Many people receive bipolar disorder as bad news, which stems from the negative stereotype of the unpredictable, angry and even violent behavior of many bipolar individuals. Thus, younger people who come from families with a history of bipolar diagnoses may wonder if there is anything they can do to prevent this disorder from surfacing. Unfortunately, the answer to this question is no, but they can take action to treat symptoms as soon as they develop.
Factors in the Development of Bipolar Disorder
There are three main factors that greatly contribute to the development of bipolar disorder: a person’s genes, the structure of his brain and his original environment.
The first obviously cannot be altered, but recognizing the role of genetics can prepare people mentally for recognizing bipolar symptoms, so they are not taken by surprise. Neural abnormalities are also there to stay, but they can be partially corrected or addressed through medication and counseling. While you cannot prevent these troubles, there are ways you can use them for your advantage.
The third cause, the environment, gives people the most room to work with. If someone grows up in traumatic circumstances, professional therapy combined with strategic medication can help heal old wounds and prevent these problems from having explosive consequences.
For parents of children who are likely to inherit bipolar genes, it is of paramount importance to ensure that your child grows up safely, knowing she is loved. The more stable her upbringing is, the less potential bipolar disorder will have to be severe or destructive.
How Addiction Affects Bipolar Disorder
For those who develop bipolar disorder suddenly and unexpectedly, their emotional lives become something strange and tumultuous. Many patients feel like they hardly know themselves anymore, and this can be extremely frustrating. The effect of this is that it often drives people to substance abuse.
While this pursuit of drugs can alleviate some of the chaos for a while, it actually wreaks even greater damage on the sufferer’s mental health, and it worsens his disorder in the long run. In this sense, one can prevent bipolar disorder from getting worse by abstaining from drugs and alcohol.
For those who already suffer from addiction, Dual Diagnosis treatment can deal simultaneously with both issues: the dependence on harmful substances and the effects of bipolar disorder.