Bipolar disorder, which has been previously labeled “manic depression,” can cause significant emotional, psychological and physical harm to its sufferers. Part of the challenge of the disease is the fact that many individuals may experience the symptoms of the disorder for a long time. Often without ever knowing they have the disease or getting diagnosed. Many of the symptoms may easily be mistaken for merely intense emotionality or facets of the individual’s personality. When people with a bipolar disorder also drink heavily or use drugs, it can further mask their bipolar symptoms. This only prolongs the issues and prevents proper diagnosis and treatment through a bipolar disorder treatment program.
People with bipolar disorder tend to experience periods of euphoria and extreme energy juxtaposed with periods of depression and lethargy. These periods of intense symptoms are referred to as episodes. Episodes may be extremely brief or last years. Individuals may have both episodes at once, called a “mixed episode,” making a diagnosis of the disease even more difficult. While a diagnosis is often challenging and may never happen, the symptoms nevertheless take their toll. Frequently people will self-medicate to manage them.
Self-medication — using drugs and alcohol to control the symptoms of another medical condition, without seeking professional help — poses many dangers. The practice adds new symptoms, prevents the diagnosis of existing symptoms. It also delays treatment, further damaging your emotional, psychological and physical health. This invites the risk of dependency, addition and accidental death. Only professional help from a doctor, psychologist, therapist or counselor who is versed in treating mental health and substance abuse issues can help you safely and securely overcome this combination of diseases. You can get this kind of professional help at Bayview Recovery.