Find New Ways To Relieve Stress
Trying new things may be one of the last things you want to do when youre in a depressive episode. However, doing so can help alleviate your symptoms.
For example, if youve never gotten a massage before, consider scheduling an appointment at a local spa.
Similarly, yoga or meditation may be new to you, but they can be beneficial during depressive episodes. These activities are known for being relaxing. They can make it easier for you to cope with the stress or irritability you may be experiencing.
Create An Emergency Action Plan
Despite your best efforts, there may be times when you experience a relapse into full-blown mania or severe depression. In crisis situations where your safety is at stake, your loved ones or doctor may have to take charge of your care. Such times can leave you feeling helpless and out of control, but having a crisis plan in place allows you to maintain some degree of responsibility for your own treatment.
A plan of action typically includes:
A list of emergency contacts for your doctor, therapist, and close family members.
A list of all medications you are taking, including dosage information.
Symptoms that indicate you need others to take responsibility for your care, and information about any other health problems you have.
Treatment preferences such as who you want to care for you, what treatments and medications do and do not work, and who is authorized to make decisions on your behalf.
Why Do These Things Matter
These sound like pretty good ideas to me. Heres my take.
And so on, and so forth. Youre not perfect, and youre not going to be doing all those things perfectly all the time. But it does pay to remember that there are things you can do every day to help attain, or maintain, your recovery.
You can find or @Natasha_Tracy .
You May Like: What Is The Name Of The Phobia Of Long Words
Who Experiences Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder usually begins in older teens and young adults, with at least half of all cases appearing before age 25. Children and adolescents, however, can develop this disease in more severe forms and often in combination with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder . Some studies have indicated that bipolar depression is genetically inherited, occurring more commonly within families.
While bipolar disorder occurs equally in women and men, women are more likely to meet criteria for bipolar II disorder. Women with bipolar disorder may switch moods more quickly this is called “rapid cycling.” Varying levels of sex hormones and activity of the thyroid gland in the neck, together with the tendency to be prescribed antidepressants, may contribute to the more rapid cycling seen in women. Women may also experience more periods of depression than men.
An estimated 60 percent of all people with bipolar disorder have drug or alcohol dependence. It has also been shown to occur frequently in people with seasonal depression and certain anxiety disorders, like post-traumatic stress disorder .
Managing A Manic Episode
It is not always possible to prevent a manic episode, but as the condition progresses, the individual and their friends and family may start to notice the signs of a mood change.
Here are some tips when this happens:
- See a doctor, if it is the first time, if you have discontinued treatment, or if treatment is not working.
- Follow the treatment plan and keep all medical appointments, as medications may need adjusting.
- Try to keep to a regular sleeping pattern and avoid unnecessary stress when possible.
- Eat a healthful diet and get enough exercise.
- Avoid alcohol and other substances.
- Keep track of your moods and feelings.
If you have people around you, try to share with them what is happening so that they can support you.
Other remedies that do not involve the use of traditional drugs include supplements and counseling.
You May Like: Feretrophobia Define
Stick To A Healthy Routine
When you feel depressed, its easy to get into bad habits.
You may not feel like eating even when youre hungry, or you may continue eating even when youre full.
The same goes for sleeping. When youre depressed, youre more likely to sleep too little or too much.
Unhealthy eating and sleeping habits can make your depression symptoms worse. So a healthy daily routine can make it easier to maintain good habits.
Consider adopting these healthier habits:
- Eat meals and snacks at set times throughout the day.
- Increase your intake of vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.
- Get seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
- Wake up and go to bed at the same times every day.
A Bright Future Starts At Valley Oaks
Walking through the doors of a center like Valley Oaks for the first can be tough. We work hard to make sure that your visit is easy, streamlined, and professional while still addressing your needs. The reality is that more folks are seeking help than youd ever imagine, and for good reason. More than 80% of folks that seek help for common mental health ailments see significant improvement. Your journey to lifes peaks can start right now and start right here at Valley Oaks.
- Tippecanoe County Community Corrections is prioritizing recovery for its clients struggling with
You May Like: How To Prevent Fainting From Anxiety
Focus On Diet And Exercise
The correlation between diet and exercise on our mental health is getting stronger. Exercise is important to boost your mood and can also be a good way to keep yourself engaged and focused on your routine if youre incorporating time for physical activity every day.
You may find that exercise can become a healthy coping mechanism when youre experiencing stress or difficulties, and the need to engage in less healthy coping habits may decrease over time.
Following a healthy diet is equally important. Finding the right diet for you is a decision that should be made by your doctor, but not overdoing it on unhealthy options such as sugar, fat, and caffeine can have positive effects on your body.
Trigger #: Seasonal Changes
Seasonal changes are most commonly associated with unipolar depression, but they can also have a significant impact on experiences of bipolar disorder. In fact, according to some research, seasonal fluctuations are more common in people with bipolar disorder than in those with unipolar depression. For those whose mood episodes are triggered by these seasonal changes, winter is typically associated with depressive episodes and manic or hypomanic episodes are more prevalent in the spring and summer, possibly due to both the effects of sunlight and seasonal behavioral differences. However, mood episodes do not necessarily follow these patterns. For some, summer triggers depressive episodes and winter triggers mania or hypomania.
Also Check: Schizophrenia Inheritance Rate
Keep Meds Your Priority
Your medication is already an integral part of your treatment. There are some small ways to make your medication regimen even better, such as:
- taking meds as directed, without skipping doses or discontinuing use
- sticking with the same mental health professionals as much as possible for consistency
- communicating candidly with your healthcare team about how youre feeling
- scheduling and keeping regular appointments to help track progress, even when youre feeling OK
Pregnancy And Bipolar Medicines
One of the main problems is that the risks of taking bipolar medicines during pregnancy are not well understood.
If you’re pregnant and you have bipolar disorder, a written plan for your treatment should be developed as soon as possible.
The plan should be drawn up with you, your partner, your obstetrician , midwife, GP and health visitor.
The following medicines are not routinely prescribed for pregnant women with bipolar disorder, as they may harm the baby:
Recommended Reading: Prodromal Definition Psychology
Everybody Has Mood Swings Sometimes
That’s true. For one thing, 8% of American adults and 4% of adolescents have major depressive disorder, having periods of euthymia and depression. Even among those who do not have a diagnosable mental health disorder, people experience changes in mood.
But only people with bipolar disorder, cyclothymia, schizoaffective disorder, and related severe mental illnesses have repeated and severe mood swings between mania or hypomania and depression.
When Anxiety Turns Physical
At the beginning of the summer, I started The Mad Writer Project as a company that would manage all of my projects that centered around my work, whether its creative or content writing.
The name comes from the name of my blog. I was also paying homage to creative figures with mental illness Im known for my intense creativity when I get into a zone, especially when Im experiencing hypomania. The idea was to return to my roots of creative writing, as I was becoming disappointed in the direction I was going. I also wanted to be more experimental with my work, as well as have more control over it.
The word control will come up again later. I was going to operate it through a certain creative business platform, which wouldve allowed me to better centralize my work.
The Mad Writer Project was making me nervous as heck. It was affecting me physically and mentally.
While the company itself already existed on paper, the launch was planned for two months later. I later moved it to a month earlier. For a week before the launch, I was experiencing chest pains and shortness of breath. I was told that I needed to step back and calm down. But I couldnt. The fear of that this venture could fail had me in its grasp.
You May Like: The Fear Of Spoons
Learning To Recognise Triggers
If you have bipolar disorder, you can learn to recognise the warning signs of an approaching episode of mania or depression.
A community mental health worker, such as a psychiatric nurse, may be able to help you identify your early signs of relapse from your history.
This will not prevent the episode occurring, but it’ll allow you to get help in time.
This may mean making some changes to your treatment, perhaps by adding an antidepressant or antipsychotic medicine to the mood-stabilising medication you’re already taking.
Your GP or specialist can advise you on this.
How To Help Someone With Bipolar Disorder
This article was co-authored by Trudi Griffin, LPC, MS. Trudi Griffin is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Wisconsin specializing in Addictions and Mental Health. She provides therapy to people who struggle with addictions, mental health, and trauma in community health settings and private practice. She received her MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marquette University in 2011. This article has been viewed 22,051 times.
Living with bipolar disorder can be extremely trying on a person’s relationships with their friends and family. Struggling with difficult emotions or manic episodes is hard, but it’s even more challenging without the support of a good friend. Helping your friend with bipolar disorder requires patience and understanding, but remember to treat yourself with the same care and respect you provide your friend. If you are concerned that your friend may be a risk to themselves or others, get them help immediately.
You May Like: Definition Of A Phobia
Talk With Your Doctor
If you think that you or a loved one has signs or symptoms of bipolar disorder, your first step should be to talk with your doctor. Only a trained medical professional can diagnose this disorder, and diagnosis is key to getting proper treatment.
Medication, therapy, or other treatment options can help you or your loved one manage symptoms and maximize quality of life.
Make A Few Additions To Your Diet
A 2018 study found that dietary adjustments, with a focus on micronutrient supplementation, could improve the sense of control and coping for folks who have bipolar disorder.
Dietary modifications can also help you combat other health issues, such as unwanted weight gain, that may contribute to negative body image and depressive thoughts.
Don’t Miss: Schizophrenia Gender Differences
Conditions That Can Co
Many people with bipolar disorder also may have other mental health disorders or conditions such as:
- Psychosis. Sometimes people who have severe episodes of mania or depression also have psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusions. The psychotic symptoms tend to match the persons extreme mood. For example:
- Someone having psychotic symptoms during a manic episode may falsely believe that he or she is famous, has a lot of money, or has special powers.
- Someone having psychotic symptoms during a depressive episode may believe he or she is financially ruined and penniless or has committed a crime.
Some bipolar disorder symptoms are like those of other illnesses, which can lead to misdiagnosis. For example, some people with bipolar disorder who also have psychotic symptoms can be misdiagnosed with schizophrenia. Some physical health conditions, such as thyroid disease, can mimic the moods and other symptoms of bipolar disorder. Street drugs sometimes can mimic, provoke, or worsen mood symptoms.
What Have You Learned As A Result Of Your Experiences
Living with bipolar, often for years, teaches you a lot about yourself, about mental health services, about medicationand sadly often about stigma, shame, and discrimination.
Id say for me it was a key driver for learning about mebut also a red herring as I feel I vested too much of my own identity in clinging to the life-raft of the diagnosis as an explanation of my life in my early 20sagain though, there are a range of perspectives:
Brian talks of the possibility of recovery:
Despite what others may tell you, or what you might believe, recovery is possible. I never thought I could be a worthwhile human being and have something meaningful to offer.
That’s just illness speak and the effects of learned stigma. It doesn’t need to be that way.
Anna points to learning about what is important in life:
I have learnt that I am more resilient than I could have ever imagined. I have discovered that there is more to life than getting a degree or a good job. I have learnt that I have amazing friends who never stopped believing in me, even when I couldn’t believe in myself.
Hannah draws on a theme park analogy to talk about assembling your team of helpers:
I feel like I’m riding a constant rollercoaster of moods. There are people who are too scared to come to the theme park, those that will hop on rides with you and those that watch sensibly in awe and sickness from a distance minding your bags.
All of those people have a valid and useful part to play in your life.
Recommended Reading: Can Anxiety Cause Burning Skin
Reconnecting With Loved Ones
Sandra and I sort through some of these ideas and try to come up with ways to help her parents and brothers begin to question some of their assumptions about enabling. Sandra feels great relief at the re-building of her life with her wife and kids, but there is a big hole where her own family has stepped out of the picture, thinking that they are doing the right thing. Sandra wipes her tears and heads back out into the world, where her illness remains vastly misunderstood and compassion can be hard to come by.
Check out the latest edition of my book, Bipolar Disorder For Dummies, 3rd Edition, which you can now .
Concerned About Bipolar Disorder
#2, Educate Yourself Education starts with learning the symptoms of manic and depressive episodes and getting up-to-date on research-driven treatment options for bipolar disorder. Share your questions and concerns with your doctor or psychiatrist, and ask them what resources they recommend for you to read or gather. Understanding the illness can help it feel more manageable and assist you in identifying symptoms before they get worse.
#3. Track Symptoms Many people with bipolar disorder find it useful to keep a daily log of their mood, thinking, and behaviors. If you are able to catch small changes in these arenas, then you may be able to stop or decrease the intensity of a mood episode before it worsens. You should can also track stressors or behaviors which may trigger a mood episode, such as lack of sleep, relationship conflict, school or work stress, substance use, or seasonal changes. The more accurately you can report these changes to yourself and your doctor, the greater chance of stabilizing your mood.
You May Like: Late Onset Schizophrenia