Why Do People with Bipolar Tend to Self-Medicate?

Why Do People with Bipolar Tend to Self-Medicate?

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that impacts a great number of people in the United States. Many of those people will medicate themselves because they do not have resources to have someone track it for them. Ultimately, they quit using them or overdose on them because they become addicted. Some people who need bipolar disorder treatment may use alcohol to self-soothe or prescription drugs. This can lead to stressful situations, including addiction. Self-medication is part of that difficult journey of healing

What is Self-Medication?

People with substance use disorders often have co-occurring mental health conditions like depression and personality disorders like bipolar. People with these issues find they use drugs to relieve their pain and seek treatment only if they cannot function any longer. In some cases, they try to use medication for self-esteem boosts and make relationship issues seem less painful. It can often lead to addiction and other problems. 

Chicken or the Egg

One of the arguments people have researched is whether bipolar comes first or drug use. Mental health professionals and specialists in addiction tend to believe mental health challenges were there before drug use and are the reason it continues. Depression is correlated with self-medication with drugs. Self-medication drug use also brings on an episode of depression or mania related to bipolar disorder. Heavy drinking may bring on symptoms but most likely it increases risk-taking behavior and problems in the relationship. It can lead to criminal behavior if alcohol impacts mood or damages the ability to make good choices.

Treatment Options

Bipolar disorder is a serious brain disease that requires treatment. Many people try to self-medicate and end up with co-occurring addictive disorders, making life more challenging. When a diagnosis is given and help offered, they are likely to get what they need and start treating the disorder. There is treatment with therapy that helps, also. Treatment centers offer therapies that will work for dual diagnosis and support an individual in receiving the help they desperately desire and deserve to live long, healthy lives. It is challenging but necessary and they most always find opportunities to discover new things about themselves that build confidence and self-esteem for the journey ahead. 

The Palmetto Center is based on a Therapeutic Community model. We help people learn how to live free of addiction. Our community support provides structure while trained counselors offer life skills training and therapeutic techniques to help you move past addiction. Our program provides a special focus for professionals including chiropractors, nurses, doctors, lawyers, and more who need help with addiction recovery. Call us to find out more: 866-848-3001.