When these conditions co-occur, there is a greater chance of intense mood swings, sadness, and violence. If you need help for both bipolar disorder and alcohol addiction, a dual diagnosis program may be exactly what you’ve been waiting for. With this inpatient mental health and addiction treatment program, you can treat mental illness and addiction simultaneously and comprehensively. In this way, professional help can treat the root causes of addiction rather than just the symptoms. Moreover, you will also learn how to manage bipolar disorder symptoms in ways that are healthy and constructive.
Estimates for lifetime comorbidity of bipolar disorder and alcohol use disorder are substantial and in the range of 40–70%, both for Bipolar I and II disorder, and with male preponderance. Alcohol use disorder and bipolarity significantly influence each other’s severity and prognosis with a more complicated course of both disorders. Modern treatment concepts acknowledge the interplay between these disorders using an integrated therapy eco sober house review approach where both disorders are tackled in the same setting by a multi-professional team. Adding valproate to lithium may reduce alcohol consumption whereas studies with antipsychotics or naltrexone and acamprosate did not affect mood fluctuations or drinking patterns. In summary, there is a continuous need for more research in order to develop evidence-based approaches for integrated treatment of this frequent comorbidity.
Bipolar & Alcohol—To Drink or Not?
At St. John’s Recovery Place, we understand just how complex substance abuse and addiction can be. Our clients are assessed thoroughly to guarantee the best treatment plan possible. If you or a loved one needs help, give us a call today to discuss treatment options. She makes herself available to be the support to family members who know the grief this disease can bring on, including her own children who lost their father to this disease.
Genetics, a family history of alcohol use disorders, peer pressure, drinking to deal with PTSD, and illnesses related to physical and mental health are all common causes of alcoholism. The mix of alcohol and bipolar disorder may be deadly, leading to issues like bipolar-alcohol aggression. While it’s unclear if alcohol abuse actually causes bipolar disorder, alcohol and bipolar disorder can worsen one another’s symptoms until your quality of life is diminished. The best way to get this co-occurring condition under control is by seeking dual diagnosis treatment from a credible addiction treatment center. If you’ve been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and a substance use disorder or alcohol addiction, all of your treatment providers must be aware of your dual diagnosis. Your healthcare providers may overlook important considerations if they’re not aware of the full complexity of your mental health disorders.
Is It Safe to Drink with a Mental Health Condition?
Side effects, including lethargy, weight
gain, and tremors, were listed as the main reason for noncompliance with lithium
(Weiss et al. 1998). However, it is also important to note that prescription
bottles for lithium usually have a warning label on them not to drink alcohol
while taking the medication. Thus, if an alcoholic has the choice between taking
lithium or drinking alcohol, it is very likely the alcoholic will not be compliant
Similar disappointing results have been reported from a controlled study with acamprosate in BD + AUD (122). Retrospective data suggested that, similar to aripiprazole (117), quetiapine might relieve alcohol graving in patients with BD and concomitant cocaine use (118). Subsequently, the same group conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled study (119) in patients with BD + AUD. Quetiapine https://sober-home.org/ add-on to treatment as usual (TAU) had no effect on any alcohol-related outcomes, but produced a faster and significantly greater decrease of depressive symptoms. This finding is of note as many antidepressant treatment modalities are less effective in BD patients with comorbid AUD. The lack of efficacy of quetiapine against AUD was also confirmed in another placebo- controlled study (120).
Alcohol Use and Bipolar Disorder
These episodes can last for a few days, a few weeks, or sometimes months. Bipolar mood swings are often unpredictable, which can create a lot of anxiety for the person who’s bipolar and the people closest to them. A period of mania or depression can be triggered by substantial life changes, hormonal shifts, grief, stress, medication, drug use, or excessive drinking2. Alcohol use disorder and bipolar disorder are both treatable conditions, and long-term continuous treatment can help keep symptoms under control. Unfortunately, finding help for a combined bipolar disorder and alcohol use disorder can be complicated.
In the CANMAT guidelines they are only recommended as second-choice in situations where first choice treatments are not indicated or cannot be used, or when first-choice treatments have not worked (89). Mania coupled with alcohol use can further decrease inhibitions, leading to risky behaviors and painful consequences. Another explanation for the connection is that people with bipolar disorder can exhibit reckless behavior, and AUD is consistent with this type of behavior. The Blackberry Center is a 64-bed behavioral hospital in St. Cloud, Florida. Nestled in a tranquil setting just outside of Orlando, our mental health facility provides patients with a safe place to reflect, reset and heal.
Ways to Practice the Importance of Mental Health Awareness
I would be fine one day and then crying the next, so going out and getting drunk was one way I “controlled” my moods. Regardless of your situation, we will help you in finding your own personalized treatment solutions – whether that’s our program or another – at no cost or obligation to you. Hyperactivity and impulsiveness during a manic high can lead an individual to behave irresponsibly or partake in dangerous activities. For example, those in a manic episode might drink excessively, go on a spending spree, drive recklessly, engage in unprotected sex, or get into a physical altercation. Mood states are relevant, as some people may use alcohol to cope with emotional discomfort or feelings such as anxiety and depression. Both tend to occur more frequently in people who have a family member with the condition.
- Jason quickly realized that the existing rehab industry had great room for improvement in the quality and type of services that were provided at the time.
- Formerly called manic depression, bipolar disorder is characterized by periods of apathy and depression (depressive states) followed by periods of mania and excitement (manic states).
- It acts similarly to some medications, risking feelings of depression with each swig of alcohol.
- This can create a vicious cycle in which they deal with the fallout of these problems, caused by alcohol, by drinking more, likely leading to more problems.
A support group that recognizes these needs or even focuses on those with dual diagnoses may be a more appropriate choice, depending on your unique circumstances. Bipolar disorder is a lifelong mental health disorder requiring long-term management, as is alcohol addiction. In fact, many people struggling with both disorders are able to lead healthy lives and maintain long-term mental health. Some individuals are only diagnosed when they have begun the path to recovery from alcohol use.
Jason believes that if you always do the right thing, no matter what; that God will take care of the rest. He is a proud father of 7 wonderful children and is an advocate both locally and nationally for those that are unable to help themselves. Jason frequently does charity throughout the year and strives to be able to give away more of what he has been so blessed to receive. A graduate of Florida State University, David joins the Behavioral Health Centers team and brings over 10 years’ experience of assisting those in need.
The AUDIT is also recommended to screen comorbid individuals by several evidence- based guidelines, e.g., the German S3-Guidelines on AUD (49, 53). Bipolar disorder is defined by mood episodes that fluctuate between highs and lows. When coupled with alcohol use disorder, symptoms of either condition may worsen. There are a variety of treatment options, including talk therapy and medication, to treat these conditions separately or as they co-occur. Research indicates a person will experience a decrease in functioning, an exacerbation (worsening) of manic or depressive symptoms, and a higher risk of suicide when these conditions co-occur. In addition, experiencing bipolar disorder and AUD together can cause longer-lasting symptoms and a poorer response to treatment.
The Relationship Between Bipolar Disorder & Alcohol Misuse
Besides psychotherapy an individually tailored pharmacotherapy is essential in almost all BD patients with comorbid AUD. For BD, pharmacotherapy is an essential component to stabilize mood and prevent recurrences, whereas its role for treating AUD beyond controlling acute withdrawal symptoms is less clear. Randomized controlled studies in BD traditionally exclude patient with concurrent SUD. Thus, the evidence for choosing a mood stabilizer in BD with comorbid AUD is rather weak; strictly speaking, high levels evidence consists of altogether three placebo-controlled studies in this patient group (104–106).