Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs. People who suffer from bipolar disorder may experience these mood changes over a span of weeks or even days.

In a depressed state, a person may feel unhappy and hopeless for long periods of time. These people may also feel numb toward activities they enjoy doing and isolate themselves from others. In a manic state, a person may be highly irritable and experience energy surges. These extreme changes in mood can affect every aspect of a person’s life.

People with bipolar disorder are more at risk of using substances as a coping mechanism. This can cause severe health problems and worsen the symptoms of bipolar disorder. If you or a loved one may be struggling with bipolar disorder and substance use, contact us to learn about our bipolar dual diagnosis treatment options.

What are the Different Types of Bipolar Disorder?

There are multiple types of bipolar disorder and related mental health conditions including hypomania and depression. The symptoms of bipolar disorder can cause extreme mood swings that negatively affect a person’s health and well-being.

Those diagnosed with Bipolar I have had at least one manic episode before or after a long period of depression or hypomania. Hypomania is a milder form of mania where people may experience euphoria and high energy. Mania may cause a person to feel a detachment from reality, known as psychosis.

People with this form of bipolar experience the most sudden and severe mood swings. Those who suffer from the effects of Bipolar I are functionally impaired and must be hospitalized for safety reasons.

People with Bipolar II disorder have experienced episodes of depression or hypomania, but have never had a manic episode. This is a milder form of bipolar, but it can still have negative effects on a person’s livelihood. Those with Bipolar II may experience longer periods of depression and hypomania, but mood changes will not be as dramatic.

This disorder is characterized by milder episodes of depression and hypomania that are not as strong as Bipolar I and II.

Signs and Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder can be confused with other mental illnesses, so it is important to understand the signs and symptoms. Bipolar disorder causes severe mood changes that range from depressive lows to manic highs.

Depressive Symptoms

  • Sadness
  • Anxiety
  • Changes in mood, appetite, and sleeping patterns
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Loss of interest
  • An impending sense of doom
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Social isolation

Manic Symptoms

  • High energy
  • Elevated mood
  • High self-confidence
  • Excessive talking
  • Loss of sleep
  • Irritable

It is important to be wary of these symptoms as they can worsen over time. Although bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition, symptoms can be eased with treatment. If you or a family member are struggling with bipolar disorder, look into treatment options.

Request a Confidential Callback

Causes and Risk Factors of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is nearly impossible to predict or prevent, so it is important to know the causes and risk factors. It is critical to seek treatment for bipolar disorder if you or a loved one experiences a depressive or manic episode. Those who do not receive treatment for this condition may turn to drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism.

The origins of bipolar disorder are still unknown, but there are certain factors that can lead to the development of this mental illness.

Genetics is one of the major causes of bipolar disorder. According to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, about two-thirds of people with bipolar disorder have at least one family member with a severe mood disorder.

Neurological factors can cause severe mood disorders if the chemicals in the brain are imbalanced. Neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin, control a person’s mood. If these chemicals are imbalanced, people may experience depressive or manic episodes.

Children are especially susceptible to mood disorders while the brain is still developing. Growing up in a stressful, violent, or chaotic environment can cause bipolar disorder among other developmental issues.

Understanding the causes and risk factors of bipolar disorder can help people identify and address this condition in a timely manner. People may go years without knowing they have bipolar disorder, which can cause severe mental impairment. Look into immediate treatment options if you or a loved one is showing signs of bipolar disorder.

How Can Bipolar Disorder Lead to Addiction?

Dealing with bipolar disorder can be difficult and many turn to substance use to alleviate the symptoms. Although substance use can temporarily ease the symptoms of bipolar disorder, it can lead to serious consequences.
bipolar dual diagnosis

Using substances while struggling with a mental illness typically intensifies the symptoms of bipolar disorder and leads to addiction. After a certain period of time, the effects of substance use will wear off. To get the same symptom relief, people have to consume a larger dosage of drugs or alcohol. At this point, people are reliant on substances to feel normal.

Bipolar disorder can cause people to have episodes of depression or mania. People may try to regulate their emotions by turning to substance use. Substance use and addiction may feel impossible to overcome, but there is hope.

Here at Magnolia City Detox, we have a variety of treatment options designed to treat people with addiction and a co-occurring disorder.

What is a Co-Occurring Disorder?

A co-occurring disorder is when someone struggling with substance use and addiction is also diagnosed with a mental disorder. Treating substance use with a co-occurring disorder is extremely complex. Both substance use and mental disorders must be treated together in order to maximize the effectiveness of a dual diagnosis program.

The effects of substance use and a co-occurring disorder can cause further mental impairment and comprehensive treatment is required to treat both simultaneously. Those who struggle with substance use and a co-occurring disorder experience major dysfunction in all aspects of their life. Substance use with a co-occurring disorder may affect:

  • Relationships
  • Work
  • Mental health
  • Mood
  • Overall stability

Bipolar Dual Diagnosis

Bipolar dual diagnosis is a treatment program that is specifically designed to treat people struggling with both addiction and bipolar disorder. Those with bipolar dual diagnosis face some of the most extreme challenges when it comes to treatment.

The combination of bipolar symptoms and addiction symptoms has a severe effect on a person’s mental health and overall well-being. Bipolar is a mood disorder that causes periods of repeating depressive and manic episodes. Using substances with bipolar disorder can cause prolonged episodes that are much stronger. Those with bipolar dual diagnosis are likely to:

  • Have longer and more frequent depressive or manic episodes
  • Experience suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Face legal or financial consequences
  • Experience relationship dysfunction

It can be hard for people to accept that they need treatment so it is important to have a close friend or family member for motivation and encouragement. Most people who seek out treatment do not do so until years after their addiction has developed. This means that symptoms have greatly intensified which makes recovery much more difficult.


Treatment for Bipolar Dual Diagnosis

Treatment for bipolar dual diagnosis requires a multi-step approach that is tailored to the needs of each individual. It is the most costly treatment because of its effects on a person’s mental and physical health. Medical professionals work together to provide unique treatment that is designed to ease the recovery process and prevent relapse.

The treatment required for bipolar dual diagnosis is complex. Some of the major steps of bipolar dual diagnosis treatment include

In order to minimize the effects of bipolar disorder, clients may receive mood stabilizers such as antipsychotics and anticonvulsants. This helps mitigate the symptoms of depressive and manic episodes and helps stabilize mood.

Different forms of psychotherapy such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and family therapy are used to help patients develop skills necessary for recovery. Psychotherapy is effective in treating bipolar dual diagnosis because it helps clients

  • Create healthy habits
  • Manage stress
  • Develop coping skills
  • Address underlying issues
  • Improve self-confidence

Joining a dual-diagnosis support group is a critical component of the recovery process. Support groups help people connect and relate with others who are going through recovery. Finding common ground and listening to others share their experiences can help clients discover more about themselves.

Lifestyle modifications can make the recovery process much easier in many different ways. Eating healthy, engaging in regular exercise, and adhering to a consistent sleep schedule will alleviate the symptoms of addiction and bipolar disorder.

Receive Bipolar Dual Diagnosis Treatment at Magnolia City Detox in Houston, TX

Here at Magnolia City Detox, we are committed to helping you get the treatment you deserve. Our bipolar dual-diagnosis treatment program is designed to mitigate the effects of bipolar disorder and break the cycle of addiction.

Don’t let addiction take control of your life. If you or a loved one is seeking treatment for bipolar dual diagnosis, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Dr. Olaniyi O. Osuntokun

Dr. Olaniyi O. Osuntokun is a Neurology & Psychiatry Specialist based in Conroe, Texas, and Lafayette, Indiana. He has extensive experience in treating Individuals with substance use disorders and addiction. He earned his medical degree from University of Ibadan College of Medicine and has been in practice for more than 20 years.

Table of Contents
Scroll to Top
Skip to content