UNDERSTANDING THE CONNECTION BETWEEN ADDICTION AND BIPOLAR DISORDER
- January 5, 2019
Have you ever known someone who suffers from intense mood swings, insane bouts of energy, and severe periods of depression? If you know a man or women exhibiting these symptoms, then this individual may be suffering from bipolar disorder, a mental health problem that is extremely dangerous to the victim and those around them. Also classified as manic depression, bipolar disorder takes place when a person is unable to control their emotions and jumps back and forth between periods of extreme sadness and dangerous excitement. Now, imagine how terrible this situation can become when you add addiction to the mix. Unfortunately, various studies have shown that people who suffer from bipolar disorder suffer from a risk of developing addiction (greater than healthy people). Let’s take a closer look so we can understand the comorbid connection between bipolar disorder and addiction.
What Is Dual-Diagnosis?
Based on statistics published in the American Journal of Managed Care, 56% people suffering from bipolar disorder (who served as test subjects in the study) had previously experienced a form of addiction in their lives, while 46% of the subjects already suffered from comorbid drug problems or alcoholism. Furthermore, the researchers discovered that 41% of the bipolar patients had abused drugs or alcohol and had suffered from a form of addiction. As a result of the study, scientists also confirmed that the most widely used drug among these patients was alcohol.
If people are simultaneously suffering from bipolar disorder and addiction, these people are characterized as dual-diagnosis patients, meaning they are suffering from two mental illnesses at the same time.
Chemical Imbalance and Self-Medication
Ultimately, medical professionals cannot fully clarify why bipolar patients exhibit a particularly strong tendency toward drug addiction and alcoholism. One perspective suggests these victims are turning to intoxicating and dangerous substances in an attempt to self-medicate their manic behavior. For example, symptoms like insomnia, anxiety, and pain can be so severe that bipolar patients will use drugs and alcohol, which only aggravates these symptoms.
Also, reports indicate that the brains of bipolar patients contain abnormally high levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine (which directly effect sleep, emotions, and appetite). As a result of these heightened sensations, patients may attempt to use drugs and booze to “stabilize” their internal clockwork.
Seeking Treatment for Drug Addiction or Alcoholism
Always remember that alcohol and drugs do not have control over your life. You do. Are you suffering from a substance use disorder or a severe form of addiction? Do you have a friend or family member suffering from one or more of these debilitating illnesses? If you do, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our counselors and healthcare experts are ready to walk you through every step of the detox and withdrawal process and rehabilitation and guide you towards living a happier, healthier, and freer lifestyle. While the road to recovery might not be an easy road to travel, we promise to help you every step of the way. Take the first step to stay fit, healthy, and safe.
The time for you to take back control of your life is now. If you are interested in one of our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how to overcome your alcohol abuse, drug abuse, or addiction troubles today.