Your Ultimate Guide to Bipolar Disorder and ADHD, a Dual Diagnosis

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Dual diagnosis, also known as comorbidity (or co-occurring disorder), is experienced by approximately 7.9 million people each year, according to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. If you have a dual diagnosis, it’s important that you seek out a reputable treatment center that specializes in this – if not, your recovery could be comprised, as programs that do not specialize in this may only treat one disorder or another, which could potentially exacerbate your symptoms. Dual diagnoses can involve a variety of symptoms which can make it difficult to actively participate in life activities relating to school, work, family life, social events, and more. Bipolar disorder and ADHD in particular present unique challenges to daily functioning, making it imperative that you seek help from a reputable treatment center.

Bipolar disorder (BPD) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are both often misdiagnosed or go untreated; bipolar disorder often involves symptoms of mania and/or depression, and ADHD symptoms of aggression, excitability, hyperactivity, impulsivity, absent-mindedness, and more. A 2015 review published in Current Psychiatry Reports emphasizes BPD and ADHD can present mood fluctuations, irritability, and uneven academic performances in young children, with adults experiencing much of these issues as well. Treatment for both disorders often involves several components:

  • Medication – this often involves thorough analysis from a physician or healthcare team, because some medications such as stimulants could induce symptoms of psychosis from the BPD side; it’s important that you communicate regularly with your doctor to notify them of any sudden symptoms of concern arising from medication
  • Psychotherapy – individual therapy may involve cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and a variety of other techniques, while group therapy can allow clients to build on certain skills and gain more education on their disorder
  • Holistic activities – whether it’s music therapy, writing therapy, experiential therapy or mindfulness and meditation type of activities, holistic exercises can be great for those with dual diagnosis as it allows individuals to connect with their inner selves

Dual diagnosis is treatable; if you haven’t already, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center to learn more about a program that would suit your needs.

Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.

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