Struggling from alcoholism and mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder, is called a dual-diagnosis, dual-disorder, or co-occurring disorder. A dual-diagnosis of bipolar disorder and alcoholism occurs in 50% of individuals struggling from bipolar disorder.
If you or someone you know is struggling from bipolar disorder and alcoholism, there are many dual-diagnosis rehab facilities that will treat both illnesses
A Dangerous Combination
Bipolar disorder and alcoholism are a very dangerous combination. Often, individuals suffering from bipolar disorder seek alcohol as a temporary fix for their symptoms. However, mixing bipolar disorder and alcohol actually worsens the symptoms and severity of both bipolar disorder and alcoholism. Having bipolar disorder and alcoholism can increase your chances of violence, depression, mood swings, and suicide.
The Three Possible Factors
While medical professionals and scientists are still trying to fully understand how bipolar disorder and alcoholism are associated, there are three possible factors that likely play a role:
- Depression And Anxiety
Some individuals drink as a temporary fix to ease the pains of depression, anxiety, and other bipolar disorder symptoms. Initially, drinking may seemingly ease bipolar disorder, but it actually worsens those symptoms. Unfortunately, this can cause an individual to attempt to treat those symptoms with more drinking, which results in a vicious cycle of abuse.
- Inherited Traits
Genetic disposition also appears to play a role in bipolar disorder and alcoholism. Differences in genes seem to affect the brain chemistry linked to bipolar disorder. The same traits may also play a role in how the brains of those struggling from bipolar disorder respond to alcohol and other substances.
After a depressive episode, an individual with bipolar disorder may experience an intense burst of euphoria (elevated mood) and hyperactivity. The euphoria causes individuals to have bad judgment and lowered inhibitions. During this stage of euphoria, the individual is even more at risk of abusing alcohol or other substances.A common misconception is that a person in a manic state is happy. This is not always the case. The key to focus on is “elevated mood”. Some individuals, while in the manic state, are frightened, become edgy, or are even irritable.Other signs of mania can include: frivolous spending; decreased or inability to sleep; and the inability to control thoughts or actions. While a patient is in a manic state, it may be very difficult to reason with them.
Contact Us Today
While it is common to think that bipolar is a rare mental illness, bipolar disorder affects around 5.7 million American adults, or 2.6% of the population aged 18 or older. This is a very serious problem that must be addressed. Treating alcoholism only and not treating bipolar disorder or vice versa can lead to relapse. Contact us at AlcoholTreatment.net to learn more about rehab centers near you that can help you regain a sober lifestyle.