Bipolar Disorder and Addiction may co-exist
Addiction develops as a result of attempting to control mood. It is therefore perhaps unsurprising that people experiencing a distressing degree of volatility in their mood, as with bipolar disorder, may reach for substances of one kind or another in the hopes of self-regulation. A high proportion of people diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which can affect men and women from all backgrounds, are found to have a substance-use problem.
Conversely, addiction may bring on such pronounced swings in mood that a bipolar disorder may develop. However, it is suspected that the condition most often predates substance addiction, while going largely unrecognised. Addiction’s cycle of impending withdrawal and renewed use may exacerbate bipolar patterns.
Simultaneous Treatment and Recovery
It is essential to treat addiction and bipolar disorder simultaneously. Clinical assessment will clarify priorities further once withdrawal from addictive substances has been achieved. Recovery Programs for both addiction and bipolar disorder where they co-exist need to be integrated and complement each other. Medication may well be required to treat symptoms of depression, mania or psychosis but psychological therapies, improved understanding of the conditions and related lifestyle changes, particularly where exercise, sleep and diet are concerned, are essential to any treatment and recovery plan.