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Co-occurring bipolar disorder treatment in Southampton

Bipolar disorder, also commonly referred to as ‘bipolar affective disorder’ or ‘manic depression’, is a serious mental health condition that is characterised by extreme mood swings, ranging from intense depressive ‘lows’ through to excessive and energetic ‘highs’. These episodes can last for anything from a few weeks to a few months and can vary greatly from person to person. For example, some people may go through frequent depressive episodes, others may experience more manic episodes, and some may rapidly cycle between the two.

Bipolar disorder can have a hugely disruptive effect on all aspects of an individual’s life and often requires expert support & treatment to help individuals to manage the symptoms that are associated with this disorder.

At Manor Clinic, we are able to provide high quality treatment for bipolar disorder, when this co-exists alongside a primary drug or alcohol addiction. The ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ that are characteristic of bipolar disorder, combined with a substance misuse problem, can create profound disruption and chaos in a person’s life. That’s why our experts at Manor Clinic are dedicated to helping you to address the source and symptoms of your bipolar disorder and addictive behaviours as part of our wider Addiction Treatment Programme, and support you every step of the way towards recovery and wellbeing.

I think I need treatment for co-occurring bipolar disorder. How can Manor Clinic help me?

At Manor Clinic, we recognise that bipolar disorder can have a hugely detrimental impact on an individual’s quality of life and this is especially the case when it is experienced alongside a primary addiction diagnosis.

Our expert treatment team are committed to delivering specialist treatment and therapy for your co-occurring bipolar disorder, as part of our broader Addiction Treatment Programme. Ultimately, both bipolar disorder and substance addictions are treatable, and with the help of our dedicated team at Manor Clinic, it is possible for you to simultaneously break free from your substance misuse problems and develop the tools to manage the symptoms of your bipolar disorder moving forwards.

Treatment for co-occurring bipolar disorder at Manor Clinic

Treatment for co-occurring bipolar disorder at Manor Clinic takes place as part of our comprehensive residential Addiction Treatment Programme. This usually lasts for 28 days and consists of:

  • Group therapy for bipolar disorder – group therapy at Manor Clinic takes place in a group setting with other patients. All individuals within our group sessions will have a primary addiction diagnosis and others may also be struggling with co-occurring mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and of course, bipolar disorder. Group therapy provides you with the chance to explore your feelings, emotions and challenges with other people who may be going through similar problems, and offer mutual support and guidance, all within a highly compassionate and collaborative environment. This format of therapy has been found to be extremely useful in the treatment of substance addictions and co-occurring problems
  • Medication for bipolar disorder – medication may also be prescribed for your bipolar disorder alongside group therapy, in order to act as an additional defence against this mental health condition and to complement the therapeutic element of treatment. Medication for bipolar disorder can include lithium or other mood stabilisers, however, your suitability to take this medication will be thoroughly assessed in conjunction with your addiction diagnosis

What are the most common signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder symptoms can differ according to whether an individual is experiencing a depressive or a manic episode.

The symptoms that are associated with a depressive episode may include:

  • Overwhelming feelings of sadness and despair
  • Becoming uninterested in activities and hobbies that you once enjoyed
  • Feeling hopeless and worthless
  • Feeling inferior when you compare yourself to other people
  • Social withdrawal
  • Low self-esteem
  • Restlessness
  • Anger and irritability
  • Having trouble concentrating
  • Insomnia
  • Exhaustion
  • Appetite changes leading to weight loss or gain
  • Sexual dysfunction

The symptoms that are associated with a manic episode may include:

  • Increased energy
  • Increased sense of wellbeing and happiness
  • Overwhelming desire to be active and constantly ‘on the go’
  • Experiencing racing thoughts and rapid speech
  • Disinhibition
  • Grandiose thinking and holding unrealistic beliefs about your own abilities and qualities
  • Aggressive or intrusive behaviour
  • Being excessively positive or happy, even in circumstances when this isn’t appropriate or expected
  • Impaired judgement and decision making capabilities
  • Behaving recklessly
  • Gambling or shopping excessively and when you don’t have the money to do so
  • Inability to manage your life effectively
  • Reduced need for sleep

In addition, it’s possible for individuals to also experience psychotic symptoms alongside their depressive or manic episodes. These include hallucinations (hearing or seeing things that aren’t real), or delusions (holding irrational and often nonsensical beliefs, even when presented with evidence to the contrary).

For more detailed information on the signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder, please visit our bipolar disorder symptoms page.

What are the different types of bipolar disorder?

There are two types of bipolar disorder:

  • Bipolar I disorder – characterised by individuals regularly fluctuating between depressive and manic episodes
  • Bipolar II disorder – characterised by individuals experiencing milder manic episodes than in bipolar I, known as hypomanic episodes. Bipolar II disorder is more common than bipolar I and is not usually as serious

It is estimated that around 1 in 100 adults are diagnosed with bipolar disorder at some point in their lives. Research shows that this condition tends to affect men and women equally and you are most likely to observe the symptoms of bipolar disorder and receive a diagnosis during your late teens and early twenties.  

The frequency and patterns of the mood swings that are associated with bipolar disorder can vary from person to person and also depend on the type of bipolar disorder that you are struggling with. Some people may only experience a few bipolar episodes throughout their lifetime, whereas others may experience many episodes.

Causes of bipolar disorder

Research demonstrates that, much like other mental health conditions, there are likely to be a variety of risk factors that may increase an individual’s susceptibility to developing bipolar disorder. These risk factors may include:

  • Genetic makeup – evidence suggests that bipolar disorder tends to run in families. If a member of your immediate family, such as a parent or sibling, struggles with bipolar disorder, research shows that you could be up to five to ten times more likely to develop the condition when compared to someone with no family history of bipolar disorder
  • Brain chemicals - some research indicates that individuals who have bipolar disorder demonstrate an imbalance/abnormality within the areas of the brain that are involved in mood regulation and control
  • Environmental factors – it is also thought that experiencing trauma, instability or stressful life events, particularly early on in life, may also increase an individual’s susceptibility to developing bipolar disorder
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