5 Tips to help you manage Bipolar Disorder
Along with treatment, there are many things you can do to cope with bipolar disorder. These 5 tips can help you manage symptoms, prevent relapse, and take control of your life.
What is Bipolar Disorder?
Types of Bipolar Disorder
- Bipolar I Disorder: Defined by manic episodes lasting at least seven days, or by manic symptoms severe enough to require immediate hospital care, usually followed by depressive episodes.
- Bipolar II Disorder: A pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes, but not the full-blown manic episodes of Bipolar I.
- Cyclothymic Disorder: Numerous periods of hypomanic symptoms and periods of depressive symptoms lasting for at least two years.
How to cope with bipolar disorder
tip 1: Get involved in your treatment
- Being patient. Don’t expect an immediate and total cure. Have patience with the treatment process. It can take time to find the right program that works for you.
- Communicating with your treatment provider. Your treatment program will change over time, so keep in close contact with your doctor or therapist. Talk to your provider if your condition or needs change and be honest about your symptoms and any medication side effects.
- Taking your medication as instructed. If you’re taking medication, follow all instructions and take it faithfully. Don’t skip or change your dose without first talking with your doctor.
- Getting therapy. While medication may be able to manage some of the symptoms of bipolar disorder, therapy teaches you skills you can use in all areas of your life. Therapy can help you learn how to deal with your disorder, cope with problems, regulate your mood, change the way you think, and improve your relationships.
Tip 2: Monitor your symptoms and moods
Know your triggers and early warning signs
- financial difficulties
- arguments with your loved ones
- problems at school or work
- seasonal changes
- lack of sleep
Tip 3: Act on warning signs
Develop a wellness toolbox
- Talk to a supportive person.
- Get a full eight hours of sleep.
- Cut back on your activities.
- Attend a support group.
- Call your doctor or therapist.
- Do something fun or creative, or write in your journal.
- Take time for yourself to relax and unwind.
- Increase your exposure to light.
- Ask for extra help from loved ones.
- Cut back on sugar, alcohol, and caffeine.
- Increase or decrease the stimulation in your environment.
Create an emergency action plan
Tip 4: Reach out for face-to-face connection
10 tips for reaching out and building relationships
- Talk to one person about your feelings.
- Help someone else by volunteering.
- Have lunch or coffee with a friend.
- Ask a loved one to check in with you regularly.
- Accompany someone to the movies, a concert, or a small get-together.
- Call or email an old friend.
- Go for a walk with a workout buddy.
- Schedule a weekly dinner date.
- Meet new people by taking a class or joining a club.
- Confide in a counselor, therapist, or clergy member.
Tip 5: Develop an active daily routine
Keep a strict sleep schedule. Getting too little sleep can trigger mania, so it’s 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
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
- Avoid or minimize napping, especially if it interferes with your sleep at night.
- Instead of viewing screens or other stimulating activities before bed, try taking a bath, reading a book, or listening to relaxing music.
- Limit caffeine after lunch and alcohol at night as both interfere with sleep.
Stepping Stones to a Brighter Tomorrow
Navigating the complex journey of bipolar disorder can feel like traversing a winding road filled with unexpected twists and turns. It’s a path that’s as unique as you are, with its challenges and triumphs shaping the rich tapestry of life. But remember, no one has to walk this road alone.
Your Journey to Balance with MindBodySoul
At MindBodySoul, we understand that the journey towards a healthier, more balanced life is deeply personal. That’s why we’re here to support you or your loved ones through every step. Our team of mental health professionals is dedicated to providing the guidance, understanding, and personalized care needed to navigate the choppy waters of bipolar disorder.