Dealing with bipolar disorder is something that affects over 2 million Americans, or about 1% of the population. The mood disorder is described as a neurological brain disorder and has the most common symptom of severe mood swings. One second you’ll feel very up, or happy. The next you could feel very down and depressed. These mood episodes can affect your energy levels, sleeping patterns, and emotions. It’s not easy to live with. It may also affect your personal relationships, jobs, and ability to complete daily tasks. That is why we came up with 7 ways How To Overcome Bipolar Disorder.
It will usually be diagnosed in adolescence to early adulthood, but can also be found later in life ages up to 50. Though it is in fact incurable, it’s not impossible to live a happy and regular life with. Following are some proven ways on How To Overcome bipolar disorder:
- Get Moving!
- Control Stress
- Keep a Regular Schedule
- Practice Healthy Sleep Habits
- Avoid Drugs and Alcohol
- Join a Support Group
- Create an Emergency Plan
Multiple studies show that regular exercise is a great way to increase your serotonin levels, which then increases your mood. When exercising you release what are called endorphins. Endorphins are known as the “feel-good” chemical. Even without having a mood disorder, it’s something every person should include in their daily life to keep a happy, healthy mind and heart. You can start slowly, always listen to what your body can handle. Maybe take a walk around your neighborhood, walk your dog. From there you can excel and increase your activity level. Work up the stamina to exercise at least 4-5 times a week.
Bipolar disorder is a complex and lifelong condition. It impacts your mental, physical, and emotional well being, and no single treatment will manage all of your symptoms. Exercise may limit or prevent mood swings. Releasing those feel good chemicals is inevitable when you’re doing any type of exercise.
These chemicals can improve the symptoms of bipolar disorder. In fact, in a study of patients with bipolar disorder, patients who participated in a walking group that met 5 times a day for 40 minutes each reported lower depression and anxiety symptoms than those who didn’t exercise.
Exercise can also improve symptoms of bipolar disorders by releasing chemicals that are associated with good mood. Chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine, that are typically low in people with depression. It may also support nerve cell growth in your hippocampus, which is a region of the brain that helps regulate your mood. As well as be a great alternative outlet for energy related to a manic episode. Exercise can be calming and help ease anxiety and regulate your mood. Exercise alone won’t manage all of your symptoms, but it can definitely make them easier to manage. It may also help reduce the risk of other health issues.
No matter how extreme your symptoms may get, you must always remember you’re not completely powerless when it comes to your bipolar disorder. Another thing you can do for yourself to reduce your symptoms, is control your stress. Treatment for bipolar disorder can mean doctors, psychiatrists, medication, but they don’t all have to be centered around other things for relief of symptoms. You may start with your own self and figure out some stress that may be triggering your mood imbalances.
In order to live well with bipolar disorder, it requires certain life adjustments. It’s so important to make nothing but healthy choices for yourself. Making healthy choices and managing your stress can help you take control of your life. Proper treatment for bipolar disorder includes yes, medications and therapy. But don’t leave out all the other things you can do for yourself on a day-to-day basis.
One of the most common triggers can be stress, from all types of things going on in your everyday life. Know your limits at things like work or school. Never take on more than you can handle which can make you feel overwhelmed and trigger a mood episode. You should also practice relaxation. Whether that be yoga, meditation, or even just self isolating to gather your thoughts and calm your mood. Doing some type of daily relaxation practice should help keep your stress and depressive episodes at bay.
Keep a Regular Schedule
Building structure into your everyday life is so important to keeping your stress levels down and also your anxiety. Having a set schedule helps prevent the swings of bipolar disorder. Try to remain the same regular pattern even through the ups and downs of mood episodes. Keeping that set exercise, dietary, social, work and sleeping pattern helps stabilize your chemical imbalances and is the best possible way to keep stress levels down in order to help treat your bipolar disorder.
Knowing the schedule of your day before it happens prohibits most surprises. Something out of the ordinary or not according to plan can trigger anxiety and send you into a manic episode. Preventing episodes from happening can be as easy and knowing what time you’re going to do normal activities. Such as eating meals at the same time and scheduling in that relaxation technique and exercise for the day. It leaves little room for offsetting plans that will most likely send you into a mood episode.
Your personal schedule is something you can control most parts of. Keeping that part of your life under control and at your fingertips may ease some of your anxiety and manic mood swings that make you feel out of control and irrational. Bipolar disorder has very specific triggers and shows differently in everyone.
You creating your own schedule is the best idea because no one knows your disorder better than you. You are able to personalize and modify your day-to-day tasks by listening to your mind, body and their reactions to every situation.
Practice Healthy Sleep Habits
Going along with previously stated, keeping that regular schedule really can make the biggest difference in your moods. Practicing healthy sleep habits are important for anyone, but especially important for those with mood disorders. You don’t want to add anything that may offset your mood for that day.
Starting with a good night’s rest of at least 8 hours may affect your mood more than you know. Keeping your sleep schedule in the same time frame is also important. There are a handful of things you can control that affect your mood, sleep is one of the highest factors.
Sleeping too little can trigger mania. For some with bipolar disorder, even losing a few hours can cause problems. However, too much sleep can also ruin your mood. It may be hard to find that balance, but it’s important to prioritize over other things. The amount of sleep you get and how it affects your mood will set the tone for your whole day. The schedule you have created will be thrown off and for your bipolar disorder, that can be a huge trigger. Just keep a set schedule to avoid all outlying problems with irregular rest.
Avoid Drugs and Alcohol
Such things as drugs and alcohol are dangerous to those even without mood disorders. When you already have a chemical imbalance going on in your brain, the last thing you should add to the mix are foreign chemicals from drug or alcohol intake. Drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy, or amphetamines can trigger mania. All the while alcohol and other tranquilizers can trigger depression. You may think that moderate, social drinking is fine.
What you probably don’t know is even that can trigger an emotional imbalance. When diagnosed with severe mood disorders it’s best to avoid them altogether. It may sound tough and hard to adjust to a sober lifestyle, but you will most likely thank yourself in the long run.
Substance intake may also dangerously interfere with your healthy life schedule and prescribed medication intake. Certain over the counter or prescribed medications, especially antidepressants can be dangerous for those with bipolar disorder by triggering mania. Other over the counter medications such as cold medication, or appetite suppressants can also trigger mania.
Caffeine is another everyday encounter you should probably avoid to reduce the risk of a mood imbalance. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to enjoy things such as coffee or soda from time to time, just be especially cautious and careful. Listen to your body.
Join a Support Group
Isolation is one of the worst things you can do during a mood swing episode. It’s so important that you build those close relationships with those you love. You have to be able to ask for support and/or help if you’re feeling down or depressed. Support systems are a great thing to have.
Reaching out to others should never be considered a weakness and you are never a burden. Those close to you really care about you and want to be there for you. It’s so essential to have people close to you that you can count on. From family, to friends and all loved ones. They’re all there for you. Some may need more understanding of what you’re feeling, but they always want to help. Give them time to learn how to support you when you need it and to help you even when you may not see it.
There are other outside ways to reach out such as support groups. Spending time with and getting to know those who are going through some of the same things can be very relieving and helpful to your own struggles. They may also have advice or things to share that you would most likely benefit from while treating your own bipolar disorder. Taking those steps to develop new relationships is important. Create a network of people you can count on. Try to keep yourself outside, volunteer or attend events in the community. Don’t let your disorder prohibit you any more than it already may.
New Roads Behavioral Health uses an Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team to offer multi-disciplinary treatment, including psychiatric intervention, to male clients with chronic persistent mental illness, such as Schizophrenia, Borderline Personality, and Bi-Polar disorders.
Create an Emergency Plan
Despite all of your outside efforts, you may still have a severe episode that you cannot control. It’s all about how well you prepare and deal with those situations. You may experience a relapse into full blown mania, or extreme depression. In high crisis situations, when you’re putting your own health at stake it’s important to recognize when you need to put your care in other’s hands. Those scary times can leave you feeling out of control and extremely helpless. Having an emergency plan in place will help you and those around you know how you want the situation to be handled. It also gives you more control over your future care when you’re not capable of executing it at that time of crisis.
It’s important to always have a list of medications, emergency contacts, symptoms and treatment preferences on hand for those who can aid in the process of regulating your mental health.
Bipolar disorder isn’t something you feel the need to hide or be ashamed of. It’s important to come to term with your emotions and triggers. Familiarize with them. Get to know them. Accept yourself and the disorder that doesn’t define you. Then if you haven’t already, look for help near you to treat your bipolar disorder. There is no reason you should continue to struggle alone. Finding a program you can trust where you can start therapy is the best place to start.
They will be best inclined to help regulate your mood swings and educate you on things you may not have noticed were affecting you before. Make sure you reach out to others when you need help and don’t be embarrassed. It’s a chemical imbalance that can be treated and kept at bay if gone about correctly. Bipolar disorder is just that, a disorder. Many people struggle with similar things. Never feel like you’re alone.
From there you can get yourself on a regular schedule to keep your mood swings and other symptoms regulated. From the time you wake up, to the time you go to bed. Creating that set healthy schedule will be key. Practice healthy eating habits, regulated sleep schedules, exercise somehow every day and monitor your moods and what affects them.
If you’re overworking yourself, not pushing yourself enough. You’ll begin to notice. It can affect your mood and send you into depression if left untreated. Manic episodes should be treatable and reduced to be manageable. Once you have that set schedule down, you should be able to closer monitor your triggers. Help for bipolar disorder near you is just a call away. We at New Roads Behavioral Health are eager to help you live a normal life and get you treatment.
New Roads Behavioral Health
2450 E Fort Union Blvd.
Cottonwood Heights, UT 84121