People with alcohol use disorders, such as alcoholism or alcohol abuse, are more likely to have bipolar disorder [1]. Specifically, 48 percent of people with bipolar disorder have an alcohol use disorder [1]. So, what is the connection between the two? At Excel Behavioral Health, we understand the connection between alcoholism and bipolar disorder, and we offer leading comorbid treatment to help address these comorbid disorders.

When a mental health problem, such as bipolar disorder, exists with a substance abuse problem, such as alcoholism, this is known as a co-occurring disorder. Other names for co-occurring disorders include a comorbid disorder, or a dual diagnosis. We offer leading comorbid treatment to address alcoholism and bipolar disorder. It’s important to understand how these conditions influence one another. Drinking is very dangerous, and even deadly, when combined with issues such as bipolar disorder.

Does Bipolar Disorder Cause Alcoholism?

The correlation between alcoholism and bipolar disorder shows that it is possible for bipolar disorder to fuel drinking problems [2]. There are several factors thought to influence the development and interaction of these comorbid disorders:

  • Genetic predispositions. Bipolar disorder is associated with specific genetic traits, and these same traits may increase the inherited predisposition to alcohol use disorder [2]. Effective leading comorbid treatment can help people learn healthier coping mechanisms.
  • Ups & Downs. Bipolar disorder is associated with manic and depressive stages. And each of these stages can elicit alcohol use disorders. Using alcohol when in a depressive stage can prolong depressive symptoms and worsen the symptoms of bipolar disorder.
  • Manic Stages. The higher stages of bipolar disorder, specifically the manic stages, can be associated with decreased inhibition and euphoric mood [2]. This may result in riskier behaviors, such as more dangerous drinking.

Bipolar disorder and alcoholism are a shockingly dangerous combination, which is why it’s important to get treatment for these comorbid disorders. If you or a loved one is struggling with bipolar disorder, depression, or dual diagnosis disorders, contact our team. We’re here to help, treating dual diagnosis and helping patients create a life worth living.  Alcoholism and anxiety treatment can make a difference. Contact us today.


Mayo Clinic, Bipolar Disorder and Alcoholism: Are They Related?

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