Sometimes referred to as manic-depressive disorder, bipolar disorder affects approximately 4.4 percent of American adults at some point in their lives. Research shows that these individuals are also more likely to develop an addiction.
While studying patients with bipolar disorder, it’s been found that those with mania are 14 times more likely to have a drug abuse disorder and six times more likely to suffer from alcoholism. Sadly, addiction can exacerbate symptoms of bipolar disorder, which is why it’s important to seek treatment. When you participate in an evidence-based treatment dual-diagnosis program, you will learn healthier coping skills.
Signs and Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder causes extreme mood swings, which include emotional highs (known as mania) and debilitating lows (depression). For those affected, when they become depressed, they feel sad and lose interest in activities they typically enjoy. Once their mood shifts to a state of mania, they feel energized and euphoric. However, they can also become irritable.
It’s important to note that there are several types of bipolar disorder, including bipolar I, bipolar II, and bipolar induced by drug or alcohol use.
Although you should always seek the assistance of a trained professional in order to reach a diagnosis, here are some of the warning signs and symptoms associated with bipolar.
During stages of mania or hypomania:
- Increased energy and activity
- Racing thoughts
- Reduced need for sleep
- Unusually upbeat
During stages of major depression:
- Depressed mood
- A loss of interest in activities
- Changes in weight
- Either sleeping too much or sleeping too little
- Poor concentration
What Causes Bipolar Disorder in Adults?
The exact cause of the bipolar disorder is not fully understood. At this time, research suggests that a combination of variables plays a role.
- Genetics — Bipolar disorder tends to run in families, which may mean that certain genes increase your risk of developing this condition. On the other hand, studies in twins have shown that one twin can develop bipolar disorder while the other does not, which suggests that genes are not the only factor.
- Brain structure — Researchers are learning that brain structure may contribute to symptoms of bipolar disorder. However, at this time, individuals are diagnosed based on their symptoms, rather than brain imaging.
- Stressful life events — Trauma, the loss of a loved one, or even moving into a new home can all trigger bipolar symptoms. In these cases, individuals likely have a predisposition to developing bipolar disorder, and these stressors trigger symptoms.
Bipolar disorder may be present at any age. However, it is most often diagnosed in one’s teenage years or early 20s. With that being said, there are many adults who have never received a formal diagnosis.
Treatment for Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar is typically treated with medications and psychotherapy, otherwise known as talk therapy.
Each individual will receive a personalized treatment plan, tailored to their unique needs. For example, it is not uncommon for individuals with bipolar disorder to have other mental health conditions, including eating disorders, psychosis, anxiety disorders, ADHD, or substance use disorders.
When a client comes to Pinnacle Recovery showcasing symptoms of bipolar disorder and addiction, we offer the opportunity to take part in our comprehensive dual-diagnosis program. If you have been using drugs or alcohol to better cope with symptoms of bipolar disorder, it is important to treat both conditions. The goal is to develop healthier coping skills that will allow you to achieve long-term sobriety and a greater quality of life.
At Pinnacle, our treatment programs are evidence-based and holistic. We aim to treat you as a whole, focusing on healing your body and mind. In addition to various therapy options, we also offer nutritional support, experiential therapy, trauma recovery, and so much more.
The first day of the rest of your life can start today — give us a call!