Bipolar disorder produces drastic mood changes that range from mania to depression. Without treatment, these mood swings can cause serious problems in several areas of your life, including your personal relationships and your job. Since this condition is a long-term one, it’s important to find effective ways to cope with it.
Take Medications Regularly
Some medications can help prevent the mood swings that occur with bipolar disorder. Others help treat the depression or anxiety associated with this condition. No matter which types of medication you’re taking, make sure you take them as instructed. Skipping them when you’re feeling alright can lead to relapses. If the medications you’re taking are causing unpleasant side effects, talk to your doctor about trying different types or adjusting your current dose.
Work With a Therapist
A therapist can help you learn how to deal with bipolar disorder in a healthy way. One of the most common types of therapy for people with this condition is cognitive behavioral therapy, which involves replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. This type of therapy also helps you discover what triggers episodes of depression or mania so you can work on avoiding them. You can also attend group therapy if you prefer being around others who share your concerns. Family therapy is a good option for making sure your loved ones are involved in helping you cope with this disorder.
Turn to Others for Support
Discuss your feelings about having bipolar disorder with family members or friends who you can count on to be supportive. They might not fully understand what you’re going through, but being able to talk to other people about your condition can help you feel less anxious about it. You can also join a local or online support group to meet other people who are dealing with the same problems as you. In addition to being able to connect with others who understand how you’re feeling, you might also learn about other coping techniques that you can use.
Stay Away From Alcohol and Drugs
Avoid drinking and using recreational drugs since this type risk-taking behavior can get out of control when you’re in a manic cycle. You might also start relying too heavily on these substances to cope with cycles of depression. If you already have a drug or drinking problem, seek professional help instead of trying to quit on your own. Putting yourself under that much pressure can make you feel more anxious or depressed.
Get Enough Sleep
Making sure you get the right amount of sleep is an important part of controlling your moods. Getting too little or too much sleep can tip that balance and trigger an episode of mania or depression. Stick to a regular sleep schedule as much as possible by going to bed and getting up at the same time each day. Exercising on a daily basis can also tire you out and help you sleep better. If you have insomnia or any other sleep problems, discuss treatment options with your doctor.