Education is so important for someone with bipolar disorder. The more we know and understand, the better off we will be. Psychology is a science. Because of that, it is always changing. There will always be new information regarding bipolar disorder. There are now more medications than ever before. I know that many medications come with side effects such as weight gain, hair loss and tiredness. We are all unique and have a different genetic makeup. The medication that works for me may not work for a close family member. Our goal is to stabilize the chemicals in our brain.
We want our moods to be as stable as possible. Getting properly medicated is a great place to start. Finding the right medication and staying on it can be life changing and life saving. If someone has high blood pressure or high cholesterol, they may need to go on medication. If their health improves, they wouldn’t go off of their medication. They improved because of their medication. In their case, their cholesterol would go back up again. The same concept goes for those of us with bipolar disorder. Being stable is the goal. Having a stable mind can help us thrive in all areas of our life. Medication may not take away every single symptom, but it can help with extreme lows and highs and even psychosis. Taking daily medication can be a small price to pay in order to stay hospital free. Educating ourselves on current research with bipolar disorder can help us find new resources and ways to help ourselves.
Here is a list of current educational resources:
• Bipolar disorder magazines
• Psychology books from the library
• Mental illness online chat groups
• Social media support groups
• Support groups in hospitals and churches
The more we learn, the better our lives will be. As we learn about bipolar disorder, we can better explain to others what is going on. This will help us in our relationships. One important topic to go over is triggers. There are triggers that exist that can exasperate certain symptoms of bipolar disorder.
Here is a list of bipolar disorder symptoms that could be triggers by an internal or external force:
• Suicidal Thoughts
• Suicidal Ideation
Bipolar disorder can affect all of us differently. While I could be okay with having a credit card on me with a high limit, a family member of mine could be triggered by it. For some, having a large credit card available during a manic phase could ruin finances. It is easy to get caught up in a certain mood and make bad decisions. If you or a loved one is already facing this, it is okay. It’s a good idea to learn from our triggers and move forward.
If I know I cannot handle credit cards with large limits, I will either cut them up or give them to someone I can trust. Another example of a trigger could be a family member going into the hospital. We could end up feeling sad and hopeless in a situation that we cannot control. This could trigger a depressive state. Depression could cause us to feel tired, lose interest in activities, not want to shower and even create suicidal thoughts. If at any point we are feeling suicidal, it is considered an emergency. Make sure you tell your closest loved ones, call and emergency hotline and/or get to the emergency room.
Depression can be silent. Depression may be hard to notice. If you or a loved one are suffering from depression, it is important to contact a doctor. Bipolar disorder is characterized by highs and lows. Everyone can feel different emotions throughout the day such as happiness and sadness. However, for bipolar disorder, the happiness and sadness can come in larger waves. These waves can feel unbearable and undesirable. These waves of moods and emotions can be very difficult for our brains and bodies.
It is important for us to take good care of ourselves. It is important for us to practice self care. In some cases, just showering or brushing our teeth can feel like climbing a mountain. This is where we need to take advantage of when we are feeling good. If we have to change our schedule to meet our moods then we do that. If we feel most energetic after dinner, that would be a great time to shower and practice oral hygiene. Explaining our needs to our loved ones is important. Learn more in Bipolar Disorder: Love and Relationships.
About the author:
Author of Manic, 10 Ways to Thrive with Bipolar Disorder, Bipolar Disorder: Love and Relationships, Bipolar Disorder: Triggers, Boundaries and Roadblocks and The Anxiety Warriors
Amy Perez has a Master’s Degree in General Psychology. She has worked in Miami, Florida with people living with various mental illnesses. She has spent many hours inside mental health facilities with a first hand patient perspective. Amy lives in Florida with her family and orange tabby. She enjoys reading, writing, cooking and spending time in nature.
Facebook Group: Mental Health Encouragement
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of PatientNextDoor. Any omissions or errors are the author’s and PatientNextDoor does not assume any liability or responsibility for them.