Often times those who suffer from alcoholism and/or drug addiction also suffer from another mental health issue. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) report that approximately 4 million Americans suffering from a mental health issue also suffer from a co-occurring substance abuse issue. (1)
Here we take a look at one mental health issue that has a high rate of co-occurrence with substance abuse: bipolar disorder.
What is bipolar disorder?
Bipolar disorder (also known as manic-depressive disorder) is a mental illness that causes radical shifts in mood, activity, energy, and ability to live a normal life. Bipolar disorder is characterized by mood changes that range from very high, elated, and manic moods to very low, depressive, and down moods.
Bipolar disorder is a lifelong illness that currently does not have a cure. The symptoms of the disorder, however, can be managed with treatment. (2)
Bipolar disorder and addiction
A large percentage of those who suffer from bipolar disorder unfortunately also suffer from a substance abuse disorder. One study sought to investigate the co-occurrence of bipolar disorder and substance abuse disorders. The study found that (3):
- 56.1% of people who suffered from bipolar disorder also suffered from some form of substance abuse or dependence (alcohol or drugs)
- 27.6% of people who suffered from bipolar disorder suffered from alcohol dependence
- 16.1% of people who suffered from bipolar disorder also suffered from alcohol abuse
So what does this mean?
The reality is that many people who suffer from a substance abuse disorder will also suffer from one or more other mental health issues. This is known as dual-diagnosis. It is crucial to deal with both the substance abuse issue and the mental health issue at the same time, rather than separately.
If you or a loved one is suffering from both an addiction and mental health issues, it is crucial to find a treatment center that specializes in dual diagnosis treatment.
This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.