How Do Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation Centers Treat Bipolar Disorder?

When a client enters rehab, they do so with the intent of dealing with their addiction issues. Sometimes, they end up dealing with much more than they had originally planned.

It\’s fair to say that a good portion of the people who end up in rehab have their fair share of personal issues. The fact is a lot of them come into rehab with emotional or mental issues in tow. Should there be any kind of direct correlation between the client\’s addiction and their emotional/mental issues, treatment becomes complicated.

Let\’s assume you are entering drug rehab because you want to combat your drug addiction. Let\’\’s further assume you already have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder from a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist. The drug rehab\’s administrative staff will have to take all of that into account when they try to determine the proper course of treatment. Here is what they will need to focus on.

If there is no correlation between your addiction and emotional/mental issues, they can proceed to simply treat your addiction. However, there could be a link between your addiction and emotional/mental issues. If that was the case, you would have the addiction treatment community calls \”co-occurring\” conditions. That would create a need for the rehab\’s administrative staff to recommend a different course of treatment called \”dual diagnosis treatment.\”

Before moving forward, there are a couple of things that might need clarification. First, bipolar disorder is a mental health condition. It causes the individual to experience a wide range of emotions, moving back and forth between mania and depression. There are three main types of bipolar disorder. They are:

  • Bipolar I – severe mood swings between mania and depression with an emphasis on deep depressions
  • Bipolar II – milder mood elevations between a milder form of mania called hypomania, then onto severe depression
  • Cyclothymic disorder – mild and infrequent episodes of mania and depression

The second thing that needs clarification is co-occurring disorders can come about in either direction. Some people resort to drug or alcohol abuse as a means of trying to deal with their emotional/mental issues. Conversely, other individuals fall into bipolar disorder as a direct result of their drug/alcohol abuse.

Regardless of how someone\’s co-occurring disorders come about, the most reliable treatment option is going to be dual diagnosis treatment.

About Dual Diagnosis Treatment

When someone enters rehab with co-occurring disorders, it\’s incumbent on the rehab\’s staff to treat both disorders. The key to success in treating both disorders simultaneously. Why is simultaneous treatment important? Failure to proceed in that manner opens the door to the untreated condition interfering with the entire treatment process. Let\’s look at an example.

Example: A client enters rehab with co-occurring disorders. The bipolar disorder goes unnoticed, which leads the client\’s therapist to focus solely on treating the addiction issue. The problem is the client\’s depression and or mania are contributing factors related to their addiction. By not treating those conditions at the same time, the client will still have to cope with their emotional/mental issues when they leave rehab. The client\’s recent history indicates they cope by abusing drugs or alcohol. The likelihood they will return to their addictive behavior is very high.

That\’s why simultaneous treatment for both disorders is a must. The challenge for the rehab facility staff is making sure they have a therapist that is trained and certified to treat addictions and bipolar disorders. If there is no such therapist on staff, the client will need to meet with different therapists, each treating one of the disorders.

After completing their stint in rehab, it\’s incumbent on the client to continue working on their bipolar disorder with a psychologist or psychiatrist. Why? It takes a lot longer than 30 or 60 days to treat serious psychological issues like bipolar disorder. The treatment a client receives in rehab related to mental health issues is more like a bandaid. It\’s something they need to stay after to protect themselves from continuing behavioral issues.

Unfortunately, you may be dealing with co-occurring disorders. With that said, dual diagnosis treatment has shown itself to be an effective treatment alternative under these circumstances. This is something we can offer you. If you feel ready to get help for your addiction, we encourage you to call us at 833-820-2922. Working together, there\’s an excellent chance we can get you on the path to a lasting recovery.

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