How Do You Treat Bipolar Disorder?


Lifestyle Changes You Can Make on Your Own

Cut the Negativity

Cutting out any unnecessary negativity and stress in your life can also help significantly. If there are certain relationships in your life that are causing you a significant amount of negative stress, consider taking a break from those relationships while going through the treatment process (of course this is only if you can, if you’re a parent or a caretaker this can be difficult). Let them know that you’re going through some things and that you just need some time for yourself.

If it’s someone who is extremely toxic and a negative influence on your overall well being, you should try and cut them out of your life completely. While it may be difficult at first, it could save you a lot and pain and heartache in the long run when you cut out negative relationships.

Evaluate how you feel about your job/school and other things. Sometimes this self-reflection can be a bit stressful, so this could be a good topic to discuss with your therapist. When you’re able to identify what brings you happiness and what brings you more negative emotions, it’s much easier to prioritize things in your life.

Making a list of things in your life, or a Venn diagram can also help you organize your thoughts throughout this process. It makes it easier to identify what you need to cut down on, or even cut out, and what other things you should focus on that will make your life happier.

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Do you find that you’re happier when you’re doing creative projects? Try and bring some more creative outlets into your life. Do you feel like your job is slowly killing you? Think about considering other options if they’re available to you.

How Does Treatment Help With Bipolar Disorder? 

Getting treatment for bipolar disorder from mental health professionals can help you significantly. They can help by recommending treatment plans (and adjusting any current ones), and they’re also able to prescribe medication as needed. While the effects of some medications can take a little while to kick in, once they do, often you’ll start to notice improvements within a few weeks.

If you’re prescribed mood stabilizers, you may notice that the emotional extremes from your mood swings may be less pronounced/extreme. This helps keep your mood balanced and leveled. If you’re experiencing any hallucinations or racing thoughts from a manic episode, your doctor may prescribe you an antipsychotic.

If you’re experiencing a lot of anxiety, your doctor may prescribe you with an anti-anxiety medication for a short period of time. These medications usually tend to work more quickly than, for example, many mood stabilizers. It’s important to take these as prescribed because some of these medications can be highly addictive.

After taking your medication consistently as directed by your doctor, you may start to notice a decrease in the frequency of these symptoms, a decrease in the severity, or they may vanish altogether. Regardless of the outcome, it’s imperative that you keep your doctor informed throughout the entire process.

Often, part of the bipolar disorder treatment process is learning how to identify bipolar triggers. This is important because when you’re able to identify your triggers, you may be able to catch the onset of an episode before it happens. This ensures that you’re able to seek treatment as soon as possible. Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on this fairly heavily.

Not only will you notice changes in your mood over time, throughout the treatment process you will learn different ways to cope with your symptoms. You’ll learn how to more effectively cope with issues that have the potential to trigger a bipolar episode too. For example, if anxiety is one of your triggers, you and your therapist may discuss different ways for you to cope with your anxiety.

Learning how to deal with your triggers more effectively can decrease the chance of having an episode. It can also help catch episodes early so you can start bipolar disorder treatment as soon as possible.

Growing With Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder can be a challenging mental illness to cope with at times. It can feel like you’re drowning in a wide array of emotions that you just can’t seem to escape. The mood swings are impossible to control, and your emotions can be a constant rollercoaster. This is why prioritizing treatment for yourself is a necessity.

If you have access to professional help, it’s imperative that you take advantage of that. If you do not have access to professional help due to a lack of insurance, there are some resources that you can take advantage of.

Try new hobbies, diversify your diet, and add some exercise to your weekly routine to maximize the results. See the treatment process as an investment in your well being, and an investment in yourself. A well-rounded bipolar disorder treatment plan will benefit you both mentally and physically. As your mood starts to improve, you’ll find that you may have a lot more energy and motivation to do the things you enjoy.

Throughout the treatment process, you’ll learn a lot about yourself and your emotions. It’s also very likely that (especially if it’s your first time experiencing treatment) you’ll learn coping mechanisms that you may not have known before. Not only will this equip you with the tools needed to handle episodes in the future, often the coping mechanisms that you learn throughout the treatment process can be used in your everyday life too.

If you’re diagnosed with bipolar disorder, it is not the end of the world, nor the end of your life. There are plenty of people with bipolar disorder who were able to overcome the effects of the illness and excel – for example, there are even some famous people with bipolar disorder out there too!

It won’t be easy at times, but with the proper bipolar disorder treatment, it’s more than possible to both prevail and grow from the experience.

Resources

Mayo Clinic (Bipolar Disorder – Symptoms and Causes)

Mayo Clinic (Bipolar Disorder – Diagnosis and Treatment)

Mental Health America (Finding Therapy)

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