Tip : Keep Stress To A Minimum
Stress can trigger episodes of mania and depression in people with bipolar disorder, so keeping it under control is extremely important. Know your limits, both at home and at work or school. Dont take on more than you can handle and take time to yourself if youre feeling overwhelmed.
Learn how to relax.Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, and guided imagery can be very effective at reducing stress and keeping you on an even keel. A daily relaxation practice can improve your mood and keep depression at bay.
Make leisure time a priority. Do things for no other reason than that it feels good to do them. Go to a funny movie, take a walk on the beach, listen to music, read a good book, or talk to a friend. Doing things just because they are fun is no indulgence. Play is an emotional and mental health necessity.
Appeal to your senses.Stay calm and energized by appealing to your senses: sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste. Listen to music that lifts your mood, place flowers where you will see and smell them, massage your hands and feet, or sip a warm drink.
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Quick Primer On A Bipolar Disorder Manic Episode
Leading up to a manic episode, you may notice a loved one with bipolar disorder exhibiting energy levels or giddiness not typical for them.
Maybe theyve become increasingly obsessive about a project, really impatient, or super chatty. This unpredictable behavior may start negatively affecting their relationships and interfering with work or home life.
Reach Out To Your Healthcare Team
The first and most important thing to do if you think you have manic episodes, is to reach out to your mental health provider. This could include a psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse practitioner, counselor, social worker, or other mental health professional. If youre worried that youre close to the onset of a manic episode, contact your mental health provider as soon as possible to discuss your symptoms.
If you have a loved one or family member who is familiar with your illness, they may also help you receive support.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder
The symptoms of bipolar disorder can vary. An individual with bipolar disorder may have manic episodes, depressive episodes, or mixed episodes. A mixed episode has both manic and depressive symptoms. These mood episodes cause symptoms that last a week or two or sometimes longer. During an episode, the symptoms last every day for most of the day. Mood episodes are intense. The feelings are intense and happen along with changes in behavior, energy levels, or activity levels that are noticeable to others.
|Symptoms of a Manic Episode
|Symptoms of a Depressive Episode
|Feeling very up, high, elated, or extremely irritable or touchy
|Feeling very down or sad, or anxious
|Feeling jumpy or wired, more active than usual
|Feeling slowed down or restless
|Trouble concentrating or making decisions
|Trouble falling asleep, waking up too early, or sleeping too much
|Talking fast about a lot of different things
|Talking very slowly, feeling like you have nothing to say, or forgetting a lot
|Excessive appetite for food, drinking, sex, or other pleasurable activities
|Lack of interest in almost all activities
|Thinking you can do a lot of things at once without getting tired
|Unable to do even simple things
|Feeling like you are unusually important, talented, or powerful
|Feeling hopeless or worthless, or thinking about death or suicide
How To View The Behavior
Think of it as reacting to a child who has diabetes and is in a state of agitation due to high blood sugar level. You would accept that his off-behavior temper is due to something medical and you would treat it with medication or food. Its important to remember that because your child has a brain disorder, it is the chemistry of their brain that drives their rage. That doesnt preclude setting boundaries, but its an important distinction to make, especially when there are other children in the household without bipolar symptoms and require different parenting techniques.
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How To Prepare For Potential Manic Episodes
Preparation starts with upfront communication.
If the person you know who has bipolar disorder or any mental health condition, for that matter has not first communicated a clinical diagnosis, or asked explicitly for your eyes and ears in managing public-facing manifestations, its not recommended to step in. Its that persons choice to disclose their condition or not. Its not up to our prerogative to step in, uninvited.
If theyve asked you in advance for help if an episode of mania or hypomania escalates, learning to identify the warning signs and symptoms of an oncoming manic episode can provide context for perhaps uncomfortable or harmful behavior and help you two customize a strategy.
Recovering From A Manic Episode
In the recovery period, its time to start regaining control over your life and schedule. Discuss with your mental health provider and loved ones what youve learned from the episode, such as possible triggers. You can also start reestablishing a schedule for sleeping, eating, and exercising.
Its important to think about what you can learn from this episode and how you can help yourself in the future. This will help you engage later in mania prevention.
Following a manic episode, many people gain insight into what may lead to their episodes. Examples of common mania triggers can include:
- drinking alcohol or abusing illegal drugs
- staying up all night and skipping sleep
- hanging out with others known to be an unhealthy influence
- going off your regular diet or exercise program
- stopping or skipping your medications
- skipping therapy sessions
Keeping yourself on a routine as much as possible can help reduce manic episodes. But keep in mind that it wont prevent them altogether.
If you or a loved one has bipolar disorder, there are certain key preparations you may wish to make.
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Tip : Monitor Your Symptoms And Moods
In order to stay well, its important to be closely attuned to the way you feel. By the time obvious symptoms of mania or depression appear, it is often too late to intercept the mood swing, so keep a close watch for subtle changes in your mood, sleeping patterns, energy level, and thoughts. If you catch the problem early and act swiftly, you may be able to prevent a minor mood change from turning into a full-blown episode of mania or depression.
Work With The Treatment Team
Working with your loved one’s treatment team helps him get the best care possible. If possible, create a plan before a manic episode begins. For example, the person’s mental health provider might decide you should call at the first signs of a manic episode to set up an appointment. If your loved one has a manic episode, support the treatment recommended by his care providers.
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Causes Of Manic Bipolar
While there is no full proof way of knowing why someone has Manic Bipolar Disorder, medical research has seen some traits and factors which may make one person more susceptible to the disorder than another.
Two factors that play a big role are:
- Genetic Makeup
Mental disorders often have a familial link. Studies show that some people are genetically predisposed to mental illnesses, so people with a family history of depression, schizophrenia, or other mental disorders are at a higher risk of developing Manic Bipolar. But there is still a lot left to be understood about the whys and hows of the illness as simply having the gene does not guarantee the development of the disorder.
- Biological Makeup
Manic Bipolar is a disorder of the brain, and studies show that people with Bipolar Disorder have irregularities in their brain chemicals or neurotransmitters. Unfortunately, there are no cures for this or any way of determining why these irregularities exist.
Additional factors such as substance abuse and addiction, going through trauma such as sexual or physical assault or ongoing abuse can worsen the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder or trigger the illness if the predisposition is already there.
What To Do When Youre Depressed
Your doctor might prescribe a few different kinds of medication, including mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and antipsychotic drugs. Talk therapy can also help you control stress and recognize your symptoms sooner. Another type of therapy, called cognitive behavioral therapy, teaches you good ways to handle the negative thoughts that come with depression.
You can take other steps to fight depression, too:
- Donât drink alcohol or use drugs. They can make your mood worse and keep your medications from working.
- Stick to a routine. Try to go to bed, wake up, exercise, and take your medicines at the same time every day.
- Donât make major life changes while youâre depressed. Your doctor or therapist may be able to help you schedule absences from work if you need them.
- Ask a family member or friend for support. They can help you keep up with your appointments and medications.
If you are thinking about suicide or hurting yourself:
- Tell someone who can help you right now
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Discuss Behaviour You Find Challenging
- If someone is hearing or seeing things you don’t, they might feel angry, annoyed or confused if you don’t share their beliefs. It’s helpful to stay calm, and let them know that, although you don’t share the belief, you understand that it feels real for them. Or, if possible, try to focus on supporting them with how they are feeling rather than confirming or challenging their perception of reality – what feels real for them is real in those moments.
- If someone becomes very disinhibited while manic, they may do things that feel embarrassing, strange or upsetting to you. It can be helpful to calmly discuss your feelings with them when they are feeling more stable. Try not to be judgemental or overly critical focus on explaining how specific things they’ve done make you feel, rather than making general statements or accusations about their actions.
“What feels real is real for him in that moment. It helps when I respect that and comfort him rather than trying to explain it’s not ‘real’ for everyone else.”
Is There A Cure For Bipolar 2
There is no cure for bipolar II disorder. The imbalances in the brain cannot be permanently reversed and people who do not effectively treat their symptoms go on to have more episodes. A regimen of medication and preventative measures like adequate sleep and regular exercise can keep bipolar episodes to a minimum.
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What Is Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a chronic or episodic mental disorder. It can cause unusual, often extreme and fluctuating changes in mood, energy, activity, and concentration or focus. Bipolar disorder sometimes is called manic-depressive disorder or manic depression, which are older terms.
Everyone goes through normal ups and downs, but bipolar disorder is different. The range of mood changes can be extreme. In manic episodes, someone might feel very happy, irritable, or up, and there is a marked increase in activity level. In depressive episodes, someone might feel sad, indifferent, or hopeless, in combination with a very low activity level. Some people have hypomanic episodes, which are like manic episodes, but less severe and troublesome.
Most of the time, bipolar disorder develops or starts during late adolescence or early adulthood. Occasionally, bipolar symptoms can appear in children. Although the symptoms come and go, bipolar disorder usually requires lifetime treatment and does not go away on its own. Bipolar disorder can be an important factor in suicide, job loss, and family discord, but proper treatment leads to better outcomes.
Bipolar Relationships: What To Expect
Ups and downs are natural in any romantic relationship, but when your partner has bipolar disorder it can feel like youre on an emotional rollercoaster. Not knowing what to expect each day is stressful and tiring. Over time, it wears on the relationship.
Understanding why your partner acts out sometimes or becomes withdrawn is the first supportive step you can take in strengthening your relationship. Learn exactly what a bipolar diagnosis means, how it could affect your partners behavior and what you can do to foster a healthy, stable relationship.
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Tip : Develop An Active Daily Routine
Your lifestyle choices, including your sleeping, eating, and exercise patterns, have a significant impact on your moods. There are many things you can do in your daily life to get your symptoms under control and to keep depression and mania at bay.
Build structure into your life. Developing and sticking to a daily schedule can help stabilize the mood swings of bipolar disorder. Include set times for sleeping, eating, socializing, exercising, working, and relaxing. Try to maintain a regular pattern of activity even through emotional ups and downs.
Exercise frequently and avoid sitting for long periods of time.Exercise has a beneficial impact on mood and may reduce the number of bipolar episodes you experience. Aerobic exercise such as running, swimming dancing, climbing or drumming all activities that keep both arms and legs active are especially effective at treating depression. Try to incorporate at least 30 minutes of activity into your daily routine. Ten minutes here and there is just as effective as exercising for longer periods of time. Walking is a good choice for people of all fitness levels.
Keep a strict sleep schedule. Getting too little sleep can trigger mania, so its important to get plenty of rest. For some people, losing even a few hours can cause problems. However, too much sleep can also worsen your mood. The best advice is to maintain a consistent sleep schedule.
Healthy sleep habits for managing bipolar disorder
Severe And Unexpected Mood Changes
Oftentimes, mania exhibits itself in intense self-aggrandizing euphoria, but people in manic episodes may also show intense excitability or even veer into unusually aggressive mannerisms. These changes can appear as a sudden burst of creativity or be more bizarre and nonsensical. Some people might try to take on a project they have little experience with, and others might become lost in grandiose thinking, convinced that they have a special connection to cultural figures or even God.
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Talking A Lot Or Speaking Loudly Rapidly Or With Pressured Speech
Talking loudly and quickly is a common symptom at the beginning of a manic or hypomanic episode. It’s important to note that in order to be categorized as rapid speech, it should represent a deviation from the person’s usual speech. Some people talk faster than others, but if someone who usually carefully chooses their words and speaks slowly begins to talk rapidly, be aware.
How Is Bipolar Disorder Diagnosed
To diagnose bipolar disorder, a doctor or other health care provider may:
- Complete a full physical exam.
- Order medical testing to rule out other illnesses.
- Refer the person for an evaluation by a psychiatrist.
A psychiatrist or other mental health professional diagnoses bipolar disorder based on the symptoms, lifetime course, and experiences of the individual. Some people have bipolar disorder for years before it is diagnosed. This may be because:
- Bipolar disorder has symptoms in common with several other mental health disorders. A doctor may think the person has a different disorder, such as schizophrenia or depression.
- Family and friends may notice the symptoms, but not realize that the symptoms are part of a more significant problem.
- People with bipolar disorder often have other health conditions, which can make it hard for doctors to diagnose bipolar disorder.
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What Does It Mean If Your Partner Is Bipolar
Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition marked by intense mood changes. People with the illness switch back and forth from mania or hypomania to having episodes of depression.
The lifelong condition tends to run in families, although the cause of bipolar disease is unknown. However, it can often be successfully managed through treatment. There are two primary types of bipolar disorder:
What Are The Signs And Symptoms
A person with bipolar disorder will go through episodes of mania and at other times experience episodes of depression . These aren’t the normal periods of happiness and sadness that everyone experiences from time to time. Instead, the episodes are intense or severe mood swings, like a pendulum that keeps arcing higher and higher.
Symptoms of mania include:
- anger, worry, and anxiety
- thoughts of death or suicide
In adults, episodes of mania or depression usually last for weeks or months, although they can be shorter in length. In children and adolescents, though, these episodes can be much shorter, and a kid or teen can even go back and forth between mania and depression throughout the day.
Episodes of mania or depression may happen irregularly and follow an unpredictable pattern or they may be linked, with a manic episode always following a period of depression, or vice versa. Sometimes episodes have a seasonal pattern. Mania in the spring, for example, may be followed by depression in the winter.
Between episodes, someone with bipolar disorder usually returns to normal functioning. For some people, though, there is little or no “break period” between their cycles. These mood swing cycles can change slowly or rapidly, with rapid cycling between mania and depression being much more common in women, children, and adolescents.
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