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  • Writer's pictureJesse Thornton

Managing Bipolar Disorder

Updated: Sep 16, 2021

Bipolar Disorder can damage lives and relationships in major ways.  The ups can lead to overspending, extreme risk-taking, and impulsive behaviors.  The downs can result in depression, staying in bed for weeks, not returning calls or going to activities.  Taken together, bipolar can result in job loss, bankruptcy, and estrangement from loved ones.  If you have major consequences from bipolar disorder and are ready to take action to get your life back, start with these core steps:

Medication management:

Yup, there’s no way around it.  If you are not taking medications under the close monitoring of a psychiatrist, you are placing yourself and your loved ones at risk.  The consequences of bipolar episodes are too costly to ignore or minimize.  Take your treatment seriously by being honest with your doctor about your mood and working to make adjustments until you find what works best for your body.

See a counselor:

Visiting a counselor on a weekly or biweekly basis can feel like a lot, but counselors can help you keep track of your life on an ongoing basis.  Counselors trained in treating Bipolar Disorder help people make minor adjustments in their weekly routine to keep their mood balanced and healthy.  We focus on helping people enjoy life while taking that extra step to get proper rest and set boundaries to keep safe from unbalancing their mood.  Developing a good relationship with a counselor can be an enjoyable and enriching experience that helps derive the most from life without forgetting those extra steps to maintain a stable mood.

Manage habits:

Diet, sleep and substance use all play an important role in mood management.  This is especially true for people with bipolar disorder.  Research has established that missing sleep can also induce a manic episode.  So too can alcohol or marijuana abuse.  People do not quickly make this association because episodes can occur several days after use and occur more frequently with prolonged use.  If you struggle with substances, discuss this with your counselor.

Develop a supportive group:

For folks who suffer from Bipolar Disorder, friends and family are an even more vital part of life.  Developing a network of people who care about your well being is an important way to manage mood.  Friends can keep your ideas grounded or lift you up when you get too low.  If it goes beyond their ability to help, they can help you get to the right place.   Friends can also help you recover if you do have an episode.

Living with Bipolar Disorder, whether yourself or with a loved one, can feel like a roller coaster.  If you want to enjoy a more stable journey in life, seek help from healthcare providers and from your community.

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