Alcoholism and Bipolarism

How Alcoholism and Bipolarism Are Related?

Consumption of excessive alcohol and bipolarism often tend to co-occur. After two epidemiologic survey studies, it could be seen that high dependence on alcohol had a high probability of occurring with bipolar disorder than with any other psychiatric disorder, excluding the common antisocial personality disorder.

However, this relationship is highly complex and has not been understood completely. But it can be surely concluded that alcoholism worsens the clinical course for bipolarism and hence makes it harder to treat. There is also a genetic link between these two. There have been several studies which seem to conclude that mood stabilizers, in particular valproate, works better than lithium for the treatment of alcoholic bipolar patients.

Treatment Methods

How to treat alcoholism while treating bipolarism? In the past these two problems were thought to be separate and were treated at different facilities. Bipolar disorders were treated in mental health clinics or at psychiatric hospitals. And alcoholism was treated at rehab clinics. At present, soon after doctors realized the link between the two they have started practicing what is known as “integrated treatment”. This not only helps in the treatment of bipolarism but also treats alcohol addiction. This process comprises of various different treatment methodologies.

The main features of an integrated treatment are as follows :-

Centralized care

A treatment team comprising of psychologists, addiction counselors and several other professionals

Personal psychotherapy

Great peer support

Good medication to support your ups and downs

Various therapies

There are various types of therapy for alcohol addiction and bipolarism. The two most common therapeutic approaches include Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). These therapies are very useful and highly effective. DBT and CBT have shown promising results while trying to teach the Dual Diagnosis patients about how they should regulate their changing emotions.

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