Tips for Living with Bipolar Disorder
As someone living with bipolar disorder, it may sometimes feel like you’re facing an uphill battle. You experience shifts in moods and energy levels, ranging from major highs to extreme lows.
But it may also be comforting to know that you’re not alone. According to the Treatment Advocacy Centre, approximately 5.9 million Americans suffer from bipolar disorder. The report also explains that the average age of onset is 25 years.
The professionals at My Psychiatrist are also in your corner. They are patient and compassionate and are trained to diagnose and treat mental conditions such as bipolar disorder. They can help you to cope with bipolar disorder and recommend ways to manage it efficiently.
Although living with bipolar disorder is not easy, rest assured that you have some control. While psychiatric treatment and medications are crucial in helping you to cope with bipolar disorder, there are many things you can do on your own to help you lead a full and productive life. In this article, we share tips on how you can help yourself to manage this mental condition.
Learn Everything You Can About Bipolar Disorder
You can take back some of your power by educating yourself about bipolar disorder. While conducting your research, study your symptoms. By taking this step, you may be able to identify and control your symptoms before they get worse.
Additionally, you can log your mood, thoughts, and behaviors in your journal. Be sure to track stressors such as school or work stress, arguments with loved ones and seasonal changes.
It would also be helpful to stay up to date with the latest clinically approved medications and research-based treatments for bipolar disorder. You can enquire about them in your sessions with your psychiatrist or therapist. You could also prepare a list of questions to ask them and request suggestions for resources.
Maintain a Strong Support Network
Alone time isn’t always a good idea for people with bipolar disorder. It’s understandable that you may feel self-conscious about your condition but remember that the people who love you will be non-judgmental and supportive.
Having a circle of friends and family to lean on can go a long way in reducing the likelihood of a depressive episode. Keep the lines of communication open so that you can talk to them often.
Develop a Routine
With a set routine, you’ll be able to restore a sense of order in your life. You can add structure by doing the following:
- Take your medications every day as instructed by your psychiatrist or therapist
- Keep your therapy appointments
- Get sufficient and consistent sleep
- Stick to a healthy diet
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes every day to improve your mood
- Schedule time slots for family and friends
- Include time to unwind after a long day or a stressful moment
An established routine that includes the instructions is key to preventing mania and depression. Not only will you feel more organized, but you will also enjoy a better sense of well-being.
Say No to Drugs and Alcohol
Unfortunately, some people who struggle with bipolar disorder turn to drugs and alcohol to help them cope. By taking part in substance use you may be undoing all the progress you would’ve been making with your doctor.
Drugs and alcohol can alter how your medications work. They can also worsen your bipolar symptoms and may even trigger mania and depression.
Speak with your psychiatrist and a member of your circle if you struggle with substance use. Your psychiatrist can treat it along with the bipolar disorder.
Reduce Stress to Manage Bipolar Symptoms
Although stress is a part of regular life, too much of it can be problematic for people with bipolar disorder. Can you identify your stressors? If your job is one of them then perhaps you can have a candid conversation with your supervisor about your challenges. Together you can devise ways to make your tasks more manageable.
The same goes for other stressors such as doing household chores, living with an argumentative spouse or relative, or dealing with credit card debt. Speak with your therapist about ways to deal with these situations.
Be Prepared, Have a Plan
Life can be unpredictable, therefore you must prepare yourself for moments that can trigger a manic or depressive episode. With an emergency plan, you can be better able to navigate unexpected and stressful situations.
Your emergency plan should include the names of the persons to call when you feel like you’re losing control. Also, add your list of medications and hotline numbers to call if you’re feeling suicidal. In addition, include a reminder for yourself that you can always dial 911 or check yourself into an emergency room.
Bipolar Disorder Treatment Available in Reston and Falls Church, VA
Bipolar disorder doesn’t have to be a lonely experience. Speak with close family and friends about your symptoms and seek help from a professional as soon as possible to get adequate support.
At My Psychiatrist, we offer thorough evaluation, diagnosis, treatments, and therapeutic assistance so that you take charge of your life. We are ready to answer your questions and provide guidance on how to manage your bipolar symptoms. Call or book an appointment with us today.