Spreading the Word About Bipolar Disorder
If you still use the outdated term or know people that do, take time to change your terminology or give others the proper information. Accuracy always matters.
Share your newfound education with the important people in your life. By giving them knowledge on the topic of bipolar disorder, they are actually gaining knowledge about you.
No longer must they be confused, angered, and surprised by your symptoms. With the right information, they can know what you are going through and how to respond.
Moving Towards Treatment
Once your condition is established, you can move towards finding effective and lasting treatments to reduce your symptoms and improve your functioning in the world. Treating bipolar disorder requires patience, perseverance, and the understanding that it will always be more challenging than you thought.
Start with Self-Awareness
Whether you call it self-awareness, insight, or self-monitoring, paying attention to yourself is an essential component of any bipolar disorder treatment. How can you answer questions from a therapist or psychiatrist if you don’t even know yourself?
To start the process, think about your thoughts. What are you thinking about, and why are you thinking about that?
Pay particular attention to thoughts that are very pessimistic or thoughts that are overly optimistic. Any ideas of death, suicide, or flawed perceptions of your abilities will be important pieces of information to track and report.
Your behaviors will be another key to your self-awareness. What are you doing, who are you doing it with, and how long are you doing it for?
Your sleep, diet, and exercise will be a worthwhile focus on your behavior tracking. If you notice that you are sleeping 20 hours per day, getting no exercise, and eating only pretzels on the couch, you’ve just discovered a problem.
Feelings are the final section of your tracking. When tracking your feelings, try to avoid words like “depressed” or “manic” and replace with more specific ways of feeling.
Good options for feeling words include:
Study online lists of feeling words to expand your feeling vocabulary.
Information from your friends and family will aid your self-awareness. How do they see you? What do they think of your symptoms?
Put your Awareness to Work
With your data on thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, you will have information on your trends and triggers. With luck, some tendencies will emerge from your data that you can use to adjust the outcomes.
If you notice you always feel sadder and have more negative thoughts after you speak to your sister on the phone, maybe you need to adjust the conversation or limit contact for a time. If you always have better optimism and moods when you leave the house, perhaps you should seek out every opportunity to get out of your home.
When you try to make small and subtle changes to your routines, stick to the adjustments for a week while continuing to track and observe the effects. Of course, improvements will not happen overnight, so you must stick to the program with the belief that your hard work will pay off eventually.
This situation is the perfect opportunity to continue employing your loved ones to help your cause. Let them know how they can help and point them in the direction you need them.
Their assistance can help you feel better and improve your relationships. As they gain a better understanding of your condition and your symptoms, their loved and patience will grow.
Involve the Professionals
Knowing your trends and taking measures to improve your symptoms at home are great ways to invest your energy, but perhaps more than any other mental health condition, bipolar is hard to treat at home. If your symptoms persist, call in the professionals.
Mental health treatment is available everywhere across the county in countless forms. For adults with bipolar disorder, seeing a medical professional capable of prescribing medications like a psychiatrist or nurse practitioner is a wonderful starting point.
These professionals work exclusively with mental health disorders, which make them experts in medications and how people will react. Primary care physicians (PCP) will often prescribe medications for mental health conditions, but if your symptoms persist, try consulting a prescriber with a refined focus.
Attending individual or group therapy is going to be a welcome addition to any bipolar treatment plan. Medications will help the physiological changes in the brain while therapy can improve thoughts and behaviors.
Therapist is a general term that includes social workers, counselors, and psychologists. Each therapist will have a unique combination of education and experience to create their professional orientation and their recommended interventions.
Mental health professionals can identify and treat your symptoms in ways you didn’t know existed. Professional treatment is a great decision for anyone with bipolar disorder or changing moods.