Bipolar Explained – Support Getting support from your family is vitally important.
Many bipolar patients like to think that they can do it on their own. But, as we’ve discussed, it is very difficult to do this. Most of the time, you won’t realize how severe your mood swing is. You may not realize that you are lashing out at a loved one for no reason.
Step one is to tell those that you love about your bipolar disorder. As difficult as that sounds, those close to you can be your safety net. They can help you to realize what is happening and how you are acting. A supportive person will guide you to help and will stand by you through this prognosis and this lifelong challenge.
Step two is to realize that you aren’t the only one that is suffering. Bipolar patients often lash out at those that they love. Those in your family have to deal with mood swings that can be quite severe. Although you feel you can’t do much about this, helping your loved ones to be educated and informed about your condition will reduce the amount of stress that plays along with bipolar disorder.
If they know what you are suffering from, they can help you. If they don’t, they don’t understand why you are doing what you are doing. That leads to family stress and painful situations. Without an understanding of what is happening, your family just can’t be as supportive as they could be otherwise.
In addition to just having knowledge of the effect that bipolar disorder has on you, you should also seek out the help that you need from a family therapist. Even a family that doesn’t have much strife in it will need to get the help and support of a therapist. Bipolar disorder causes trauma in families and having this additional help is a saving grace in the way of understanding.
Finally, when an educated family can support the person that is suffering from bipolar disorder, he or she can strive for improvement with help. The family can provide support when mood swings take over.
And, they can help to keep you and your doctor informed about the way that you react to situations, to mood swings and even to your medications. That adds up to a successful situation for the bipolar disorder patient.
The family unit is a tool that all bipolar disorder patients need, but many times you may feel the desire to simply run and hide. You may feel as if you would rather be alone. Getting through that feeling will lead to success.
Reduction Of Stress
Just reading the title of this section you are thinking to yourself that you can’t do it. You’ve heard it before. You know that stress is a killer of many people, not just those that suffer from bipolar disorder. Yet, it is essential that you look at your life and identify those times when stress has led to mood swings or even out of control behaviors that put you at risk.
Consider this. If you push yourself at work to be the person that does the most, what do you accomplish? You probably will cause the onset of numerous symptoms of bipolar disorder, specifically that of mood swings. When this happens, you put yourself in a position of not being able to work or even worse putting your position in jeopardy.
Therefore, you end up not actually benefiting from all of your hard work, but instead having fewer benefits and ultimately you drop the productivity level that you could have had.
On the other hand, if you had worked a steady schedule and done what you should have done in regards to stress management, you ultimately would have accomplished more.
Here are some tips for stress management at work.
Work the same hours as much as possible. Working a predictable and steady schedule allows you to stick to a schedule which helps to lessen mood swings.
Get the rest that you need. You need to try to sleep at the same time each day. You need to be able to monitor your sleep patterns to reduce mood swings.
When you are suffering from mood swings, consider whether or not you should be working. For some, it may mean talking with your doctor about how they affect your job. Ultimately, you need to decide if you are benefiting yourself or not by continuing to work and tough out these mood swings.
Take time off. Those that take time off often improve their overall health and well-being. By getting time off each week and even vacation time, (or taking time off when you need to) you improve your level of stress and how the body reacts to it.
Don’t work in overly stressful environments. While you may not feel that this is something that you can control, it needs to be. Those that suffer with bipolar need to consider their health above anything else. Mood swings, depression and manic symptoms can be made worse when you put yourself in a position to deal with a lot of stress.
Work through problems. If there are small things that happen that cause you to worry or cause stress, handle them right away. Small problems turn into large ones that are much less likely to be dealt with. By handling problems quickly, you reduce the stress toll that they take on you ultimately.
Reducing stress should be one of the most important things that you do. By doing so, you lessen the risk of having a mood swing because of stress.
Learn to spot stressful situations and learn how to get out of them effectively! It will pay off.
Watch For Signs
Believe it or not, learning to watch for signs of the onset of mood swings can be an excellent tool to aid you in coping with your illness. The early warning signs of an episode can be seen before they become full blown swings.
Why do you want to actually pay attention to this? There are a number of benefits that can come from you seeing and taking action when you see them.
Unfortunately, your doctor can only give you an idea of what will happen to you during a mood swing. That’s because each person is unique and that in itself provides for challenges. Each person will move from depressive symptoms to manic symptoms differently and at different times.
The faster you notice that your mood is changing, the faster you can take action to prevent it or at least to deal with what is coming. The faster you do this; the faster help can get to you.
What are the warning signs? Here are some things that can be a small mood change that ultimately can be a predictor of a large mood swing behind the next door. Learn to notice these to spot mood changes.
Sleep changes. If you are in a sleep pattern (which you should be) when you notice that you can’t sleep or you are tired even after getting a full night’s rest, this can be a predictor of a mood swing.
Energy level. Fluctuations in energy levels are a strong indicator that you are having a mood change. Since most of the time mania will incorporate increased energy while depressive symptoms take away, you can see how this could be spotted.
Loss of sexual interest. Some patients will encounter times when they don’t want any type of sexual touch. Although it is common for people to be interested and not interested normally, a change that is significant should be noted.
Concentration. You go to work and get the job done. Sometimes, you may have a feeling that you just can’t stay on task. When you feel that you can’t concentrate and finish the tasks that you started, this can be a sign of a mood change.
Self-esteem. It is important for family members to take notice of these situations. If you or your loved one determines that you are down and out or you are saying negative things about yourself, then this could be a sign that depressive symptoms are coming. It is essential that these things be spotted and treated as soon as possible.
Thought changes. If you just for no reason seem to be very optimistic, or you are thinking about death a lot, this can be a sign that you are having a mood swing. If these thoughts turn suicidal, it is imperative to seek help as soon as possible.
Changes in the way you appear. Some bipolar disorder patients will go through stages in which they feel as if they need to change the way that they look. You may change the way that you groom or to the level that you groom. You may all of a sudden hate the clothes that you have. These can be signs of a mood swing because of the emotion that is often attached to them.
The early warning signs of a mood swing can be wonderful tools to aid you in spotting trouble before it happens, or at least to the degree that it can happen. But, one of the problems with this is that most people can’t spot these things on their own. They often see these stresses as just their everyday lifestyle.
For this reason, it is important that family members be able to spot these early warning signs and then help you to get through them. By spotting changes in you, your family can help you to get some help and quickly!
What should be done if you experience some of these mood changes? If you notice the warning signs, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible to find the relief that you need. He or she can offer supportive help that extends to medication if he deems it necessary.
This also can be helpful in spotting patterns of mood swings and that can be a tool to long term treatment as well.
Keep Your Doctor Informed
Although you may hate to go to the doctor and you may think that your doctor never has anything good to say, it is very important to keep him informed. By telling him what is going on and what you are feeling, he can make better decisions for you.
You should contact your doctor:
When you feel that a mood swing is going to happen sometime soon.
When you feel that you are experiencing a mood swing
When your medications are not working the way that you thought they were supposed to
When you have any type of suicidal thoughts, feelings of despair or are having trouble getting through the day without feeling sad.
When your family members tell you that you are going through a mood swing or they tell you that you are showing signs of either mania or depressive symptoms due to their understanding.
Your doctor can help you to learn to cope with these situations. They can also prescribe medication differences that can also act as a tool to improving your health and well-being.
By keeping your doctor informed, you allow your symptoms to be monitored. Your doctor can learn patterns and even notice the things that trigger these episodes to happen. That can lead to benefits throughout your lifetime including the avoidance of those situations which will lead to fewer episodes throughout your lifetime.
Learning to cope with bipolar disorder is a must. By taking a look at your life right now, you’ll be able to see things that can be changed that will ultimately improve your well-being. Do you sleep right? Do you eat right? Do you know what your early warning signs are? Taking care of these changes now will ultimately improve your overall well-being.
You can learn to cope with bipolar disorder. Now, there are a few more things you can do too.
Behavioral Health Rehabilitative Specialist
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