What is the Correlation between Shopping Addiction and Bipolar Disorder?

A Brief Look at Shopping Addiction and Bipolar Disorder

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, is a mental disorder marked by alternating periods of elation (or elevated mood) and depression. Bipolar disorder causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypo mania) and lows (depression). Individuals suffering from this disorder experience periods of unusually intense emotions. Because of the extreme mood swings, one may be unable to control their impulses and have a difficult time making a distinction between needs and wants. As such, shopping addiction and bipolar disorder are very common. Bipolar disorder has two tiers – Bipolar I disorder and Bipolar II disorder. The main difference between tiers is the extent of the mania.

Mania, Hypomania, and Mixed Mania

Mania is an abnormally elevated mood state. In order for a correct diagnosis of a manic episode, the person must show signs of abnormally elevated changes in their mood, flamboyant, irritable; the mood or behavior must last a week (with the involvement of hospitalization). In addition, there must be at minimum, three other symptoms present (see checklist below) not including irritability. Symptoms must significantly affect the ability to manage at your job or in school – or maintain relationships.

  • Inappropriate elation
  • Increased irritability
  • Grandiose notions
  • Severe insomnia
  • Increased speed of speech or more talkative than usual
  • Racing and disconnected thoughts
  • Increased sexual desire
  • Increased energy and activity level
  • Inappropriate social behavior
  • Poor judgement (shopping addiction and bipolar disorder are common)
  • Distracted by irrelevant things

Hypomania (or a hypomanic episode) is a mild form of mania that does not require hospitalization. If symptoms persist for than a week, but for a minimum of four days, then the episode is considered hypomanic. Some people describe the hypomanic episode as a state where the individual experiences a feeling of extraordinary energy, as though they can do just about anything with their new found energy. However, alterations in behavior and sleep are distinct from the "usual" behaviors of the person and are not difficult for people closest to them to decipher. Mania that includes symptoms of depression (which is "agitated depression") is called mixed mania.


With bipolar disorder, a major depressive episode can be debilitating and dangerous. It can also be confusing when the individual is also experiencing symptoms of mania which is known as a mixed state. To be diagnosed with a major depressive episode, one must experience more than five of the symptoms just about every single day during a two-week period. One symptom must include low mood (crying frequently or feeling sad/empty) or significant loss of interest in typical activities. Additional symptoms to look out for include:

  • Increase or decrease in appetite (when not dieting) and/or weight change
  • Recurring thoughts of suicide or death
  • Diminished ability to concentrate and/or make decisions
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Moving uncharacteristically slow or observable restlessness
  • Excessive or inappropriate guilt and/or feelings of worthlessness

Compulsive Shopping

Compulsive shopping disorder is characterized by irresistible urges, remorse, preoccupation, frequent spending, and financial disaster. These signs suggest a psychiatric disorder. The usual pattern is onset in late adolescence to early adulthood. Compulsive shopping disorder and bipolar disorder or similar in that the symptoms are chronic and/or recurrent. Please contact Durham dual diagnosis treatment for more information.

Dual Diagnosis

Dual diagnosis refers to co-occurring mental health conditions. Dual diagnosis is extremely beneficial and important to anyone who has been diagnosed with two separate illnesses, and each illness requires its own treatment. Shopping addiction and bipolar disorder is a dual diagnosis. The individual needs to be treated for bipolar disorder and for the shopping addiction. If you or someone you love is suffering from either (or both) illnesses, please contact Durham Drug Treatment Centers today at (877) 804-1531 to find out more about Durham dual diagnosis treatment centers and other treatment options that can help








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