Bipolar Disorder Symptoms Can Be Managed
Article Highlights:Bipolar illness affects approximately 5.7 million adults in a given year.Bipolar illness can be diagnosed based on a clinical interview usually conducted by a specially trained provider, usually a physician, social worker, psychologist or nurse.It is important to track your mood, sleep cycles and daily activity to help monitor any major symptoms of depression, mania and psychosis. Bipolar illness affects approximately 5.7 million adults in a given year. Bipolar disorder, sometimes called manic depression, has no restrictions and affects individuals of every culture, racial group and income level. Many individuals can learn to manage the symptoms of depression and mania and lead very productive and successful lives. With no special scans and laboratory tests to determine the diagnosis of bipolar disorder, many individuals are being diagnosed mistakenly. Bipolar illness can be diagnosed based on a clinical interview usually conducted by a specially trained provider, usually a physician, social worker, psychologist or nurse. The most important diagnostic tool is talking openly with your mental health provider about your mood and lifestyle. It is important to track your mood, sleep cycles and daily activity to help monitor any major symptoms of depression, mania and psychosis. Bipolar illness tends to be episodic, with symptoms cycling at different times and of different intensities. No one person has the same symptoms or experiences in his illness, and it is not a moment to moment change in mood, as many believe. There are many steps to take to manage psychiatric symptoms and develop stability in mood. Mental Health America provides support groups for depression and bipolar illness in the local community to help in treatment. The following guidelines have been helpful in establishing and maintaining recovery:
- Establish and maintain a routine sleep schedule of eight to 14 hours of sleep a night.
- Take medications daily and as prescribed by a mental health professional. Never stop medications without the approval of a health care provider.
- Eliminate mood altering substances from your lifestyle, especially drugs and alcohol, nicotine and caffeine.
- Maintain daily purposefulness by completing self-care needs and everyday responsibilities.
- Learn to say no. Set limits and boundaries with others to manage stress levels when feeling overwhelmed.
- Track your mood, sleep, medication compliance and purposefulness daily by maintaining a log for your mental health provider.
- Educate yourself and loved ones about the illness and how they can support your treatment process.
- Stay active in treatment with your mental health provider and seek support from community support groups.
Always remember that if suicidal ideation and/or mood instability develops, seek emergency services with your mental health provider or at your hospital.