addiction recovery and bipolar disorder

treating addiction and bipolar disorder at choice house

Previously known as manic depression, bipolar disorder is a mental illness characterized by sudden changes in mood and energy levels. Today, nearly 3 percent of the adult U.S. population lives with bipolar disorder, which can lead to relationship struggles, money management issues, addiction, and even suicide. The disorder typically appears in individuals in their 20s but has been known to show up as early as childhood or teen years as well.

symptoms of bipolar disorder

Like many mental illnesses, symptoms of bipolar disorder can vary dramatically in terms of severity but generally include marked “episodes” during which the individual may experience intense emotional highs and lows. These episodes may occur frequently (several times a week) or as occasional as a few times per year.

Symptoms range from manic for example:

  • hyperactivity
  • racing thoughts
  • talking rapidly and too much
  • engaging in risky behaviors

to depressive, for example:

  • feeling hopeless
  • eating too much or too little
  • restlessness
  • trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy
  • feeling fatigued
  • thinking about death or suicide

Our Colorado bipolar disorder treatment center recognizes that both extremes can impair an individual’s ability to function in social or workplace settings, and in some cases, hospitalization is necessary.

types of bipolar disorder

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, there are four types of bipolar disorder: bipolar I, bipolar II, cyclothymic disorder, and bipolar disorder unspecified.

  1. bipolar I

    Is diagnosed in individuals who have had at least one episode of mania. Most people diagnosed with bipolar I will also experience depression, although that’s not required for the diagnosis. Bipolar I symptoms may be severe enough to require hospitalization.

  2. bipolar II

    Individuals may experience alternating episodes of depression and hypomania, a less intense version of the agitated mood associated with full mania.

  3. cyclothymic disorder 

    Also known as cyclothymia, cyclothymic disorder describes an unstable mood that lasts for at least two years. Periods of normal mood may occur but typically last no longer than 8 weeks.

  4. bipolar disorder unspecified

This refers to an individual who doesn’t meet the diagnostic criteria for the other types of bipolar but still struggles with unstable, abnormal mood.

Some individuals who struggle with bipolar disorder in Colorado turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to “numb” or control the negative feelings associated with bipolar episodes. This can be especially problematic because doing so can lead to addiction. In addition, drugs and alcohol not only exacerbate bipolar symptoms but manifest behaviors that look much like mania or depression.

Helping those who have both a substance abuse disorder and bipolar disorder requires a type of treatment known as dual diagnosis treatment (or integrated treatment), which entails treating the two conditions simultaneously to maximize the chance of recovery. Although there is no “cure” for either bipolar disorder or addiction, medications and various forms of therapy that are offered at our Colorado addiction recovery center can help these individuals develop better-coping skills and live a happier, more stable life.

dual diagnosis treatment at choice house

An addiction recovery center located in Boulder, Colorado, Choice House is staffed by a team of dedicated mental healthcare specialists who provide effective, integrated dual diagnosis treatment to support individuals who are struggling with addiction and the challenges of a bipolar diagnosis. Through our various programs – 90-day residential treatment, Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), and structured sober living – our experienced team of licensed therapists and behavioral health professionals at our Colorado addiction recovery center work with participants in group and individual settings to identify the root causes of the issues they face. We explore every avenue of support to give our participants greater peace of mind and the courage to pursue lifelong recovery.

ready to choose a life worth living?

Don’t let addiction or co-occurring mental health conditions keep you from leading the happy, healthy, and empowered life you deserve. Contact Choice House today and embrace recovery.

"*" indicates required fields

Full Name*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Choice Logo