 

In severe cases, addiction can rewire the brain, causing chemical changes that can lead to bipolar.

Therefore, people without mental health conditions before their addiction can develop bipolar, and people living with bipolar often have the urge to turn to drug use, leading to addiction.

According to research, gender and age can play a role. Older people with bipolar are less likely to turn to substance use compared to younger ones. And men with addiction are more likely to have self-destructive impulses than women or older men.

Diagnosis of Bipolar Personality Disorder

Substance abuse can make bipolar symptoms worse, and most times, people with both conditions find recovery challenging.

In many circumstances, bipolar disorder may go unnoticed and undiagnosed in individuals with addiction. Diagnosing bipolar and addiction can be difficult because they have symptoms in common. 

Although it may be difficult, it is also very feasible to diagnose bipolar personality disorder and a substance use disorder. If you or someone you know is struggling with both, it’s important to seek addiction treatment at a dual-diagnosis rehab. 

How Can I Get Help if I Have Bipolar Personality Disorder and Addiction?

As mentioned above, addiction can negatively affect a bipolar personality disorder. It’s imperative to treat addiction and bipolar personality disorder together. By going to a dual-diagnosis rehab, both disorders can be addressed. The following are offered during dual-diagnosis addiction treatment: 

  • Medications

Medications for addiction help to ease withdrawal symptoms which people will experience during detoxification.

Medications for bipolar help balance and calm a person’s manic or depressive mood. Popular drugs used are lithium, benzodiazepines, and antipsychotics.

  •  Therapy

Therapy involves different approaches to address feelings, impulses, and thoughts that lead to addiction. A professional therapist will help you analyze and examine your feelings. The therapeutics approaches also teach skills to manage and regulate your emotions, which help you to control your actions. Therapy will also help teach you the coping skills needed to live with bipolar personality disorder.

Seek Dual-Diagnosis Treatment at Enlight Treatment Center

If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction and bipolar personality disorder, it’s best to seek treatment for both at a dual-diagnosis rehab. While traditional rehab addresses addiction, dual-diagnosis is able to address both. 

At Enlight Treatment Center, we offer integrated treatment and dual-diagnosis approaches to tackle substance abuse and co-occurring mental conditions like bipolar together. 

Chances of relapse are higher if the focus is on treating one condition while ignoring the other. That’s why our specialists offer intensive diagnosis and treatment to clients with both conditions.

Contact us today for high-quality and effective treatment methods that promise long-term recovery.

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