Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder which affects all spheres of a sufferer’s life, including her/his frame of mind, vigor, concentration and behavior. Although the treatment success rate of bipolar disorder may not be promising always, however, the symptoms of this mental disorder can be managed. Further making the individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder live fuller & healthier lives. These measures may include a combination of support from a mental health practitioner, medication, therapy and lifestyle-alteration.
Following are a few steps to help individuals struggling with bipolar disorder:
- Isolating oneself increases the peril of mood fluctuations going unobserved, so keeping in touch with society and staying connected with family, friends and colleagues/co-workers is of paramount importance for persons suffering from mood disorders.
- Learning about the symptoms of manic and depressive episodes of bipolar disorder is important for individuals suffering from the same, making it important for them to educate themselves about the disorder they are suffering from. It also helps in developing an insight when they experience similar signs or symptoms in the future, helping them manage further episodes.
- Setting up & following a daily routine is a great coping skill for prevention of manic or depressive episodes. This involves timely administration of medicines, ensuring sufficient sleep, exercising regularly & attending all appointments scheduled with mental health practitioners.
- It’s important to create a crisis plan which one can adhere to when things spiral out of control or when an individual suffering from bipolar disorder experiences a manic or depressive episode. This may involve jotting down names (along with contact details) of a list of people whom one can contact during an emergency. Information regarding the medication to be administered may also be mentioned on this crisis plan.
- Stress is the foremost bipolar trigger. One must do what one possibly can in order to simplify one’s life and relieve stress by striking a balance between one’s work and personal lives.
- Excessive fatigue can set off mania in persons suffering from bipolar disorder, which makes it important for them to relax before going off to sleep. A person may follow healthy sleep ritual like having hot milk, reading, listening to calming music or taking a bath.
- Regular exercise can help perk up an individual’s disposition. Exercising frequently is important for persons suffering from bipolar disorder to help assuage hypomanic symptoms. Moreover, exercising enhances concentration and helps create a body-mind balance, promoting a sense of control and encouraging person to lead his/her life.
- Regulating the intake of caffeine, alcohol, and drugs. Caffeine is a stimulant, which can worsen mood symptoms. Alcohol and drugs can trigger a mood episode as they affect the functioning of various bio-chemicals in the body and medicines administered.
- Keeping a journal can help to sort one’s thoughts and emotions. It also facilitates expression and emotional regulation.