What Do You Do To Keep Well
Keeping well when you have bipolar is an interesting concept. For some it revolves exclusively around manging moods. For others it means fitting life around moods.
For me, and others like me who are deep into a recovery that seems to be holding, its about keeping an eye, and investing in the things that help us all boost our mental health.
For many, if not most people with bipolar, life and keeping well includes taking medication.
Blogger Tanya said:
The thing I most prioritise with keeping myself well is to be strict in taking my medication. Missing doses or tweaking them without professional help can be devastating.
Again, Im going to buck the trend and say I dont take medication routinely. I took lithium for a decade, and then wanted, once I knew myself and had done my research, to try tapering off. That was eight years ago, and Ive managed it. I did it carefully, over two years, with support, whilst learning other techniques.
For 13 years, I took medication, but in the past six months, Ive been trying to cope without it. So I have to be super careful, and alas, super boring. I dont drink a lot, I have relatively early nights when I can.
Bipolar can also be triggered by trauma, or other life events and sometimes part of therapy is addressing underlying concerns to get someone to a point where they can start to see a life worth living.
Hannah has a rigid menu:
Patients: Stop Damaging Your Body
There are some dangers inherent in bipolar disorder that make it more likely you’ll do harmful things to yourself or be intimidated into letting medical personnel give you inadequate or even improper treatment. It’s up to you to take action about these issues. Understand why they happen and what you need to do, with insights from others to help you.
Bipolar Disorder And Infidelity: Why It Happens
Infidelity is common in bipolar disorder, and sadly, it can inflict lasting damage to a bipolar relationship. Of course, there are many reasons for infidelity within a marriage or committed relationship, and its important to remember that having bipolar disorder does not mean you cant be faithful to a romantic partner.
Extramarital sex is often described as a symptom of mania in bipolar disorder, but while these symptoms can explain infidelity, having bipolar disorder is not an excuse to cheat. The more you understand why bipolar disorder and infidelity are so common, the faster you can treat your bipolar symptoms and seek help for this common issue. With this in mind, lets look at why bipolar and infidelity often co-exist and find ways to combat the problem.
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Go To Couples Counseling
Couples counseling is essential for working through upset over a bipolar partners actions. Its common for someone with bipolar disorder to hurt and offend their partner. When someone is first diagnosed, there are often relationship issues that need to be addressed. Couples counseling can help you:
- Understand that theres an illness involved in the hurtful behavior.
- Forgive the behavior that happened during an altered mood state.
- Set boundaries with a partner about maintaining treatment.
Anything That Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger
Yes, it’s true that some people go through difficult experiences, learn from them, and come out of them stronger. But this phrase is wrongbipolar disorder can kill. At least 25% to 60% of people with bipolar disorder attempt suicide and between 4% and 16% die from suicide.
Leave this cliche out of your repertoire. If you have a friend or family member with bipolar disorder, be aware that they might go into a crisis and need your support.
If you or a loved one are having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 for support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911.
For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.
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How Is Nimh Addressing Bipolar Disorder
The National Institute of Mental Health conducts and supports research on bipolar disorder that increases our understanding of its causes and helps develop new treatments. Researchers continue to study genetics and bipolar disorder, brain function, and symptoms in children and teens who have bipolar disorder, as well as family history in health and behavior.
Learn more about NIMHs research priorities and current studies.
What Medications Are Used To Treat Bipolar Disorder
Certain medications can help manage symptoms of bipolar disorder. You may need to try several different medications, with guidance from your healthcare provider, before finding what works best.
Medications healthcare providers generally prescribe to treat bipolar disorder include:
- Mood stabilizers.
- Second-generation neuroleptics .
If youre taking medication for bipolar disorder, you should:
- Talk with your healthcare provider to understand the risks, side effects and benefits of the medication.
- Tell your healthcare provider about any prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications or supplements youre already taking.
- Tell your healthcare provider right away if youre experiencing concerning side effects. They may need to change your dose or try a different medication.
- Remember that medication for bipolar disorder must be taken consistently, as prescribed.
Mood stabilizers for bipolar disorder
People with bipolar disorder typically need mood-stabilizing medication to manage manic or hypomanic episodes.
Types of mood stabilizers and their brand names include:
Thyroid gland and kidney problems can sometimes develop when taking lithium, so your healthcare provider will monitor the function of your thyroid and kidneys, as well as monitor the levels of lithium in your blood, as levels can easily become too high.
The following are signs of lithium toxicity . Call your healthcare provider immediately or go to the nearest emergency room if you experience:
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Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator
This online resource, provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration , can help you locate mental health treatment facilities and programs. Find a facility in your state by searching SAMHSAs online Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator. For additional resources, visit NIMH’s Help for Mental Illnesses webpage.
Can Bipolar People Tell They Are Bipolar
This is a common question and one that I, myself, was recently asked. Ive been diagnosed with bipolar II with psychotic features, so this is a question close to my heart. Ive been asked this question by family, friends and even people Ive just met. In fact, its one of the most common questions Ive been asked since I was first diagnosed in 1996..
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Overview Of Bipolar Disorder
If you want to know how to support a friend or loved one with bipolar disorder, learning more about the condition can be a helpful first step. Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition characterized by extreme fluctuations in mood. These shifts in mood make it difficult for a person to function in their daily life including at work, at home, and in relationships.
The mood fluctuations that people experience can include mania, hypomania, depression, and mixed episodes. It is also important to recognize that bipolar disorder is strongly influenced by genetics, but environmental factors, such as poor social support and trauma, are also thought to play a role in triggering the onset of the condition.
Statistics suggest that around 4.4% of adults in the U.S. have bipolar disorder.
Some things that you should never say to someone who has bipolar disorder include the following.
You’re Just Overreacting Again
Overreacting is a symptom of bipolar disorder, but phrases like this minimize the person’s experience of this symptom. When supporting a loved one living with a mental health condition like bipolar disorder, it’s important that your words demonstrate empathy rather than exasperation.
Your loved one may very well be overreacting compared to how you would perceive the situation, but describing their feelings as “just” overreacting trivializes their lived experience and communicates shame rather than compassion.
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What Types Of Therapy Are Used To Treat Bipolar Disorder
Psychotherapy, also called talk therapy, can be an effective part of the treatment plan for people with bipolar disorder.
Psychotherapy is a term for a variety of treatment techniques that aim to help you identify and change troubling emotions, thoughts and behaviors. Working with a mental health professional, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist, can provide support, education and guidance to you and your family.
Different types of therapy for bipolar disorder include:
Red Flags That Show Someone You Love May Have Bipolar
Each of the disorders above has its own range of signs and symptoms. These can vary wildly depending on the specific diagnosis, as well as the individual. That, plus the fact that bipolar individuals swing from mania to depression, can make it difficult for loved ones to recognize larger patterns.
If you suspect that someone you love may be bipolar, here are six big signs to watch out for in past, present, and future behavior.
1. Shifts Between High and Low Energy
Mania and depression are the juxtaposed hallmarks of bipolar disorder. As such, individuals oscillate between the symptoms of both mental states according to their internal clock and external pressures.
During a manic phase, a person may appear to have too much energy out of nowhere. They may feel elation, euphoria, or excitement for days on end. Others may primarily express this energetic excess by becoming frantic or irritable.
Mania may also present with periods of racing thoughts and speech, which can lead to out-of-character slurring or shouting.
Often times, it is harder to recognize the symptoms of hypomania, but they will be there. For these individuals, they may suddenly snap out of a depressive funk and become productive. This can look like performing well at work, spending more time with friends, or making great strides in their favorite hobbies. They may also be happier, more irritable, or speak more quickly than usual.
2. Sleep Pattern Changes
4. Changes in Sex Drive
How Long Can You Be In A Manic State
Untreated, an episode of mania can last anywhere from a few days to several months. Most commonly, symptoms continue for a few weeks to a few months. Depression may follow shortly after, or not appear for weeks or months. Many people with bipolar I disorderbipolar I disorderPsychiatry. Bipolar I disorder is a type of bipolar spectrum disorder characterized by the occurrence of at least one manic episode, with or without mixed or psychotic features.https://en.wikipedia.org wiki Bipolar_I_disorderBipolar I disorder Wikipedia experience long periods without symptoms in between episodes.
How To Get Help
About 2.6% of the U.S. population have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. It usually comes on at about age 25, but it can happen earlier. There are different types, too. Symptoms can happen — or not happen — along a wide spectrum.
A âlife chartâ is a good way to track your moods and help your doctor diagnose whether you have bipolar disorder. Youâll record details about your moods, sleep patterns, and events in your life. If youâre on a manic swing, you might feel âupâ and capable, but a look at the big picture will show you how a âdownâ will follow. The info also will give your doctor a window into your day-to-day — even hour-to-hour — life to decide how best to proceed with treatment if needed.
Special phone apps can help you keep up, too. There are quite a few available to help you track your moods, medications, sleep patterns, and more. One even analyzes how you type on your phone: your rhythm and speed, mistakes, corrections, and other dynamics, but not your content. It then uses this data to gauge your mood and predict bipolar episodes. Just remember that these apps donât take the place of following a treatment plan under your doctorâs care.
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What Are The Side Effects Of Bipolar Disorder Medications
Side effects of bipolar disorder medications are common and vary by medication. Its important to talk with your healthcare provider about what you can expect when taking certain medications. Its also important to tell them if youre experiencing side effects.
Never stop taking your medication unless your healthcare provider tells you to do so. Abruptly stopping medication can cause severe side effects and trigger severe episodes.
The most common side effects of bipolar disorder medications include:
- Akathisia feelings of restlessness and agitation with a compelling need to move, rock or pace.
Long Emotional Peaks Andvalleys
Perhaps the most instantly recognizable of the symptoms of bipolardisorder, this includes being on high highs and lowlows for extended periods of time. It can manifest in ways that seempositive on the surface.
However, it quickly reveals itself the longer it goes. Itcan be difficult for the bipolar patient to notice from the inside. Butindividuals who dont have the condition can judge against their own frame ofreference.
Is whats making the bipolar person happy or sad or angry really worththe reaction? Whats the extent of that reaction? Are they growing violent orself-destructive as a result of it?
These long emotional peaks and valleys are telltale signs of a manicepisode. They require immediate medical attention because of some of the otheritems on this list to which they might lead.
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You Can Support Someone You Love With Bipolar Disorder By Educating Yourself And Understanding These Facts
Learn as much as you can about bipolar disorder, Nina*, 25, who has bipolar II, tells SELF. There are so many books for families and friends.
Bradley, who is 54 years old and has bipolar I, first picked up on symptoms of his condition when he was 48. He tells SELF that a reliable, informed support system is key in helping a person with bipolar stay on top of their treatment. If the person is in denial about their condition, then friends and family need to conduct a loving intervention to explain their care and the need for the person to be evaluated, he suggests. They need to do it together and all go with the person to see a great psychiatrist, then provide assistance in order to make sure that their is regularly taken. No exceptions.
Mike uses his wife as a example of how family can be hugely important for someone with bipolar disorder: makes sure I take my meds. She has learned to recognize signs that I am experiencing unnatural highs and lows. She will force me to have contact with others even though I dont want the contact. She asks how I am, and she engages me in conversation even when I dont want to talk, he says. I appreciate that, and it always helps.
Can Bipolar Hear Voices
They can hear voices but it is different from schizophrenia. Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder identified by extreme changes in mood, energy, activity levels, and the inability to function normally. The defining characteristic of bipolar disorder is the presence of one or more episodes of abnormally elevated mood. The disorder is sometimes referred to as manic depression because of the depressed state. Bipolar disorder is characterized by mood swings that cause suffering and disability. When someone has both depression and mania, it is called a manic depressive illness. Bipolar disorder can make it hard to stay focused, think clearly, and get along with other people..
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Address The Manic Signs Of Bipolardisorder
The manic signs of bipolar disorder require immediate intervention. Otherwise, they can forever alter the course of ones personal and professional life. You can live a fulfilling life with bipolar disorder, but only if youre able to notice and address the issues when they arise. Contact us today if you or someone you love has been experiencing the above signs and symptoms.
Patients: Don’t Stop Taking Your Medications On Your Own
Unless you’re having a severe side effect, you should never discontinue medications without your doctor’s supervision. Abruptly stopping some medications can cause serious side effects, too. For example, the reaction many people experience when they discontinue certain antidepressants is so unpleasant it even has a name: SSRI discontinuation syndrome. If you want to stop taking one or more of your medications, talk to your doctor first.
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How Is Bipolar Disorder Diagnosed
To diagnose bipolar disorder, a health care provider may complete a physical exam, order medical testing to rule out other illnesses, and refer the person for an evaluation by a mental health professional. Bipolar disorder is diagnosed based on the severity, length, and frequency of an individuals symptoms and experiences over their lifetime.
Some people have bipolar disorder for years before its diagnosed for several reasons. People with bipolar II disorder may seek help only for depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes may go unnoticed. Misdiagnosis may happen because some bipolar disorder symptoms are like those of other illnesses. For example, people with bipolar disorder who also have psychotic symptoms can be misdiagnosed with schizophrenia. Some health conditions, such as thyroid disease, can cause symptoms like those of bipolar disorder. The effects of recreational and illicit drugs can sometimes mimic or worsen mood symptoms.
Signs Of Bipolar Disorder
- Unpredictable and extreme mood swings
- Going from being wired, talkative, and jumpy , to feeling melancholy and depressed
- Co-occurring disorders, such as alcohol or drug abuse, eating disorders, anxiety issues, and ADHD
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