Namaste and welcome to this blog on BPD.
Bipolar addiction is an issue which former drug users inform Doctors and care workers about.
From what I can gather, the episodes of the mania and depression are concurrent with the drug addiction process. Mania responds to the cycle of being “high” and the depression is the come down. More and more, I see studies being done and showing that drug addictions are a lot to do with choices rather than a disease and “12 Step” rehabilition programs maybe just placebo as it isn’t addressing the issue at hand properly.
Under the “choice” method of addiction, the person is choosing to use the drugs as a method to get rid of the / or an emotional issue which is eating at them either consciously or subsonsciously. The ex-addict is under this way of thinking is being told, what make you choose to do this? doesit make you feel better? and then the neurotransmitter changes on top of this. I would suggest looking at this as quote often people hide secret hurts with booze / drugs / sex or whatever as a method to avoid to facing the issue head on.
What the bipolar brain looks like
The brain when it is bipolar has “cycles” which is goes through. It can be Rapid Cycling, as officially defined as:
Four or more distinct episodes of depression and hypo/mania a year. But the original understanding was that there are periods of normal mood between episodes. In other words, the episodes were rapid, accelerated, coming faster, but were separated in time, with normal mood periods in between.
Taken from – http://bipolar.about.com/od/rapidcycling/a/laymensrapid.htm No further resource of this given on the site.
Thus is then taken as someone on January being defined as being OK in January, Feburary through to March being depressed, then in April to June being fine, July to August being hypomanic, OK in September, depressed from November then OK in December again.
There is another method of manifesting the bipolar (or bpd for short). It is referred to as a Switch, and it goes direct from one onto another. Described as being in mania in January and then it does directly to depression in Febuary to March and then you are OK only to get mania again in October and depression in November and December again.
This switching can come in two formats, you have the biphasic example as shown above, but, there is also another type called multiphasic and that is when the person goes from depression to mania and then it goes back to the depression state, It is more vicious than the normal switch as at least there is a period of time when the bpd person has a “normal” phase, although multiphasic can end, there is a continuous cycle. Usually a period of 3 to 5 cycles.
The penultimate one, we have another one, continuous cycling. The bpd, (bless them for putting up with this type of cycling) goes as the name suggests, a continuous cycle of depression to mania then depression with no normal phase inbetween. The worst bit about this type of switching is that it may have be long, short, mixed or having episodes of anxiety meshed in all this.
Last but not least, we have ultrarapid, ultra ultra rapid cycling or to give it its more formal title, ultadian cycling. This form of cycling is when there the depression / mania is cycling within a day!.
For anyone with suspected or known bpd. It would be a good idea to journal what you are going through to understand further what you are going through. Also mention your meds (if on them) or your thoughts. It should be a good help in understanding how it manifests in you.
Yet another picture of the bipolar brain. This is what the Doctors would see in the brain of a BPD patient.
There was a couple of studies mentioned in the paper that according to Professor Goodwin of Oxford University had conducted studies on the size of the brain and also had unpublished results with him. There was 990 people in the study who had bipolar and also 968 people who were “neurotypical”. The research showed that the cognitive impairment of people with bpd weren’t related to what medication they were taking, or, their moods. The size of this effect was not as bad as was first thought. The unpublished data which was included in this study was therefore ensuring that there is a more representative model of those diagnosed with bpd.
A second researcher from Spain called Professor Eduard Vieta, which directly addressed this issue:
If there is impairment of cognitive function in some individuals with bipolar disorder, can we do anything to help?
The answer is yes. The research they conducted was that the group in Barcelona developed a programme for BPD patients, this was in the form of weekly group meetings with the results examined over a 6 month period. It was found that the patients had significant cognitive improvement from when they started out with a profile of cognitive impairment and functional impairment.
It seems with these two studies mentioned above the following can be summed up with:
Bipolar disorder is associated with cognitive impairments:
which are independent of mood state
which persist during periods of recovery
which are not simply due to medication effects
BUT which may not be as large as initial studies indicated due to the bias of unpublished data
the functional consequences of which appear to respond well to an initial trial of a new “functional remediation” treatment strategy.
Which can only be beneficial to people with bpd.