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Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is among the co-occurring mental disorders that may be present with substance addiction and must be treated concurrently. Bipolar is often misdiagnosed when those who suffer from it are in a depressive state.

Bipolar disorder includes periods of mania (high periods) or hypomania, a less severe form of mania. Manic stages can be short or last months.

Manic episode symptoms may include:

  • Little-perceived need for sleep
  • Restlessness, lack of control and reckless behaviors
  • Poor judgment
  • Easy loss of temper

Bipolar disorder affects men and women and at equal rates. Those with this disorder have a low chance of meaningful recovery from addiction without medical treatment of the disorder. Like some other mental illnesses, bipolar disorder usually begins between the ages of 15-25. Medications taken to control bipolar disorder should never be mixed with alcohol or with other prescribed drugs. In fact, bipolar episodes may be triggered by illegal drug use or misuse of prescription drugs.

There are different levels and types of bipolar disorder.

  • Bipolar Disorder Type 1 diagnosis includes at least one manic episode and periods of major depression. This used to be labeled “manic depression.”
  • Bipolar Type 2 patients have not experienced full-blown mania, but instead they experience periodic high-energy periods and impulsiveness. These “high” periods alternate with the “lows” of depression.
  • Cyclothymia is a mild from of bipolar disorder which is often misdiagnosed as depression.