I’ve been with my husband 28yrs and have been through a lot of heartache but learned along the way about bipolar disorder as his sister was diagnosed 22yrs ago, then his daughter 15yrs ago and finally his sister’s granddaughter. All of these ladies are more extreme cases who have had train wreck ups and downs. However, I know that there are many others in his family who would be diagnosed if they didn’t have the belief that there is nothing wrong with them, it’s everyone else who has a problem.
I know several other people who are bipolar and have learned from them as well as speaking with qualified psychiatrists. The pieces I have been able to put together show a common denominator=an addiction of some sort. Not always a drug addiction but some are addicted to food, sex, positive attention (hey look at me, I’m the smartest, toughest etc.), negative attention (poor me, come feel sorry for me, my problems are the only problems), sexual attention (not sex itself but being desired sexually).
I feel that drug rehabs should pay more attention to checking for mental disorders and include this as a preliminary focus. I see too many rehabs keep people 28 days and little or none of that time involves a qualified psychiatric evaluation. It took until my stepdaughter was in her 20’s to be diagnosed properly and once she was put on the appropriate combo of meds for bipolar disorder, the drug addict disappeared. Now she has manageable highs & lows with occasional tantrums if feeling overwhelmed but the self destructive side has not come back and she is now 35.
I hate seeing the only options for drug addicts consist of rehab or jail. If the real core problem is determined and managed first, many more folks could be helped, there might be fewer people in jail and rehabs would have a better success rate.