Learning To Cope with Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar Explained – Learning to Cope with Bipolar Disorder One of the biggest messages you need to take from this e-book is the fact that you can improve your condition if you make some changes in your lifestyle. You can learn to cope with bipolar disorder.
You may sit there and think to yourself that you just don’t want to deal with this. You may want to be able to write it off as an “Oh well.” But, in fact, you’ve seen reasons why you can do that.
Now that you realize that, take the time to realize what changes you can make in your life to actually improve your overall quality of life.
Don’t try to make all of these changes today. Give yourself time and patience to work through each one. Doing so will give you more ability to actually be successful with coping with bipolar disorder.
In this chapter, we talk about a number of simple ways that you can improve your quality of life by learning coping techniques. Take them one step at a time but try to get them all worked into your lifestyle. They seem simple because they can be just that.
The Way You Sleep
Believe it or not, the way that you sleep plays a significant role in your bipolar condition. What’s important to remember here is that when you sleep in a normal pattern, there are chemical changes in the brain that are beneficial to your condition.
To improve this condition, simply get enough sleep each night, but do this by going to bed about the same time each night and getting up about the same time each morning. Creating a pattern like this will improve your bipolar symptoms.
If you work a job that, has you sleeping at strange times of the day, you need to try to work out a schedule so that even when you are not working, you are still sleeping at the same times of the day. This is essential to your coping skills. It also gives your mind the time that it needs to clear and to wake up refreshed.
In fact, when you do need to make changes in your sleep pattern that are drastic, such as a new time zone, talk to your doctor about the best way to do this without causing problems for yourself.
Monitor Your Medications
We’ve talked a lot about taking the medications that you need to take and the reasons for doing so. But you can also learn to cope with this process to make it that much more successful for you.
Take your medications even if you feel great. Do what your doctor tells you to do in regards to taking them even when you have no symptoms. Even if you feel really good, that’s your medication for talking and working! By stopping the consumption of them, you simply allow the symptoms to begin all over again.
To make the entire process of medication easy plan out your schedule so as to include your dosing. For example, when you wake up in the morning, have your breakfast and take your morning pills.
If you take a second pill later in the day, do so after dinner, for example. By pairing medication with meals, for example, you keep yourself from forgetting them.
If you do take more than one pill and are easily confused by them (and who wouldn’t be?) purchase a pill organizer and use this to portion out your medications.
Those that are for a week or even a month at a time are excellent tools to ensure that you don’t forget and don’t become confused
Another tip to remember about your medications is that they don’t mix well. If you get a cold, consult your doctor about which cold medications you can take with your bipolar medications. You should never mix them with any type of alcohol or other drugs.
If another doctor prescribed medications for you, don’t take them until you are fully sure that they are aware of the bipolar medications that you are taking.
If and when medications are mixed, they can interact with each other and even bring on extreme conditions including health crisis like events.
Maintain Your Level of Activity
An important part of managing bipolar disorder is to completely organize and regulate your life in the best way that you can. For those that are used to working very hard, every day, this may mean pulling back some to a normal paced activity level.
No matter what you do, by regulating the amount that you do the same or about the same each day, you also help to ease those chemicals in your brain and therefore, avoid the symptoms that can sometimes happen when you are frantically running around one day and doing nothing but watching television the next day!
Don’t Use Drugs or Alcohol
The temptation to use alcohol and drugs is very strong for many people. When you are dealing with the symptoms of bipolar disorder, you may feel the need to just relax. Turning to alcohol or drugs can be a huge temptation.
The mood swings may feel better while you are intoxicated, but the mixture of medications with these substances can be fatal. Some will take alcohol and drugs to help them to sleep. The problem is that it almost always makes it even worse.
If you have problems with alcohol and drugs, seeking help and counseling will help to provide you the strength that you need to overcome this problem.
One of the best tools to use is that of Alcoholics Anonymous or other self-help groups. We’ll talk more about their benefits in just a minute.
The use of alcohol, caffeine and even over-the-counter medications can be deadly and can cause enough medical trouble for you to land you in the hospital. This is especially true for over-the-counter cold medications and allergy medications. Always check with your doctor about the right medications to use when you are ill.
In addition to that, realize that these over-the-counter medications trigger mood swings, even when you are taking your medication.
They can interfere with your sleep patterns, cause loss of appetite and put your body in the position of being vulnerable. If you become sick, talk to your doctor about the best medications for your condition.
Caffeine offers the same type of trigger and keeps you from getting sleep, too. If you feel that you need coffee in the morning, you need to find a decaffeinated coffee or stop drinking it all together.
Just a small amount of this type of product daily is all that it will take to limit the effectiveness of your medications.
Don’t use alcohol
Don’t use illegal drugs
Cut as much caffeine related products like soda, coffee and chocolate out of your diet.
Ask your doctor which over the counter medications are okay for you to use with your current prescription medications and those that will not cause problems with mood swings and sleep deprivation.
Doing those four things can drastically improve the quality of life that you have. Although it may seem hard to not be able to have a drink, you know that the benefits of not having to deal with mood swings matter more.
Behavioral Health Rehabilitative Specialist
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