Bipolar Depression and Co-Occurring Disorders

Bipolar Depression, also known as manic depression, is a brain disorder that causes abnormal shifts in mood, energy, and the ability to participate in day-to-day activities. With the right treatment, people with bipolar depression can lead healthy, active and involved lives.

The Bipolar Treatment Center is a solution to the revolving door of short-term hospital stays for individuals struggling with bipolar depression, addiction, and other mental health concerns.

Short episodes of medical stabilization are not enough to recover from debilitating symptoms of bipolar depression.

Long-term bipolar treatment, overseen by highly qualified Master’s and Doctoral level clinicians, has proved to be the standard in achieving lasting recovery.

Bipolar Depression and other Co-Occurring Disorders

A person with co-occurring disorders or dual diagnosis suffers from two (or more) serious psychological diagnoses.

The most common disorders paired with bipolar depression treatment include alcoholism, addiction, anxiety, trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and any of the several personality disorders listed in the DSM-V.

The Master’s and Doctorate level clinicians at  Bipolar Treatment specialize in treating these co-occurring disorders and provide unmatched care to anyone struggling with bipolar depression.

Bipolar Depression and Personality Disorders

There is a high prevalence of co-occurrence between bipolar depression and personality disorders.

Personality disorders differ from bipolar depression in that they involve intense patterns of thought and behavior that are often fear-driven or the result of rigid, false perceptions of reality.

This dual diagnosis can be particularly difficult to manage because the personality disorders manifest during periods of normalcy, causing a lot of distress to the individual as well as friends and loved ones.

There are also several different forms of personality disorder, which are organized into three clusters:

  • Cluster A—Paranoid, Schizoid, Schizotypal
  • Cluster B—Antisocial, Borderline, Histrionic, Narcissistic
  • Cluster C— Avoidant, Dependent, Obsessive-Compulsive

This meticulous co-occurrence is tricky to identify as the criteria of a personality disorder are sometimes overshadowed by bipolar episodes.

One study found that symptoms of Cluster B personality disorders may be visible in as many as 1/3 of bipolar clients. The most common personality disorder that co-occurs with bipolar depression is Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

In fact, 96% of people who suffer from BPD have a co-occurrence with some kind of mood disorder in their lifetime, including those on the bipolar spectrum.

Though this relationship is not perfectly understood, they are considered separate conditions that require distinct care.

Bipolar Treatment Center boasts a clinical team of therapists who specialize in dual-diagnosis cases and are educated at either the Masters or Doctorate level.

Combined with the broad spectrum of therapies, they will offer unsurpassed integrated care for co-occurring bipolar and personality disorders.

Further, an alternative non-lockdown treatment model means you or your loved one learns to function in a true-to-life setting, making the transition back to their normal lives easier.

Bipolar Disorder and Alcoholism

Alcohol addiction and bipolar depressions have a complicated relationship that science has yet to untangle. Bipolar symptoms sometimes manifest because of alcohol intake or withdrawal, or there may be a neurological explanation of their interaction.

Individuals with bipolar depression typically develop alcoholism because alcohol can be used to both manage their symptoms and intensify their mania.

So, whether they seek to treat their depressive moods (often subconsciously) or boost their manic ones, alcohol abuse is an easy way to self-medicate.

Unfortunately, the common repercussion is alcohol dependency, which when paired with bipolar depression dramatically increases that individual’s suicidal tendencies and the number of hospitalizations.

Bipolar depression is overwhelming on its own, but when addiction enters the picture, family and friends feel helpless and don’t know what to do for their loved one. This dual diagnosis requires experts who can address both issues simultaneously.

At the Bipolar Treatment Center, the therapists specialize in treating addiction and the disorders that co-occur with bipolar depression.

Most treatment centers that treat alcohol abuse are staffed by addiction counselors who have little to no education on mental health issues that underlie addiction.

All of the bipolar therapists are educated at the highest level, with Master’s or Doctorate’s degrees and extensive experience in this very field.

In order to treat both bipolar depression and alcohol dependency, you need the best care available.

A  Bipolar Treatment center is the leader in treating co-occurring disorders, with an excellent clinical team that customizes treatment for each client. They design a program for the individual’s needs in a unique, non-lockdown treatment model, so clients can get help in a context that’s closer to reality.

Through supervision and support, they can transition back to normal life, so you or your loved one can sustain recovery long after you leave.

Bipolar Disorder and Addiction

The co-occurrence of bipolar depression and addiction, in many forms, is extremely common and feels impossible to deal with. Drug use can trigger manic episodes, which is often the goal for those who seek the euphoria of those moods.

People who are bipolar often use substances to self-medicate and numb their symptoms. These are typically subconscious attempts to stabilize depressive or manic moods, which can quickly lead to substance abuse.

Though the goal may be momentary relief, addiction, as you probably know, worsens bipolar moods and symptoms dramatically.

Addiction also increases the bipolar community’s already high suicide rate; the danger and distress of substance abuse among people with bipolar are overwhelming and not to be underestimated.

Seeking treatment at the earliest opportunity gives you or your loved one the best chance to recover and prevent such tragedy.

At Bipolar Treatment Center, clients can get integrated care for people who suffer from both bipolar depression and addiction.

In a Bipolar Treatment Center Master’s and Doctorate level therapists specialize in co-occurrence and have years of experience working with people whose mental health issues accompany addiction, making a leader in dual diagnosis treatment.

In order to treat both bipolar depression and addiction, you need excellence. The therapists are not only experts in the field of co-occurrence, but they tailor treatment to the individual by choosing the best fitting therapies from the vast array of programs.

Clients are supervised in open-model treatment, giving them a real-life context for treatment that eases the transition back to normal life.

Bipolar Depression and Trauma/PTSD

Trauma has a complex relationship with bipolar depression that makes treating its co-occurrence challenging.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can result from various forms of trauma, including the manic and depressive episodes of bipolar depression. These events increase the risk of traumatic exposure, which leads to a significantly higher prevalence of substance abuse and anxiety co-morbidities as well.

In fact, 11-39% of people who suffer from bipolar depression meet the criteria for PTSD.

Traumatic exposure and PTSD may also result from abuse, neglect and other traumas, which overall increases the severity of bipolar symptoms, and is associated with more rapid cycling and suicide attempts.

Thus, the treatment of dually-diagnosed bipolar depression and trauma is monumentally important.

Bipolar Treatment Center boasts a clinical team of therapists who specialize in the dual-diagnosis treatment and are educated at either the Masters or Doctorate level.

Experts in treating the psychological issues and traumas that co-occur with bipolar depression are customizing treatment for each client’s individual needs.

Bipolar Treatment Center has a number of supplemental programs in addition to individual and group therapy that promotes holistic healing and recovery through the treatment of mind and body.

The Bipolar Treatment Center provides a supervised non-lockdown living, which allows extending treatment outside of the office and into the real world, where clients learn the practical life-skills and coping skills that promote health and function.

Through this true-to-life exposure, they have a smoother transition back to normal life and more successful recovery post-treatment.


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