Bipolar disorder (BPD) is experienced by around 2.8% of U.S. adults each year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). A mood disorder, BPD can cause individuals to experience phases of mania, depression or both. Dr. Halaris, a psychiatry professor in Chicago, told Everyday Health that BPD can sometimes feel like a rollercoaster; for many individuals, mania can seem like a blessing after a period of depression, but substance use can quickly become a concern if a person is trying to manage their symptoms on their own. He stated,
“Bipolar disorder is more likely to lead to addiction than other mental health disorders. Along with alcohol, nicotine and cocaine use are two of the most common addictions with bipolar disorder.”
If a person is experiencing both BPD and a substance use disorder (SUD) at the same time, this is called a co-occurring disorder. A 2015 study published in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology argued that around 20% of those with BPD have a prevalence of an SUD, and integrated treatment is critical for these concerns. A life in recovery is manageable, however, as long as an individual receives personalized treatment to receive care for their specific needs. Treatment options may involve any of the following:
- Residential treatment
- Individual psychotherapy
- Group therapy
- 12-Step programs
- Holistic activities such as yoga, meditation, art therapy, etc.
- Medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
- And more
As a 2017 article completed by researchers from Florida and Texas noted, both BPD and SUDs can have an impact on each other’s symptoms. If not treated appropriately, one disorder could exacerbate the other’s symptoms – which makes customized treatment even more of a necessity.
If you’ve been struggling with a SUD and a mental illness, such as BPD, at the same time, it’s time to seek help. With the tools and support from the recovery community, you will be able to manage your life much easier. You’re not alone – start your journey today.
Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.