Track Your Moods And Triggers
Keeping a journal helped Joyce of Sioux City, Iowa, figure out her typical triggers.
I write down how I am feeling so I can look back and reference other entries to look for common themes, she says.
Journaling helped her identify behaviors to address, such as waiting calmly at traffic lights, being patient with others, and handling comments that irk her whether aimed at me or not, she reports.
After three decades of living with bipolar, the 61-year-old has a handle on the emotional and physical signals that tell her its time to redirect her energy. When she feels her temper heat up, she gets down to her favorite music, including disco tunes like Chics 1978 hit Le Freak.
My therapist told me to put on my favorite music and dance when I am feeling rage. I had to laugh at the suggestion at first, but it works, and the only one who can see me is my cat.
Choose Natural Products With Care
People sometimes use St. Johns wort to treat depressive symptoms, but they may and interfere with antidepressants.
People with bipolar disorder should not use St. Johns wort.
Always speak to a doctor before trying any natural or alternative therapy. Some can interact with other drugs, and they may have adverse effects.
The FDA does not officially regulate supplements and herbal products, so people may not know exactly what they are buying.
Pay Attention To Symptoms
Talk to your loved one about what might be helpful if you notice that their symptoms have grown more serious. This might involve taking over some duties for them while they are experiencing an episode of mania or depression.
It might also involve helping them manage the effects of their symptoms by holding on to things that they may not want to have access to while they are experiencing mania.
Loss of interest and pleasure
Feelings of hopelessness
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Can Bipolar Disorder Be Cured
Bipolar disorder is chronic, and it can be a lifelong condition, so treatment options should be considered for the long-term. Individuals need to quickly integrate treatments into their lives and maintain them over time to be most effective.
Medications are not recommended for long-term use since they can cause tolerance, dependency, and addiction. Behavioural therapies, counselling, self-help groups, and psychotherapies are beneficial. With the proper treatment, one can manage the symptoms of bipolar disorder like Self-Absorption. This will help you live a more balanced, everyday life. Many types of treatment are available for bipolar disorder, and you or a loved one may find one that works best. It is advised that loved ones of patients with bipolar disorder should also seek therapy and read more to help them navigate things easily and understand that Self-Absorption is another perception of the disorder. What works for one person might not work for all, but you can pinpoint the right and most effective options with a personalized treatment plan.
Things like maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, staying physically active, relaxing, and getting in touch with ones spiritual side contribute to the successful treatment of Bipolar disorder. An integrated treatment program offers tools, techniques, and skills to help patients achieve this.
Coping With Bipolar Mood Swings
Dramatic mood swings between the highs of mania and the lows of depression can be exhausting for the person with bipolar disorder. Here’s how to cope.
Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme mood swings from mania to depression. The pattern of highs and lows varies for each person: For some people, episodes of mania or depression can last for weeks or months, while for others, mood swings are shorter and more frequent. Coping with bipolar disorder and the mood swings it brings can be difficult. But understanding what causes mood swings can be the first step in coping with the ups and downs of bipolar disorder.
Bipolar Mood Swings: Causes and Triggers
Bipolar disorder is thought to be caused by a chemical imbalance that alters a person’s moods. This imbalance may be linked to irregular hormone production or a problem with chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters that act as messengers to nerve cells. Because bipolar disorder tends to run in families, genetics are also thought to play a role in fact, researchers believe that the chemical changes leading to the disorder result from a combination of genes and environmental influences. Some brain scans have revealed actual physical changes in the brains of people with bipolar disorder.
The best way to prevent mood swings is to get treatment for bipolar disorder. But it’s also possible to reduce the frequency and intensity of mood swings by being aware of situations or events that can trigger them.
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Accepting Treatment And Support
Receiving the correct treatment can help a person with bipolar disorder to manage the highs and lows that they experience. Medication can be an important aspect of this treatment, if appropriate and prescribed by a doctor.
Psychotherapy such as cognitive behavioural therapy , interpersonal therapy and couple or family-focused therapy can also be a crucial part of treatment:
- CBT can help a person to recognise the signs of a mood change and learn ways to move on from unhelpful thoughts when they are in a state of mania or depression, so that these negative thoughts and emotions dont have such a negative impact on how they go onto behave
- IPT can be beneficial when someone is experiencing prolonged or frequent periods of depression. It can help them to target thoughts and symptoms that may be affecting their behaviour in personal relationships, so that they are able to interact more effectively regardless of the highs and lows of their mood
- Couples and family therapy can help to educate others on bipolar disorder. It can also give people the opportunity to talk through and improve family interactions, and develop strategies so that each person can support one another going forward
Helping Someone Living With Depression Or Bipolar
Your loved ones condition is not your fault . You cant make your loved one well, but you can offer support, understanding, and hope. Each person experiences a mood disorder differently, with different symptoms. Depression may cause someone to have feelings of unbearable sadness, guilt, worthlessness, and hopelessness. The person does not want to feel this way but cant control it. The best way to find out what your loved one needs from you is by asking direct questions, but also respecting the individuals personal space when they dont want to talk.
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The Exhaustion Of Perfectionism
Lots of people envy me because I seem so well put-together and organized. But keeping up this routine can be exhausting.
When theres disarray in any aspect of my lifebe it a bathroom renovation, a job transition, or even a change in social plans, I panic.
Im a creature of habit. I need stability to avoid a mood episode. Disruptions are triggers that can easily set me off. And the world health crisis has been a huge trigger, to say the least. Id been handling it fairly well, but my sense of stability didnt last.
After months of the same thing, day in and day out, I was freaking out. Id tried to control my immediate environment like Id always done.
After all, it had worked beforewhy wouldnt it work now?
And it did.
Until it didnt.
I couldnt control the turmoil in the world. Over time, that got to me. Finally, the reality of what was going on around me seeped through the cracks in my carefully constructed walls. Although Id felt in my gut that Id be okay if everything was spotless and orderly, eventually, I realized my gut instinct was wrong.
Even though nothing was out of place, and I had a routine, I started feeling antsy.
My cleaning and organizing just werent a sustainable solution, because they were masking my feelings. I was just putting Band-Aids on gaping wounds.
And Id been acting instead of thinking.
Lifestyle Management For Bipolar
According to both experts, cultivating healthy habits is paramount. Sleep deprivation and substance abuse exacerbate bipolar disorder and derail treatment, Preston said. Even patients who receive effective treatment dont end up getting better if theyre abusing drugs and alcohol, he said.
If youre struggling with substance abuse, seek professional help. Make sleep a priority. Try to get seven to eight hours of slumber per night, and wake up at the same time each morning. Consult your doctor if youre traveling between time zones, which boosts the risk for manic episodes.
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Convincing A Person With Bipolar Disorder To See A Doctor
Aside from offering emotional support, the best way to help your loved one with bipolar disorder is by encouraging and supporting treatment. Often, that can be more of a challenge than it sounds. Since people with bipolar disorder tend to lack insight into their condition, its not always easy to get them to a doctor. When your loved one is manic, they feel great and dont realize theres a problem. When your loved one is depressed, they may recognize somethings wrong, but often lack the energy to seek help.
If your loved one wont acknowledge the possibility of bipolar disorder, dont argue about it. The idea may be frightening to them, so be sensitive. Suggest a routine medical checkup instead, or a doctors visit for a specific symptom, such as insomnia, irritability, or fatiguethen privately call ahead to tell the doctor of your concerns about bipolar disorder.
Things you can say that might help:
- Bipolar disorder is a real illness, like diabetes. It requires medical treatment.
- Youre not to blame for bipolar disorder. You didnt cause it. Its not your fault.
- You can feel better. There are many treatments that can help.
- When bipolar disorder isnt treated, it usually gets worse.
What If Im Not Happy With My Treatment
If you arent happy with your treatment you can:
- talk to your doctor about your treatment options,
- ask for a second opinion,
- get an advocate to help you speak to your doctor,
- contact Patient Advice and Liaison Service , or
- make a complaint.
There is more information about these options below.
How can I speak to my doctor about my treatment options?
You can speak to your doctor about your treatment. Explain why you arent happy with it. You could ask what other treatments you could try.
Tell your doctor if there is a type of treatment that you would like to try. Doctors should listen to your preference. If you arent given this treatment, ask your doctor to explain why it isnt suitable for you.
Whats a second opinion?
A second opinion means that you would like a different doctor to give their opinion about what treatment you should have. You can also ask for a second opinion if you disagree with your diagnosis.
You dont have a right to a second opinion. But your doctor should listen to your reason for wanting a second opinion.
What is advocacy?
An advocate is independent from the mental health service. They are free to use. They can be useful if you find it difficult to get your views heard.
There are different types of advocates available. Community advocates can support you to get a health professional to listen to your concerns. And help you to get the treatment that you would like. NHS complaints advocates can help you if you want to complain about the NHS.
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Know When Its Too Much
No one knows how to handle bipolar disorder better than the specialists trained to treat it. If youre helping a person with bipolar disorder and it feels like things are getting too difficult to handle, reach out to a medical or mental health expert right away. Call 911 if the person becomes abusive or threatens to harm themselves or others.
How To Manage Bipolar Anger
Brondolo recommends tracking various aspects of your feelings and behaviors on a regular basisalthough she notes that such self-awareness isnt easy once your brain starts misfiring.
Her checklist starts with the basics: Am I upset about something? If so, what and why?
Also consider whether you are feeling anxious, sleeping normally, drinking alcohol, experiencing symptoms of mania or depression, and taking medications as prescribed.
The answers to these questions may motivate you to call your doctor, she says.
If you can head off shifts into mania and depression, related anger responses will also abate, points out Norman Sussman, MD, a professor of psychiatry at New York Universitys Langone Medical Center.
Sleep is one of the most sensitive early markers of a shifting moodeven one night of lost sleep can be a trigger for anger, he adds.
Early interventionchecking for medication adherence, tweaking a regimen, or visiting the therapistmay help stave off a full-blown episode, Sussman says.
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Supporting A Loved One During Bipolar Disorder Treatment
Once your friend or family member agrees to see a doctor, you can help by being a partner in treatment. Your support can make a big difference in their treatment success, so offer to be involved in any way your loved one wants or needs.
Things you can do to support a loved ones bipolar disorder treatment:
- Find qualified doctors and therapists.
- Set up appointments and go along.
- Offer your insights to the doctor.
- Monitor your loved ones moods.
- Learn about their medications.
My Fathers Bipolar & My Need For Control As A Child
When I was a little girl, I lived with a constant sense of underlying uneasiness because my dad had bipolar disorder. I never knew what to expect from him from one moment to the next. Some days, he was angry and mean. Others, he was silent and emotionally absent. Very rarely, he was pleasant.
My dads face hid what lay beneath. I had no real sense of security, stability, or control over my world. So, at a very young age, I became a neat freak. I repeatedly cleaned, organized, and even sometimes discarded my belongings because my room felt too cluttered. Now I know that I was overwhelmed.
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Other Ways To Help Someone With Bipolar Disorder
You can also support your loved one by:
Learning about bipolar disorder. Learn everything you can about the symptoms and treatment options. The more you know about bipolar disorder, the better equipped youll be to help your loved one and keep things in perspective.
Encouraging the person to get help. The sooner bipolar disorder is treated, the better the prognosis, so urge your loved one to seek professional help right away. Dont wait to see if they will get better without treatment.
Being understanding. Let your friend or family member know that youre there if they need a sympathetic ear, encouragement, or assistance with treatment. People with bipolar disorder are often reluctant to seek help because they dont want to feel like a burden to others, so remind the person that you care and that youll do whatever you can to help.
Showing patience. Getting better takes time, even when a person is committed to treatment. Dont expect a quick recovery or a permanent cure. Be patient with the pace of recovery and prepare for setbacks and challenges. Managing bipolar disorder is a lifelong process.
The importance of support in bipolar disorder recovery
People with bipolar disorder do better when they have support from family members and friends. They tend to recover more quickly, experience fewer manic and depressive episodes, and have milder symptoms.
Bipolar Anger: A Source Of Embarrassment
Many with bipolar disorder don’t discuss the anger problems that are associated with the moodswings of mania and depression. Why? Because they’re embarrassed that they can’t control it. In an article for BP Hope Magazine, HealthyPlace bipolar consumer expert and mental health author, Julie Fast, describes her battle with anger and bipolar:
“There are many people in jail because of their anger and bipolar behavior. Children who threaten their parents, women who punch a co-worker, or men who pick fights with strangers are common among people who have this illness. We dont discuss it much, because so many people are embarrassed by what they have done. All my life, Ive lived with the embarrassment of mood swings. Indeed, bipolar affects my moods in so many ways that its hard to keep track of what is real and what is caused by faulty wiring in my brain.
In addition to the symptoms of bipolar, there are drugs, including various steroids, that are notorious for causing anger. But no matter what causes the bipolar person to be angry, the question is: How do you deal with a person who’s bipolar and angry?
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Bipolar Impulsivity: How To Control Impulses
According to a 2014 study published in Bipolar Disorder, We found that better self-reported impulse control was the primary predictor of time to reach euthymia when compared to other clinical characteristics associated with disease course.
This means that patients with better impulse control were more likely to respond to treatment than those with poor impulse control.
According to their research, 94 study participants who were hospitalized with bipolar I and had better impulse control according to the Barratt Impulsiveness scale 11th edition also significantly correlated with greater educational attainment, later age of illness onset, shorter illness duration, and fewer depressive symptoms.
Because of their findings, researchers went on to propose that providers consider target impulse control as a potential protective factor among audits with bipolar I disorder.
What does this all mean for you, readers? Were obviously not telling you that you should be hospitalized to improve your bipolar impulsivity, but there are things that you can do to improve your skills.