Substance Abuse Disorder in Bipolar disorder

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This entry was posted in Uncategorized on August 31, 2021 by maplemountain.

Bipolar disorder is one of the most common mental disorders. Bipolar disorder is a term to define an umbrella of emotions and symptoms that the person may experience. A person with bipolar disorder may share manic episodes, depressive episodes, mixed episodes, and affective episodes. Bipolar disorder experience may leave you vulnerable for alcohol use disorder or substance use disorder.

Substance abuse disorder tends to aggravate depressive symptoms and manic symptoms in people with bipolar. However, a person with no history of a psychiatric illness can still exhibit signs of bipolar disorder due to chronic drug abuse.

Alcohol abuse and Bipolar illness can cause serious health risks to a bipolar patient. People battling the disorder are more likely to have substance dependence, episodes of depression, episodes of mania, impulsive behavior, and may pose suicide risk. It is essential to treat bipolar depression and acute mania to not turn into drug use disorder.

If your loved one struggles with both drug use and bipolar illness, then you have come to the right place. Maple Mountain mental health and wellness specializes in dual diagnosis. We train to help patients with mental illness and a history of drug problems find ground and plan a secure and happy future. Bipolar can be a complex mental illness to treat. There are alternating periods of a depressive episode and a manic episode. The guidelines for treatment may is complicated for the bipolar patient. 

Maple Mountain mental health and wellness has modeled its residential treatment program to meet the needs of patients challenged with this complex psychiatric condition. Our staff is licensed to help improve the quality of life during and after your treatment. They will help you on the road to recovery in a lifetime of happiness with your mind, body, and soul.

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What’s the Link Between Substance Abuse Disorder and Bipolar?

The main reason why people self-medicate with substances is that they want to numb the unexplainable pain they get. Research shows that substance abuse disorder and alcohol addiction tend to lead to depression, not cure it.

Age of onset is a significant factor in whether drugs will influence a patient’s life. Young men are more likely to use an illicit drug or alcohol at a young age. Young men tend to have more destructive behaviors and take more risks. Reckless behavior such as underage drinking may lead to drug or substance abuse disorder in the future.

Drug abuse creeps in because people want something to help them control their moods and emotions. Sadly this may also worsen their moods and feelings in the long run. 

Bipolar Disorder Symptoms

There are many unique symptoms of bipolar illness. It is vital that you pay attention to the progression of these symptoms. This can indicate whether substance abuse disorder is present as a dual diagnosis. A few of the symptoms can branch into other mental illnesses such as alcohol use disorder. It is essential to watch for signs because this can help you manage your mental condition.


  • Moments of great significant pessimism and optimism

  • inflated sense of elevated mood

  • Rapid talking

  • Little sleep

  • Impaired judgment, irrational behavior

  • Delusional behavior

  • Hallucinations

  • fluctuations in mood


Also, know as the “low” end of the bipolar. The person may feel sadness, fearfulness, and loss of hope. These depressive symptoms may last days to weeks. During this time patient is at higher risk of self-harm or suicidal ideation. The symptoms of a depressive episode are:

  • Hopeless feelings

  • Loss of interest in things that used to make you happy

  • Fatigue

  • Changes in appetite

  • Self-loathing

  • Suicidal thoughts


Hypomania symptoms are generally not as intense as mania symptoms. The individual may be able to maintain daily life activities but may experience higher than average levels of happiness and energy. They may feel like they need less sleep or that they can take on more responsibility. This cycle can be very productive for some people however does not last forever. 

Mixed Emotions

This part of the cycle is not always clearly defined. Patients experiencing mixed emotions may still be at risk of substance abuse disorder. People may experience a mixture of depression symptoms and mania symptoms. For this reason, it is called mixed episodes or mixed emotions. For instance, they may have suicidal thoughts and lose interest in their daily routines, coupled with racing thoughts, pressured speech, and loss of sleep. It is essential always to seek help if you’re feeling any of the above symptoms.

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