Bipolar Disorder and Bipolar Spectrum–substance Essay

Submitted By dawnchiles
Words: 910
Pages: 4

I choose to research articles on bipolar disorder and its relation to alcoholism and other addiction issues. After researching several sites the article I found in Psychology Today, Alcoholism and Bipolar Disorder, was right on target to the information I was looking for. The article was a one page easy to read article. The article itself was short but to the point, giving me the information I was looking for.
After reading the article I found no studies explaining on how they received the data, just the data itself. Some of the facts stated were astounding, or at least I found them shocking. I would have enjoyed reading the studies on which they came to statistics relating bipolar and alcoholism.
Researchers found that men with bipolar, who are alcoholics, most often had a family history of alcoholism, bipolar disorder and drug abuse when compared with nonalcoholic bipolar men. Alcoholism among bipolar women, however, did not stem from family lineage. Their addiction had more to do with anxiety and depression (Allen, 2003).
The article goes on to state that women with bipolar disorder are seven times more likely to become alcoholics. Bipolar men are at risk too; they are three times more likely to suffer from alcoholism than other men (Allen, 2003).
Bipolar women are more at risk of developing alcoholism than non-bipolar women. Fortunately, most of the women in the study avoided drinking in the first place. Only 29 percent of them had developed alcoholism. Bipolar men, however, more often suffer from alcoholism—49 percent were classified as alcoholics (Allen, 2003).
Reading the scholarly journal was more difficult. It was 38 pages and full of statistics, studies and so on. Where the magazine article was easy to read and I felt it gave ample enough information without going into every detail. However the scholarly article gave credit to the proper sources from where they retrieved the information. During my reading of this article I gained a better understanding of the illness itself and why those who suffer with bipolar disorder are more subsepable to addictions such as alcohol.
The studies that were concluded were intensive. Groups were broke down by phases depending on gender, age, and bipolar type I or II. The control participants were recruited and matched with participants on the bipolar spectrum on age, sex and ethnicity. Only those control participants with no lifelong history of psychopathology and no family history were in the final study.
The worry, experts note, is that these patients try to self-medicate themselves by drinking too much. To understand the drinking problems of bipolar patients, Mark Frye and researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles examined 267 outpatients enrolled in the Stanley Foundation Bipolar Network. They questioned patients and physicians about alcohol use.
Bipolar disorders and substance use disorders show high co-occurrence. One explanation for this co-occurrence may be common personality vulnerabilities involved in both. The authors tested whether high behavioral approach system sensitivity and impulsiveness are shared personality vulnerabilities in bipolar spectrum disorders and substance use problems and their co-occurrence in a longitudinal study of 132 individuals on the bipolar spectrum and 153 control participants ( ). Substance use problems were assessed via the Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test and the Drug Abuse Screening Test at 4-month intervals for 1 year. Participants with bipolar disorder had higher rates of lifetime substance use disorders and substance use problems during the follow-up, relative to control participants. In line with hypotheses, higher behavioral approach system sensitivity and impulsiveness…