Living With Bipolar

2013 Bipolar Update

Living With Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder also known by the names of manic depression, manic depressive disorder or bipolar affective disorder. It is an illness characterized by episodes of depression and mania. It is estimated that nearly 6 million American adults are living with bipolar. This is almost 3% of the adult population in the United States.

Bipolar disorder is a serious mental condition and individuals who are diagnosed with this illness at times feel as if though their life is over. The truth of the matter is that though living with bipolar disorders might be quite difficult at times, it can be done with a just a little effort. In fact, those who get treatment and stay on their medication can lead relatively normal lives.

Living with bipolar is not only difficult for the individual afflicted with the disorder but also for the person’s family and friends. This is because people affected by the disorder tend to have very erratic behavior. The mood swings involved can be very disconcerting and unsettling to anybody who is close to them. Family and friends of a person with a bipolar affective disorder should try as much as possible to be patient and understanding, even under the greatest provocation. Family and friend support is essential for the well being of bipolar sufferers.

It is important to note that living with bipolar requires lifestyle changes. An individual with a bipolar disorder should make a point of eating a healthy and well-balanced diet. Certain foods will trigger an episode. You should also exercise regularly. Plenty of studies have shown the role of exercise in reducing stress and improving moods. Meditation, tai chi and yoga are also good for maintaining balance. Alcohol and any other drugs should be totally avoided.

Another important tip for living with bipolar disorder is maintaining a daily routine. The predictability of a set routine goes a long way in controlling the symptoms of a bipolar disorder. You should keep to a set time for sleeping and waking up, set time for eating, working and exercising. You should always get enough sleep. Too much sleep may trigger the symptoms of depression and too little sleep may trigger the symptoms of mania.

An individual living with bipolar disorder should try as much as possible to be very involved in his treatment. They should read up on the disorder and ask their doctor questions about their treatment plan. It is absolutely vital to take your medication according to doctor’s instructions. Do not skip taking them or stop taking them without your doctor’s orders. You should also get therapy if your doctor feels it is warranted to help you cope with the illness.

A mood diary is also essential for a bipolar sufferer. A person should record details of mood patterns, episode triggers and the frequency of the episodes. This will help in recognizing the beginnings of an episode and possibly minimizing or even stopping the episode from happening.

Our site has many articles on living with bipolar, what to expect and what action to take. As stated earlier, with a little effort and cooperation with their physicians a bipolar individual can lead a normal lifestyle.