Defining Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is characterized by intense ups and downs — periods of mania (hyperactivity) followed by depression. Some cases may be mild enough to go undiagnosed for years, while others are very severe, causing fluctuations in mood and behavior that can make individuals volatile enough to be a danger to themselves and others. The cause of bipolar disorder is unknown, but the onset of the disease is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors

The Connection Between Bipolar and Sex Addiction

Bipolar disorder is life-disrupting, and those suffering from this condition are vulnerable to self-medicating, turning to drugs or alcohol to manage their ups and downs. According to one study, 56% of individuals with bipolar disorder had a lifetime substance use disorder — and substance misuse or addiction can make a growing sex addiction problem even worse.

Treating Complex Mental Health Issues

An estimated 2.8% of US adults had bipolar disorder in the past year and more than 4% of US adults experience bipolar disorder at some time in their lives, according to data from the National Institute of Mental Health. And the issue can start early: Nearly 3% of adolescents had bipolar disorder in the past year, and of those, 2.6% experienced severe impairment.

Signs of a manic episode:

  • Unusually jumpy or upbeat
  • Hyperactive, highly energetic, or agitated
  • Inflated sense of self
  • Doesn’t sleep or seem to need sleep
  • Highly talkative (or talks fast)
  • Easily distractible
  • Makes poor or impulsive decisions
  • Engages in risk-taking behavior

Signs of a major depressive episode:

  • Deep sadness or hopelessness
  • Flat affect, apathy, or loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Inability to sleep or oversleeping
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Inability to concentrate, think clearly, or make decisions
  • Suicidal thinking
  • Unexplained weight gain or weight loss (marked increase or decrease in appetite)
  • Feelings of worthlessness or extreme guilt
  • Marked slowness or restlessness

These complex mental health issues need treatment from an experienced team that understands how to address co-occurring disorders like sex addiction and bipolar.

man leaning against wall suffering from borderline personality disorder

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Recovery is Possible

Gentle Path is a safe, nurturing community composed of peers where your journey of recovery will include not just dealing with outward behaviors but examining the underlying causes. The goal is to gain the courage to face difficult issues (including grief and loss), heal from emotional trauma, and become accountable for your feelings, behaviors, and recovery.


Taking that first step is hard, but there’s a new life of health and hope just waiting for you. The next chapter of your life can begin now, but only you can change your story.

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