What is bipolar disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a serious mental health illness characterized by dramatic swings in states of mind. Usually these swings happen between the two poles of mania and depression. Bipolar disorder treatment often incorporates a combination of medication and psychotherapy.
Unfortunately, substance abuse problems are also common in people who suffer from bipolar disorder. Once called Manic-Depressive Disorder, it is one of the most damaging and costly mental health disorders and can be extremely difficult for family members to manage without professional help. In fact, relationship troubles for people with bipolar disorder are also very common.
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
Although there are different varieties of bipolar disorder, its extreme swings between depression and mania are a classic giveaway and are the main identifying pattern. A person with bipolar disorder may stay in a particular state of mind for weeks or sometimes only days before switching to the other extreme.
Depressive states in bipolar disorder can resemble major depression and include symptoms such as:
- Intense feelings of sadness
- Low feelings of self-worth
- Lack of energy
- Sleep disturbances
- Suicidal idealization or actions
- Lack of enjoyment in activities which were previously enjoyed
- Disruptions in social relationships and work
Manic states can include these symptoms:
- Inflated sense of self importance
- Limitless energy
- Racing thoughts and fast talking
- Decreased need for sleep
- Reckless risks with gambling, schemes or drugs
- Increased impulsivity
Symptoms of bipolar disorder can also include a mix of manic and depressed manifestation called a mixed episode.
Why is bipolar disorder treatment necessary?
The risk of suicide is relatively high in people who suffer from bipolar disorder and bipolar disorder treatment takes this elevated risk into account. The drastic swings evident in bipolar disorder, can be very wearing for people and they can develop strong fears or dread of returning to a depressive or manic state of mind.
This lack of stability and control can make life seem like torture, where suicide is the only reasonable option. This is especially true when there is also a substance abuse problem present and the person’s social relationships are so troubled that they may not feel any support from others.
Social difficulties are very common for people with bipolar disorder. Psychological instability can make it very difficult for friends and family to know what to expect from a person with bipolar disorder and they may get drastically different responses from them which are difficult to understand and adjust to.
For this and other reasons, people with bipolar disorder can have intense conflicts in their interpersonal relationships which may leave them socially isolated and without important emotional support. This tends to worsen their symptoms and in turn make it even more difficult to establish quality relationships.
Part of treatment is often participating in family therapy to help educate family members on the effects of bipolar disorder and to heal past wounds related to the destructive effects of the disorder.
Bipolar disorder and substance abuse
Bipolar disorder treatment also takes into consideration that there may be a concurrent substance abuse diagnosis.
Unfortunately, either depressive or manic extremes can occasion substance abuse in individuals with bipolar disorder. Manic episodes can contribute to taking dangerous risks with drugs, and depression symptoms can trigger the use of drugs as an attempt to alleviate the symptoms or to try to force a manic episode to happen.
The combination of bipolar disorder and a substance abuse disorder increases the risks of suicide and complicates bipolar disorder treatment. In these cases residential treatment is often the treatment of choice in large part because of safety issues.
Treatment adherence can also be very challenging for people with bipolar disorder, especially when in a manic state and with an active addiction. Residential treatment can be the most effective way to manage these strong threats to treatment.
It is often necessary for detoxification services to be administered first, before medication and psychotherapy can begin to treat the bipolar disorder, social and addiction problems.
Signs of addiction include:
- Continuing drug use despite its destructive effects
- Lying about drug use
- Making efforts to cut back on drug use
- Having to take drugs to feel “normal”
- Feeling sick if you don’t take drugs
- Developing physical or psychological problems due to drug use
- Having difficulty fulfilling your responsibilities because of the effects of drug use
White Sands Tampa offers the full spectrum of treatment options needed to promote the best result by incorporating substance abuse treatment, medication management and psychotherapy together.
Although bipolar disorder is a serious condition, with responsible and professional treatment, people with bipolar disorder can be helped to manage their symptoms and live happy lives. Call White Sands Tampa at 1-877-640-7820 now.