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Specialized Treatment for Bipolar Disorders and Addiction

Bipolar disorder is an intricate mental health condition defined by significant shifts in mood, energy, and activity levels. These shifts can range from periods of elated mood and increased activity, known as mania, to intervals of profound depression and reduced activity.

Explore the fundamentals of Bipolar Disorder and gain a deep insight into its effects on mental well-being

Bipolar disorder, often described as a roller coaster of emotions, is a psychiatric disorder marked by dramatic mood, energy, and activity shifts. It’s more than just the usual ups and downs; the severity of these mood changes can impact day-to-day activities, relationships, job performance, and overall well-being. To truly grasp the complexity and challenges of bipolar disorder, it’s essential to delve into its types, symptoms, causes, and prevalence.

Types of Bipolar Disorder

This is characterized by one or more manic episodes or mixed episodes (a combination of mania and depression). Sometimes, individuals with Bipolar I also undergo major depressive episodes, but it’s not a requirement for the diagnosis.
Individuals with this subtype experience one or more significant depressive episodes with at least one hypomanic episode. Hypomania is a milder form of mania that doesn’t involve the extreme disruptions that a full-blown manic episode does.
Individuals with cyclothymia experience chronic fluctuating moods over at least two years, including periods of hypomania and depressive symptoms that don’t meet the standard for a major depressive episode.

Bipolar Disorder Symptoms

Bipolar disorder is characterized by profound mood fluctuations that span from the highs of mania to the lows of depression. These shifts in mood can affect daily activities, relationships, and overall well-being. The intensity and length of these episodes can differ considerably from one person to another. To understand the condition better, it’s essential to recognize the distinctive symptoms associated with each phase:
Manic Episode Symptoms
Depressive Episode Symptoms

Potential Causes and Risk Factors

Although the precise origin of bipolar disorder remains unclear, several factors may contribute:
Physical changes in the brain might be present.
An imbalance in naturally occurring brain chemicals can contribute.
Irregular hormone levels can be associated with the disorder.
It’s more common in individuals who have a first-degree relative with the condition.
Traumatic events, abuse, or prolonged stress can play a role.

Statistics and Prevalence

Bipolar disorder affects both men and women; symptoms typically start in late adolescence or early adulthood.
According to the World Health Organization, bipolar disorder ranks sixth as a leading cause of disability among people aged 15-44.
Globally, it’s estimated that around 45 million people have bipolar disorder, making it a significant global health concern.

The Significance of Early Diagnosis and Treatment

Recognizing and treating bipolar disorder as early as possible is crucial. Detecting the condition early can result in more effective management of the condition, improving the quality of life of those affected. Effective treatment can prevent potential complications, such as impaired relationships, job losses, and the increased risk of self-harm or suicide. With the right therapeutic strategies, many individuals with bipolar disorder can lead fulfilling, productive lives. However, undiagnosed, or untreated, the disorder can wreak havoc on an individual’s personal, professional, and social life.

Psychotherapy Options for Bipolar Disorders

The treatment of bipolar disorders often incorporates various psychotherapy techniques, serving as invaluable tools in conjunction with medication. These therapeutic interventions aim to provide coping skills, enhance understanding of the disorder, and improve daily functionality and interpersonal relationships. Here are the primary psychotherapy options for bipolar disorders:

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT):

Focuses on recognizing and challenging negative thought patterns, leading to more balanced behaviors and emotions.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT):

An adaptation of CBT, it emphasizes emotional regulation and interpersonal effectiveness, equipping patients to manage intense mood fluctuations.

Family-focused therapy:

Engages family members in the therapy process, enhancing communication skills and fostering a supportive environment for patients.


Provides patients and their families comprehensive information about bipolar disorders, ensuring better preparation and understanding of their intricacies.

The Link Between Bipolar Disorder and Substance Use Disorder

The intersection between bipolar disorder and substance use disorder (SUD) is a complex and notable area of concern in mental health. Many individuals with bipolar disorder often turn to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate, attempting to alleviate the intense emotional highs and lows or numb the emotional pain. This self-medication hypothesis suggests that the euphoria from substances can temporarily mask depressive symptoms, while depressants might offer a short-lived relief from manic episodes.

However, this cycle often exacerbates the severity of bipolar episodes and can lead to rapid cycling between moods. Moreover, substance use can interfere with the effectiveness of psychiatric medications prescribed for bipolar disorder. Concurrently, individuals with SUDs may be at a higher risk of developing bipolar disorder due to the neurochemical changes caused by prolonged substance use. This co-occurrence, often termed “dual diagnosis,” requires specialized integrated treatment approaches, as addressing only one condition can inadvertently worsen the other. The intricate interplay between these disorders highlights the necessity for comprehensive evaluation and holistic treatment strategies.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment at Renewal Lodge

Dual Diagnosis Treatment at Renewal Lodge is a beacon of hope for individuals grappling with the intertwined challenges of bipolar and substance use disorders. By integrating evidence-based therapeutic interventions with holistic approaches, Renewal Lodge offers a sanctuary for healing, understanding, and growth. Navigating the complexities of co-occurring disorders demands specialized care, and Renewal Lodge stands at the forefront, ensuring patients receive tailored treatments that address their unique needs. For those seeking a transformative journey toward well-being, Renewal Lodge provides the environment, expertise, and empathy crucial for recovery. Don’t let dual diagnosis dictate your life’s trajectory; take the first step towards a healthier future and contact us today.

Dear Renewal Lodge Visitors,

My name is John Bruna, co-founder of the Mindfulness in Recovery® Institute, and more importantly, a grateful member of the recovery community. I am incredibly fortunate to have found my recovery in 1984. Of course, I did not achieve continuous recovery through willpower or my own efforts, but through the guidance and caring support of countless others that selflessly taught me how to live through the 12 Steps.

My journey of recovery brought this once homeless, shame-based, traumatized, insecure young man to a life far beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I discovered self-worth, the joy of helping others, the gifts of parenting and grandparenting, and most importantly the ability to live a meaningful and purposeful life with integrity.

One of the greatest gifts of recovery is that I have the opportunity to give back and help others discover their self-worth, dignity, and the skills to fully live lives that they find truly meaningful. This is the inspiration for developing the skills of Mindfulness in Recovery® (MIR) to meet the needs of new generations struggling with alcohol and other substance use disorders. MIR is a set of evidence-based skills designed to help people fully integrate their tools of recovery in ways that are personalized, practical, and in alignment with their deepest values.

While we train counselors and therapists throughout the United States and abroad, I personally have chosen to work directly with the amazing team and clients at Renewal Lodge to develop the model MIR 12-step program for the nation. I choose Renewal Lodge because of the vision of its mission and the dedication of its team. Renewal Lodge is an extremely rare environment in which the staff embodies the very mindfulness and 12-step practices and skills they offer their clients. The results have been beyond my expectations. It is an honor to be here and I treasure my personal time with every client I meet.

With Gratitude,

John Bruna
John Bruna
Director of Mindfulness