Understanding Bipolar Disorder

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Mixed episodes Some people with bipolar disorder have mixed episodes. These episodes include traits of manic, hypomanic and major depressive episodes. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders defines bipolar disorder in two categories. These categories are bipolar I and bipolar II disorder. Those with bipolar II disorder have one or more major depressive episodes followed by a hypomanic episode.

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About BIPOLAR DEPRESSION

Bipolar I disorder is more severe than bipolar II disorder. These substances seem to ease the symptoms of manic and depressive episodes at first, which partially explains why many people with bipolar disorder have an addiction. Frequent drug use causes physical changes in the brain. The most obvious change is to the brain reward system, which makes using drugs feel pleasurable. However, changes in the brain reward system lead to compulsive, drug-seeking behavior. Drugs can rewire other parts of the brain that affect mood and behavior. Drug abuse and addiction can cause changes in the brain that lead to bipolar disorder.

Speak with an expert The symptoms of bipolar disorder vary from person to person. There are also different symptoms for manic and depressive episodes. Those who also suffer from addiction usually have heightened bipolar symptoms. Some people experience manic episodes so severe that they are unable to function in a social or occupational setting.

People having these episodes may require hospitalization. A typical manic episode is not caused by drug abuse.

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This makes it hard to diagnose bipolar disorder if an addiction also exists. Major depressive episodes leave people unable to function in social or occupational settings. Like manic episodes, a true major depressive episode is not the result of drug abuse. Diagnosing bipolar disorder in a person with an addiction is difficult. The symptoms of the episodes experienced by people with bipolar disorder mirror many symptoms of drug abuse and addiction. Doctors diagnose bipolar disorder through several tests to help distinguish between a bipolar disorder and addiction.

Understanding Bipolar Disorder | Goop

The symptoms of bipolar disorder often resemble the signs of drug use and addiction. Someone going through a manic episode can look and act like someone on cocaine. Both experience an elevated mood and energy. Those having a major depressive episode can also have the same symptoms as someone in withdrawal. If someone with an addiction has a co-occurring bipolar disorder, they need the help of someone trained in making a dual diagnosis.

Someone with experience can distinguish between symptoms of addiction and bipolar disorder. See how Jerry overcame his addiction. Treating co-occurring disorders involves tackling both problems at once.

Doctors use medications and therapy to treat these conditions. Addicted people with bipolar disorder can get treatment through an inpatient or outpatient rehab. Medication can help people with bipolar disorder and addiction. Addiction treatment medications stifle cravings and ease withdrawal symptoms. Some medications for bipolar disorder include:.

Bipolar Disorder in Children

Each of these medications helps with either a manic or depressive episode. Doctors may be careful to prescribe benzodiazepines because they are addictive. But benzos may simultaneously help with manic episodes and withdrawal symptoms. Cognitive behavioral therapy CBT helps people with addiction and co-occurring bipolar disorder. CBT addresses the thoughts and feelings that people with these conditions face. By examining the thoughts and feelings that lead to manic and depressive behaviors, addicted people with bipolar disorder can better understand their actions.

This helps them prepare for cravings and episodes, so they can manage their behavior. By comparison, it is easier to diagnose an addiction than it is to diagnose bipolar disorder. People who have a history of episodes prior to their drug use are more likely to recognize the underlying mental health issue. However, if the disorder developed as a result of an addiction, it can be harder to tell.

The best treatment centers in the country have expertise making dual diagnoses. If you think there is more to your addiction than drug use, you should see an expert in dual diagnosis. Contact a dedicated treatment specialist now to learn more about finding treatment for bipolar disorder and addiction. After graduation, he decided to pursue his passion of writing and editing.

No matter where you live, there is a drug rehab center that can help you overcome your addiction. We'll help you find it. Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center will be routed to that treatment center.

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Bipolar Disorder and Addiction Addiction can exacerbate bipolar disorder symptoms. Start the road to recovery Get a Call.

Questions about treatment? Getting into a fight at a bar with some dude twice my size is exhilarating. An upside to the mania is that my sex drive goes haywire.


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During my mania, I feel like a god. I feel like I can do anything, so my self-worth skyrockets. Mania isn't the only symptom of bipolar. People living with this disorder also have periods of depression and alternate between extreme highs and extreme lows. You may be all too familiar with these extremes and unpredictable moods. Your relative could be laughing and having a great time one day. And then the next day, they disconnect from the family and isolate themselves for no apparent reason. They may have little to say, become easily irritated, or lose motivation, which can be a difficult time for everyone.

Your relative may also simply revert to a normal amount of energy without symptoms of depression. They can remain like this until the next manic episode occurs. So, the easiest way to feel better is to hide.