Achieving Stability: Bipolar Disorder Co-Occurring Treatment at MBO

Find sustainable healing through our comprehensive and supportive bipolar disorder co-occurring treatment at Mind Body Optimization.
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Understanding the Scope of BP and SUD

About 4.4% of adults have experienced bipolar disorder (BP) at some point in their lives, making it a common mental health concern for many individuals. Additionally, there are many established treatment options available for those who need support and healing during recovery.

Bipolar disorder is sometimes coupled with a co-occurring condition, such as substance use disorder (SUD). In these cases, the challenges of managing both conditions can be overwhelming.

However, with a comprehensive, personalized approach, people can effectively manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

Bipolar Disorder Co-Occurring Treatment

The Complex Relationship Between BP and Co-Occurring Conditions

Bipolar disorder is a complex mental health condition characterized by extreme mood swings. These range from manic highs to depressive lows.1

Bipolar disorder is often accompanied by co-occurring conditions, and this dual diagnosis presents unique challenges, as the symptoms of each condition can worsen the other.

For example, substance misuse can trigger mood episodes in people with bipolar disorder, while the emotional dysregulation associated with bipolar disorder can increase the risk of substance abuse as a form of self-medication.

Our Approach to Mental Health Treatment

At Mind Body Optimization (MBO), we understand the complexities of bipolar disorder and co-occurring conditions. Our integrative approach to mental health treatment combines evidence-based practices with holistic therapies to address the unique needs of each person.

By treating the whole person — mind, body, and spirit – we aim to help our clients achieve lasting recovery and emotional well-being.

Understanding Bipolar Disorder and Co-Occurring SUD

Understanding bipolar disorder and co-occurring substance use disorder is essential for effective treatment and support.

An Overview of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition characterized by extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression). These mood swings can range from mild to severe and can affect a person’s energy levels, behavior, and ability to function.

There are several types of bipolar disorder, each with its own set of symptoms and severity:2

  • Bipolar I Disorder: With bipolar I, a person experiences manic episodes that last at least seven days or are severe enough to require immediate hospitalization. Depressive episodes may also occur, often lasting at least two weeks.
  • Bipolar II Disorder: Bipolar II is characterized by a pattern of depressive episodes alternating with hypomanic episodes. These are less severe than full manic episodes.
  • Cyclothymic Disorder: Cyclothymic disorder is a milder form of bipolar disorder characterized by periods of hypomanic symptoms as well as periods of depressive symptoms. These symptoms are less severe than those seen in the other disorders.

Differentiating Between Manic and Depressive Episodes

Below is an overview of how to tell the difference between manic and depressive episodes.3

Manic Episodes

Manic episodes are characterized by:
  • Elevated or irritable mood
  • Increased energy or activity levels
  • Reckless or impulsive behavior
  • Racing thoughts
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Grandiose beliefs about one’s abilities

Depressive Episodes

Depressive episodes are marked by:
  • Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or emptiness
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Changes in appetite or sleep patterns
  • In some cases, thoughts of death or suicide

Risk Factors for Bipolar Disorder

There are several risk factors for bipolar disorder that may point towards the need for treatment. These include:4
  • Genetics: Bipolar disorder tends to run in families. This suggests a genetic component to the disorder.
  • Brain structure and functioning: Differences in brain structure and functioning may contribute to the development of bipolar disorder.5
  • Environmental factors: Stressful life events, such as trauma or loss, can trigger or worsen bipolar symptoms in some people.

Challenges of Bipolar Disorder

The mood swings associated with bipolar disorder can strain relationships with family members, friends, and romantic partners. Fluctuating energy levels and mood swings can also make it challenging to maintain consistent performance at work or school.
People with bipolar disorder are at an increased risk of suicide, especially during depressive episodes.

Common Patterns and Comorbidities

Studies have found a lifetime prevalence of 38% for any SUD in those with bipolar I disorder.6

People with bipolar disorder may turn to substances as a way to self-medicate. This leads to increased substance abuse and worsening of bipolar symptoms.

Conversely, substance use may trigger mood episodes in those with bipolar disorder. This creates a cycle of dependence and instability.

Addressing Complexities and Enhancing Recovery

Bipolar disorder co-occurring treatment requires a comprehensive approach that addresses both conditions at the same time. Integrated treatment programs, such as those offered at MBO, combine pharmacological interventions, psychotherapy, and holistic therapies.
Bipolar disorder co-occurring treatment can enhance recovery outcomes and improve the quality of life for those living with bipolar disorder and co-occurring substance use disorder.
The dual demands of OCD and substance abuse treatment necessitate a delicate balance. Treatment plans often involve a combination of therapies tailored to the unique needs of each individual.
Bipolar disorder co-occurring treatment uses the combination of different approaches to address both mental health and substance use disorders. Some of the components of integrated bipolar disorder co-occurring treatment plans include:

Medication Management

This involves the use of medications to stabilize mood swings and manage symptoms of bipolar disorder. Medications may also be used to address substance use disorders, such as medications to reduce cravings or manage withdrawal symptoms.


Various types of therapy can be beneficial in bipolar disorder co-occurring treatment. For example, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help people identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors.

Family therapy can also be important, as it can help improve communication and support networks.

Lifestyle Changes

Encouraging healthy lifestyle changes can also be part of integrative bipolar disorder co-occurring treatment.
These may include:
These changes can help improve mood and reduce the risk of relapse.

Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques

Mindfulness practices, such as meditation, can help people manage stress and improve their ability to cope with difficult emotions. These techniques can be particularly beneficial for people with bipolar disorder.

Peer Support Groups

Support groups can provide a sense of community and understanding for those with dual diagnosis. Being able to connect with others who are facing similar challenges can be incredibly helpful in the recovery process.

Bipolar Disorder Co-Occurring Treatment Planning

Bipolar disorder co-occurring treatment planning involves creating a comprehensive plan that addresses both bipolar and substance use disorder.
It involves several key steps, including:


A thorough assessment is conducted to determine the extent of the dual diagnosis and to identify any other co-occurring conditions. This assessment helps inform the treatment plan.

Individualized Treatment Plan

Each person receives a personalized treatment plan that takes into account their unique needs, preferences, and goals.

This plan may include a combination of:

  • Medication
  • Therapy
  • Lifestyle changes

Continuum of Care

Bipolar disorder co-occurring treatment also often involves a continuum of care, meaning that treatment is provided at different levels of intensity depending on the person’s needs.
This may include:

Collaborative Approach

Bipolar disorder co-occurring treatment often involves a team of professionals working together to provide comprehensive care.

This team may include:

  • Psychiatrists
  • Therapists
  • Social workers
  • Addiction specialists
  • Mental healthcare providers
  • Other specialists

Monitoring and Adjusting the Treatment Plan

The treatment plan is regularly monitored and adjusted as needed to ensure that it remains effective. This may involve:
  • Changing medications
  • Modifying therapy approaches
  • Adjusting other aspects of the treatment plan

Addressing Triggers and Enhancing Stability in Bipolar Disorder Co-Occurring Treatment

In managing bipolar disorder and co-occurring SUD, identifying triggers and enhancing stability is crucial. By recognizing and managing triggers, people can reduce the risk of mood episodes and substance use.
Similarly, promoting stability through medication adherence, therapy, and healthy lifestyle choices can help maintain emotional balance and improve well-being.

Examples of Triggers for BP and SUD

Triggers are events or circumstances that can lead to mood episodes or substance use in those with bipolar disorder and SUD. Identifying and managing triggers is an important part of dual diagnosis treatment.


Stress is a common trigger for both bipolar disorder and substance use. Strategies for managing stress include:

Sleep Disruptions

Disruptions in sleep patterns can trigger mood episodes in people with bipolar disorder.

Improving sleep quality can be done through:

  • Establishing a regular sleep routine
  • Practicing good sleep hygiene
  • Avoiding stimulants like caffeine and electronics before bedtime 

Substance Use Cues

Certain people, places, or situations associated with substance use can trigger cravings. Avoiding these triggers and developing coping strategies can help reduce the likelihood of relapse. These strategies could include distraction techniques or engaging in enjoyable activities.

Negative Thought Patterns

Negative thought patterns, such as self-criticism or pessimism, can contribute to both mood instability and substance use. Cognitive-behavioral techniques, such as challenging negative thoughts and replacing them with more positive or realistic ones, can be helpful.

Social Isolation

Social isolation can worsen symptoms of both disorders. Building a supportive social network and taking part in social activities can help reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Developing Coping Skills

Developing effective coping skills is crucial for managing triggers and maintaining stability. Emotion regulation techniques, such as mindfulness meditation or deep breathing exercises, can help people manage intense emotions associated with bipolar disorder.
Regular exercise and engaging in enjoyable activities can reduce stress levels and prevent mood episodes. Crisis intervention techniques, such as creating a crisis plan or knowing when to seek professional help, can also help people navigate challenging situations.
A bipolar disorder co-occurring treatment plan through MBO can help people develop the coping strategies that work for them.

Enhancing Stability Through Lifestyle Modifications

A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can provide essential nutrients that support mental health. Regular exercise has been shown to improve mood, reduce stress, and enhance well-being.
At MBO, we work with our clients to identify their unique triggers and develop personalized coping strategies. By addressing these triggers and enhancing stability through lifestyle modifications, our clients can achieve greater stability and improve their quality of life.
Bipolar Disorder Co-Occurring Treatment

Bipolar Disorder Co-Occurring Treatment Is a Path to Healthier Living

Bipolar disorder co-occurring treatment at MBO is a crucial step toward achieving lasting mental health and wellness. By addressing both bipolar disorder and any co-occurring substance use disorders, MBO provides comprehensive care that focuses on each person’s unique needs and challenges.
If you or a loved one is struggling with bipolar disorder and substance use, know that you are not alone. Seeking comprehensive care and support from a specialized treatment center like MBO can make a profound difference in your recovery.
Remember, recovery is possible, and help is always available.

Choose Care That Prioritizes You: Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Bipolar Disorder at MBO

Mind Body Optimization offers high-quality bipolar disorder co-occurring treatment.

The primary facets of our care include:

  • Integrated Approach: MBO takes an integrated approach to dual diagnosis treatment, combining medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes to address both disorders at the same time.
  • Personalized Care: Each person receives a personalized treatment plan tailored to their specific needs, ensuring that they receive the most effective care possible.
  • Continuum of Care: MBO offers a continuum of care, including outpatient and aftercare services, to support people at every stage of their recovery journey.

Committed to Compassionate Care

At MBO, we are committed to providing innovative, evidence-based care that meets the evolving needs of our clients. We are dedicated to staying at the forefront of dual diagnosis treatment and providing compassionate, individualized care to every person who walks through our doors.

Contact Mind Body Optimization Today

If you or someone you know is struggling with bipolar disorder and substance use, don’t wait to seek help.

Contact Mind Body Optimization today to learn more about our bipolar disorder co-occurring treatment programs and take the first step toward lasting recovery and lasting healing.

Together, we can pave a path worth following. One where we can all find sustainable change.