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 .
Make Notes Of Your Symptoms
It doesnt have to be anything copious or formal. Tracking your symptoms may help you and your mental health team develop successful treatments and management plans.
Keeping a journal or using an app as a mood log may allow you to see patterns over long periods of time.
You may start to notice specific stressors before mood shifts. You may realize that changes in habit or diet coincide with mood episodes. Once patterns become known, you can find more targeted ways to manage bipolar 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.
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Natural Ways To Treat Bipolar Disorder
When it comes to the natural treatment for bipolar disorder, the options are quite extensive and effective as well. If you have been struggling to find an effective cure for your condition and medication is something you dont want to indulge in, these home remedies and therapies are the best alternative source of treatment.
How Can You Help Someone With Bipolar Disorder
Dealing with the ups and downs of bipolar disorder can be difficultand not just for the person with the illness. The moods and behaviors of a person with bipolar disorder affect everyone aroundespecially family members and close friends. It can put a strain on your relationship and disrupt all aspects of family life.
During a manic episode, you may have to cope with reckless antics, outrageous demands, explosive outbursts, and irresponsible decisions. And once the whirlwind of mania has passed, it often falls on you to deal with the consequences. During episodes of depression, you may have to pick up the slack for a loved one who doesnt have the energy to meet responsibilities at home or work.
The good news is that most people with bipolar disorder can stabilize their moods with proper treatment, medication, and support. Your patience, love, and understanding can play a significant part in your loved ones treatment and recovery. Often, just having someone to talk to can make all the difference to their outlook and motivation.
But caring for a person with bipolar disorder can also take a toll if you neglect your own needs, so its important to find a balance between supporting your loved one and taking care of yourself.
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How Is It Treated
Bipolar disorder is treatable. With treatment, which includes medicines and counselling, you can feel better.
You may need to try several medicines to
find the combination that works for you.
- Most people with bipolar disorder need to take a medicine called a mood stabilizer every day.
- Medicines called antipsychotics can help get a manic phase under control.
- Antidepressants are used carefully for episodes of depression, because they cause some people to move into a manic phase.
Counselling for you and your family is also an important treatment. It can help you cope with some of the work and relationship issues that the illness may cause.
You can do a few things on your own to help deal with bipolar disorder. These include regular activity, getting enough sleep, and learning to recognize early signs of highs and lows.
People often stop taking their medicines during a manic phase because they feel good. But this is a mistake. You must take your medicines regularly, even if you are feeling better.
Tips For Coping With Bipolar Disorder In The Family
Accept your loved ones limits. Your loved one with bipolar disorder cant control their moods. They cant just snap out of a depression or get a hold of themselves during a manic episode. Neither depression nor mania can be overcome through self-control, willpower, or reasoning. So telling your loved one to Stop acting crazy or to Look on the bright side wont help.
Accept your own limits. You cant rescue your loved one with bipolar disorder, nor can you force them to take responsibility for getting better. You can offer support, but ultimately, recovery is in the hands of the person with the illness.
Reduce stress. Stress makes bipolar disorder worse, so try to find ways to reduce stress in your loved ones life. Ask how you can help and volunteer to take over some of the persons responsibilities if needed. Establishing and enforcing a daily routinewith regular times for getting up, having meals, and going to bedcan also reduce family stress.
Communicate openly. Open and honest communication is essential to coping with bipolar disorder in the family. Share your concerns in a loving way, ask your loved one how theyre feeling, and make an effort to truly listeneven if you disagree with your loved one or dont relate to whats being said.
Supporting a person with bipolar disorder
What you can say that helps:
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Helping Someone With Bipolar Disorder
Take Care Of Yourself
If you dont spend enough time on yourself, your spirit will suffer, and youll be less able to give your loved one the attention they need. Self care is critical for all of us. Your health and well-being must be your top priority, otherwise youll be too exhausted and overwhelmed to be of any real value to anyone you try to help. Dont be afraid to make time to pamper yourself periodically.
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Help Them Find Treatment
People with bipolar disorder occasionally tend to avoid or resist seeking treatment. If this sounds like your loved one, you can try to help them by finding a qualified therapist or doctor who has experience in treating bipolar disorder. Be encouraging and positive, and try to let them see that getting help is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, its a strength.
Bipolar Ii Treatment Options
Life isnt spent living in the confines of a comfortable bipolar disorder treatment facility life is harsh, hard, and comes with ups and downs. Learning to live despite them and the exacerbated emotions your disorder produces as a direct result of these events is a challenge, and one you should be able to go through while living your life.
Thats why we offer outpatient care, through intensive bipolar disorder treatment programs like:
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy
- Family-based Therapy
Alongside mainstream therapies, we help you temporarily manage your disorder through medication and alternative treatment options like meditation or mindfulness therapy.
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How To Treat Bipolar Disorder: Can Natural Remedies Help
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.There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 35,099 times.
Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings between depressive low points and manic high points. This can be a very disruptive condition, so youll naturally want to treat it any way you can. Therapy and medication are the main treatment options, but medications can have side effects and you might want a more natural treatment regimen. Unfortunately, natural treatments are not very successful in treating BPD on their own, so you should stick with your prescribed medication schedule. However, some lifestyle and dietary changes could definitely complement your regular treatment and help you recover. None of these remedies is a substitute for professional counseling and medication. Rather, these lifestyle routines can work together with treatment from a mental health professional.
Natural Therapies For Bipolar Depression
When combined with prescribed medication, these alternative approaches may help you better manage the symptoms of bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder requires managing two distinct categories of symptoms. Manic symptoms may include impulsive behavior, excessive irritability, and anxiety, while depressive symptoms may include a low mood, poor appetite, and emotional indifference, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Though there aren’t many complementary or alternative medicine remedies for manic behavior, a few non-prescription therapies may help alleviate depression. Most people who have bipolar disorder spend the majority of their time depressed rather than manic, notes the National Institutes of Health.
But just because CAM therapies exist doesn’t mean that people with bipolar disorder should throw away their antidepressants. “Bipolar is a very serious, lifelong disorder,” says Philip Muskin, MD, professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. “If you need an antidepressant, you should take it. These other types of therapies are additional or complementary rather than alternative.”
The complementary and non-pharmacological treatments that have shown some benefit for the depressive side of bipolar disorder are:
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Natural Remedies For Treating Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder involves extreme shifts in mood, energy, and levels of activity. Medications can help people manage symptoms, but these can have adverse effects. A number of natural remedies may also help.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness estimate that around 2.6 percent of people in the United States have bipolar disorder, and nearly 83 percent of cases are severe. On average, it starts when a person is 25 years old.
A person with bipolar disorder experiences times of severe depression and times of mania, or high mood. The risks during a low mood include an inability to function at work and in other areas of life.
During mania, the person may be at risk of making reckless decisions. If the mood becomes too high or low, psychosis can develop.
There is no cure for bipolar disorder, but treatment enables people to manage it. Some lifestyle adaptations can also help, alongside the medication.
Medicines For Bipolar Disorder
Several medicines are available to help stabilise mood swings.
These are commonly called mood stabilisers and include:
- anticonvulsant medicines
- antipsychotic medicines
If you’re already taking medicine for bipolar disorder and you develop depression, your GP will check you’re taking the correct dose. If you’re not, they’ll change it.
Episodes of depression are treated slightly differently in bipolar disorder, as taking antidepressants alone may lead to a relapse.
Most guidelines suggest depression in bipolar disorder can be treated with just a mood stabiliser.
But antidepressants are commonly used alongside a mood stabiliser or antipsychotic.
If your GP or psychiatrist recommends you stop taking bipolar disorder medicine, the dose should be gradually reduced over at least 4 weeks, and up to 3 months if you’re taking an antipsychotic or lithium.
If you have to stop taking lithium for any reason, talk to your GP about taking an antipsychotic or valproate instead.
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Tip : Reach Out For Face
Having a strong support system is essential to staying happy and healthy. Often, simply having someone to talk to face-to-face can be an enormous help in relieving bipolar depression and boosting your outlook and motivation. The people you turn to dont have to be able to fix you they just have to be good listeners. The more people that you can turn to who will be available and good listeners, the more likely you are to manage your moods.
Dont isolate! Support for bipolar disorder starts close to home. Its important to have people you can count on to help you through rough times. Isolation and loneliness can cause depression, so regular contact with supportive friends and family members is therapeutic in itself. Reaching out to others is not a sign of weakness and it wont make you a burden. Support for bipolar disorder starts close to home. Your loved ones care about you and want to help. In order to manage bipolar disorder, its essential that you have people you can count on to help you through rough times.
Join a bipolar disorder support group. Spending time with people who know what youre going through and can honestly say theyve been there can be very therapeutic. You can also benefit from the shared experiences and advice of the group members.
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Opt Out Of Substances Like Cannabis And Alcohol
Substance use may worsen the clinical course of bipolar disorder. You may experience earlier onset, more rapid mood cycling, or more mixed mania episodes.
When youre in a mood episode, trying to mute symptoms with alcohol or recreational substances may be an option you keep on the table just in case. Youre not alone in this thought. Though you may feel benefits initially, the long-term effects could be problematic.
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What Treatment Could Help Me In The Longer Term
Long-term treatment aims to help you maintain stable moods and manage your symptoms. As you start to feel more stable, most of your support could come from a community mental health team or your GP. But your GP should also put you in touch with a mental health specialist.
Health professionals should work with you to help you identify:
- Clear emotional and social recovery goals. You can work towards these, regularly reflect on them and revise them with your doctor.
- A crisis plan. This helps you know what to do if you experience any of your early warning signs or triggers, or start feeling very distressed.
- How you feel day-to-day. It helps to be aware of how best to manage your mood and notice any changes.
- A medication plan.This includes dates where you can review your dose, how well the medication is working and any side effects.
If you’re receiving a talking therapy, you might set some of these goals with your therapist. You should share these goals with your GP. You may also want to share them with others in your life, such as your family, friends, partner or carer.
It has been 13 years since I was hospitalised or sectioned, and I’ve done so well. My medication is working.
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.
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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