While the idea that people with mental disorders are automatically more violent than the general population has been proven to be a myth, there are several aspects of untreated bipolar disorder that can lead to an increased risk of domestic violence.
This is a confusing and frightening situation with emotional and physical repercussions for all involved.
The brain uses an intricate system of chemical signals to manage emotional functions in the central nervous system. Tiny changes in the level of these chemicals are directly related to the following critical functions:
When individuals suffer from an imbalance or deficiency in this chemical system, they may experience times of extreme depression and times of emotional mania.
Bipolar individuals tend to move from one of these emotional extremes to the other. They often fail to receive treatment because during depressive episodes they don’t believe there is any hope to feel better and during manic times they don’t feel that they need any help. Spouses and loved ones tend to live with a combination of fear and uncertainty as a result.
Individuals with untreated bipolar disorder are at an increased risk for violent behavior for the following reasons:
While there is no known cure for bipolar disorder, mental health professionals have discovered several very effective treatment tools, including medical care and various forms of counseling, that can reduce symptoms significantly.
It is not uncommon for the partner of a bipolar individual to resort to holding an intervention in order to convince his or her partner that help is needed and available.
If you are living with a bipolar individual and are concerned for your safety or the safety of your loved one, please call our toll-free helpline at 877-345-3357. Our admission counselors can help you understand the implications and risks associated with this disease and can connect you with excellent recovery resources. If you feel that you are in immediate danger, please call 911 before doing anything else.
Integrated Treatment of Substance Abuse & Mental Illness