Attending Sober Living While Treating Bipolar Disorder

treating bipolar disorderBipolar disorder is a difficult mental health disorder to manage. Characterized by extreme mood swings – very high highs and very low lows – it can be hard for the patient and their loved ones to deal with the erratic emotions and behaviors that come with the disorder.

There are a number of mental health treatment options to help address bipolar disorder, however. Medication and therapy are almost always recommended when the disorder is identified, but when addiction is also an issue, it becomes important for the patient to address both disorder simultaneously in order to maintain any progress made in treatment.

Patients who opt for a Dual Diagnosis treatment center that addresses both bipolar disorder and addiction simultaneously are encouraged to enter sober living once they have successfully completed the treatment program. The relapse rate is often higher among patients with a Dual Diagnosis, and longer, more intense treatment is often needed to help the patient stay on solid ground and avoid relapse for the long-term.

In sober living, patients are encouraged to continue treatment for both addiction and bipolar disorder with equal vigor for optimum success in recovery on both fronts.

Managing Medications in Sober Living

Many residents find it difficult to manage their own medications. With bipolar disorder, it is often significantly more difficult because patients in recovery often miss the “high” they experience during the manic phase of the disease. In fact, many patients ended up with an addiction because they used stimulant drugs like crystal meth, pills, or cocaine in an attempt to augment the manic period. Some attempt to regain that high by going off their medication. For that reason, it is important that the resident share their medication plan with sober living staff and have a check-in process in place to ensure that they stick to their medication regimen in order to continue to progress in recovery.

Enjoying Natural Highs and Lows

Many bipolar patients in recovery struggle with what they define as the tedium of daily life. Used to extreme swings in mood that led them to take on and accomplish huge tasks or projects, the swift change to a life of balance is often a difficult transition to make. Many find that they crave drugs and alcohol just to shake the boredom. For them, it becomes important to:

  • Avoid isolation. Too much time alone can lead to the rationalization that “just one drink” or one time getting high won’t hurt.
  • Maintain a busy schedule. Keeping busy by taking on positive pursuits can help to fight boredom. This can mean a workout program, going back to school, working extra hours, and taking on other projects.
  • Increasing energy naturally. With a busy schedule in recovery, it’s important not to use up internal resources. Reinvigorating oneself with yoga, meditation, proper nutrition, regular exercise, and good sleep can help.
  • Focus on progress in recovery. Maintaining a positive attitude and continuing to drive forward through the difficult parts in therapy can be helpful to continued progress as well.

Sober Living: A Solid Support for a New Life

Would you like to learn more about how best to manage mental health issues during addiction treatment? Contact us at the phone number listed above and speak to an admissions coordinator about sober living options today.