Links Between Bipolar Rage, Addiction & Depression

Bipolar disorder is a very intense, very difficult mental health disorder to address, and can cause many issues for someone just trying to go about one’s own daily routine. Those who suffer from bipolar disorder can experience rapid mood swings, causing seemingly innocuous situations to be seen through drastic and changing emotional states. Due to this nature, some may turn to alcohol or drugs in an attempt to self-medicate.


However, bipolar disorder and drug addiction or alcohol addiction do not mix, and addiction can often exacerbate the effects, emotional state, and well-being of someone suffering from bipolar disorder, especially when it comes to cases involving bipolar rage. Learning about this dual-diagnosis can help someone better understand the relationship between bipolar disorder and addiction, as well as the steps that someone can take in order to begin their journey addressing the complicated recovery path that will be required to address these issues.


Understanding Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a very complicated mental health disorder that causes someone to experience frequent, fast, and drastic changes in their emotional state. These massive mood swings can cause someone to be feeling happy and amicable before they seem to suddenly feel very depressed with little warning. For someone suffering from bipolar disorder, mania becomes a part of their daily life. During mania or manic episodes, someone’s emotions can feel like they are on overdrive. Instead of feeling happy, someone will begin to feel elated, or almost euphoric.


However, when someone becomes sad or irritated, it instead can manifest as a crippling, inescapable depression or an extreme episode or outburst of rage. Bipolar disorder can influence someone’s perception of the world around them, and they may suddenly perceive normal situations or objects in a changing light. It is also possible that someone may change other aspects of their behavior or personality during these mood swings, adopting new or specific habits when experiencing a particular emotion. Drastically varying energy levels or shifting priorities are just a couple of examples. Coping with bipolar disorder is a constant struggle that requires the sufferer to always have their coping strategies ready. While bipolar disorder can be debilitating, it is also possible to live and be successful with bipolar disorder when using the right therapy, grounding techniques, and accompanying medications.


What Is Bipolar Rage?

Bipolar outbursts of rage are a common symptom of bipolar disorder and can be very frightening at the moment if both the sufferer and their company are unprepared. Mania can affect all emotions, anger included, and can accentuate those feelings to drastic levels. Experiencing bipolar rage attacks can be a result of this mania, or even the increased anger that arises from someone constantly trying to cope with their own rapidly shifting emotions. Bipolar anger outbursts are often irrational and can result in someone lashing out in anger that may be without an immediate, concrete cause. People suffering from bipolar disorder may even become overcome with erratic, irrational rage directed towards their loved ones and those trying to care for them. In these cases, it is important to remember that it may not be anyone’s fault, and the directed anger isn’t to be taken personally. Learning how to control bipolar rage is difficult, takes a lot of time and practice, and is usually supplemented with medication in order to placate the various and intense emotional experiences that someone suffering from bipolar disorder may be living with each day.


How to Control Bipolar Rage

person controlling bipolar rage in therapy

Identifying triggers is always a place to start. Even if outbursts may seem to come without warning, there may still be underlying elements that can help someone understand the source of their rage.

Triggers aren’t required to be specific events or words. They can be places, times of day, or even if someone feels like they are being addressed in a certain way despite if that notion is true or not.

Identifying triggers can also help someone with managing their stresses early, which is another way to address bipolar anger. By getting ahead of stressful situations, like someone’s social circles or work life, someone can decide to remove themselves from those situations altogether or preemptively employ coping and grounding strategies when in the vicinity of potential stresses and triggers. Journaling someone’s day and their emotional state through time and location can help identify potential stressors and will allow someone suffering from bipolar disorder to address this potential trigger with a professional and learn the proper coping technique that will help them in that specific scenario.


It is also important to remember strategies for when someone first begins to feel anger rising. These grounding techniques are used in the moment and can have incredible results. Some of these techniques that may work for individuals include taking deep breaths, counting, going on a jog or short exercise routine, or brief moments of meditation to process these emotions safely. Constant attendance with professionals in therapy sessions can help someone find the right grounding techniques that are appropriate for them.


Bipolar Disorder’s Relationship with Addiction

Those who suffer from bipolar disorder will commonly suffer from bipolar dual-diagnosis with addiction to drugs or alcohol. While the relationship between mental health issues and addiction is complicated, it is common that someone who suffers from bipolar disorder will feel desperate to try to regain control of their own emotional state. This can involve drugs and alcohol easily, as they are quick-acting, and can make someone feel as if they are gaining that essence of control over their emotions, primarily by using these substances to suppress these shifting emotions. However, this use of a coping technique can have many adverse effects on those suffering from bipolar disorder and can complicate the recovery process.


How does Depression Affect Substance Abuse?

Depression is the most common mental illness in America, affecting more than 19 million adults each year. It is also the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for people aged 15-44. While most people will experience highs and lows throughout their life, clinical depression lasts for weeks, months and sometimes even years. It interferes with a person’s entire life, including their ability to work and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Depression is a serious mental illness with many different causes, and it can be treated in many ways. But when depression occurs with another psychological or physical health problem, such as addiction to alcohol or drugs, treating the two problems at the same time can provide better results than trying to improve either one alone. Dual diagnosis treatment addresses both the addiction and the depression, often with medication and therapy.

People with dual diagnosis have a higher risk for suicide than those who only have one mental illness. If you are struggling with both addiction and depression, it is important to get help from a professional treatment center that specializes in dual diagnosis care. Treatment can save your life.


How Does Substance Abuse Affect Depression?

Substance abuse is a problem that affects millions of people all over the world, and it’s also one of the leading causes of death in the United States. While there are many ways that substance use can affect someone physically, there are other effects as well. Using drugs or alcohol to cope with feelings like anxiety or depression can actually make those feelings worse. In addition to that, many people who have mental illnesses are at higher risk of developing substance abuse problems because they use drugs or alcohol in an attempt to cope with their symptoms.


If someone has depression, using drugs or alcohol can make the symptoms much worse. That’s because many substances cause changes in brain chemistry and nerve cells that will mimic the effects of depression. Drugs like opioids and benzodiazepines increase dopamine levels in the brain, which is a neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of pleasure or reward. This can lead to someone becoming addicted to those substances, and then they’re likely to experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using. Withdrawal from opioids, for example, can cause severe diarrhea, vomiting, and body aches.


Alcohol is another substance that can have a major impact on someone who has depression. It’s a depressant, which means that it can slow down the activity of the central nervous system. This can make someone feel sluggish and tired, and it can also increase the symptoms of depression. Alcohol is also known to cause mood swings and blackouts, both of which can be dangerous for someone who is coping with mental illness.


Drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine, and ecstasy are stimulants that increase the activity of the central nervous system. They can make someone feel more energized and euphoric for a short period of time, but they also cause feelings of anxiety or paranoia once those effects wear off. This can lead to depression as well because they’re likely to feel let down after the high of the stimulant wears off.


It’s important to remember that substance abuse is not only a problem for people who have mental illnesses. It’s also a problem for those who don’t, and it can cause major health problems no matter what.

 

Addressing the Holistic Needs of Bipolar Dual Diagnosis

Chateau Recovery understands the need for someone to regain control in desperate situations, as well as the need to address the complex and intricate relationship between bipolar disorder and addiction to drugs or alcohol. The trained staff at Chateau Recovery can personalize any of our programs based on your unique needs and goals. We will work alongside you to help you better understand the nature of bipolar disorder and addiction, as well as employ the strategies that may best help you and your specific situation.


Chateau Recovery curates a safe and comfortable environment, full of trained, supportive staff in order for each person to address their own vulnerabilities when it comes to confronting bipolar disorder as well as the detox phase of addiction. For more information on how Chateau Recovery can help you, or to learn more about bipolar disorder, bipolar rage, or addiction, call us today at (435) 222-5225.