Treatment for Bipolar Disorder and Addiction in New Jersey
One of the most common co-occurring mental health conditions associated with addiction is known as bipolar disorder. There are two main types of this mental health condition; bipolar type I and bipolar type II.
Studies show that 61% of patients with bipolar type I had a lifetime history of any drug or alcohol use disorder”. Additionally, 48% of patients with bipolar type II disorder have a lifetime history of a drug or alcohol use disorder.
Individuals struggling with bipolar disorder suffer from mood swings, experiencing manic highs and depressive lows. But what does this have to do with addiction?
Oftentimes, people experiencing a manic episode engage in impulsive behaviors, such as substance abuse. When it comes to depressive episodes, many individuals abuse drugs as a means of self-medication.
A dual diagnosis rehab center in New Jersey can provide integrated treatment for bipolar disorder and addiction.
What is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings, including emotional highs (hypomania and mania) and emotional lows (depression).
The mood swings associated with bipolar disorder tend to last anywhere from 2 weeks to a year. In other words, mania and depressive episodes associated with bipolar disorder are not typical mood swings that happen throughout the day.
There are two different types of bipolar disorder known as bipolar type I and bipolar type II.
Bipolar type I is associated with experiencing episodes of mania, depression, and hypomania. In many cases, bipolar type I causes manic episodes that include symptoms of psychosis.
Bipolar type II is known to cause depressive and hypomanic episodes. In other words, individuals with type II will not experience full manic episodes.
What are the Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?
The symptoms of depressive episodes may include:
- Depressed mood
- Loss of interest and feeling little to no pleasure in all activities
- Significant changes in weight
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Feelings of worthlessness and extreme guilt
- Inability to think, concentrate or make decisions
- Self-harming behaviors
- Thinking about, planning to, or attempting suicide
The symptoms of hypomania may include:
- Intense feelings of happiness and euphoria
- Not being able to speak fast enough to keep up with one’s thoughts
- Irritability and agitation
- Spending money excessively
- Impulsive behaviors such as substance abuse and other risky activities
- Inability to concentrate due to racing thoughts
The symptoms of mania may include:
- Heightened feelings of euphoria
- Uncontrollably excited
- Irritability, agitation, and aggressive outbursts
- Being easily distracted
- Feeling an inflated sense of confidence and self-worth, as if they are untouchable
- Feel like they understand, see, or hear things that others can’t
- Being disconnected from reality (psychosis)
- Delusions, hallucinations, and grandiose behavior
How are Bipolar Disorder and Addiction Connected?
There are a few ways that bipolar disorder and addiction are connected. First, researchers have stated that alcohol and drug abuse is known to cause the emergence of the symptoms of bipolar. In other words, individuals with a genetic predisposition to the mental health condition could trigger it to be present by frequent substance abuse.
Possibly the most common connection between substance abuse and bipolar is the risk of impulsive and self-destructive behaviors during manic and hypomanic episodes. To explain, mania and hypomania cause individuals to feel invincible. This often causes them to engage in dangerous activities like substance abuse, leading to dependency and addiction.
Lastly, many individuals with bipolar disorder abuse drugs to self-medicate their symptoms. For example, individuals who are unmedicated and experiencing a depressive swing tend to become extremely uncomfortable with their emotions. This may cause them to abuse drugs and alcohol to numb their feelings of depression.
What to Expect During Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Bipolar and Addiction
Co-occurring bipolar disorder and addiction can be complicated to treat, as the symptoms of each condition tend to exacerbate one another. Thankfully, dual diagnosis treatment programs in New Jersey address this by treating both conditions simultaneously.
Dual diagnosis programs for bipolar and addiction use an integrated treatment approach that will include the following services:
- Centralized care within a residential treatment facility
- Medical detox services to help patients cope with cravings and withdrawal symptoms
- Treatment from a team of psychologists, psychiatrists, addiction experts, and medical doctors
- Psychotherapy to help patients recover from symptoms of both bipolar disorder and addiction
- Psychiatric medications to manage the symptoms of bipolar disorder
- Group therapy sessions for addiction and bipolar disorder
Treating bipolar disorder often involves the use of psychiatric medications to manage the symptoms of mania, hypomania, and depression.
Individuals may be given mood stabilizers to control manic or hypomanic states. These include:
Antipsychotic medications are often provided to individuals with treatment-resistant symptoms of depression or mania. These include:
Individuals with severe depressive episodes may be given antidepressants to prevent them from experiencing symptoms of suicidal ideation or self-harming behaviors. However, antidepressants can trigger episodes of mania. As a result, individuals taking antidepressants for bipolar disorder must also take a mood stabilizer or antipsychotic.
Behavioral therapy has been proven successful in the treatment of both bipolar disorder and addiction. Individuals attending dual diagnosis treatment for these co-occurring disorders will participate in a variety of evidence-based behavioral therapies.
The most common behavioral therapies used in dual diagnosis treatment of bipolar and addiction include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Individuals will receive CBT and DBT in both individual therapy sessions and group counseling sessions.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps individuals understand how their thoughts and behaviors influence their feelings. This allows people to identify negative thought and behavior patterns associated with bipolar and addiction. As a result, individuals will adopt positive coping mechanisms to improve their overall mood and outlook on life.
Dialectical behavior therapy focuses more on changing patterns of behavior rather than processing one’s thoughts and feelings. This helps individuals recover from addictive behaviors, limit impulsive behavior associated with mania, and end self-harming behaviors associated with depression.
Finding Treatment for Bipolar Disorder and Addiction in New Jersey
Individuals struggling with bipolar disorder and addiction must attend a professional dual diagnosis treatment program. Treatment centers for bipolar and addiction in New Jersey work to help patients manage their symptoms of bipolar, recover from addiction to substances, and develop positive coping mechanisms to prevent a relapse of either condition.
If you or a loved one require treatment for bipolar disorder and addiction in New Jersey, you’ve come to the right place. Contact New Jersey Interventions for more information on how to find treatment.
Medically Reviewed: April 11, 2022
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.