We all have our moods. The good days and the bad. Chronic illness often contributes to the latter. When we are stiff, in pain, struggling with elevated blood sugar levels, etc., we are down … irritable … and frustrated. But for those living with Bipolar Disorder, moods define their condition.
Contrary to the common misconception, a patient with Bipolar isn’t overly emotional. Instead, he or she experiences long periods of mood that are high-energy and others that are deeply saddening — stifling. These periods or episodes can last, for months. In between, they experience normal mood. These drastic swings are difficult and disruptive, for the patient and those around them. But, like other Chronic illnesses, Bipolar can be managed through medication, therapy and lifestyle changes.
Bipolar, or manic depression as it is also known, is a mental health condition that effects more than 3M Americans. In 2016, it was estimated that 40M are effected worldwide. Some experience their first episode, during childhood. But it typically begins during late teens or early adulthood. Many patients may go for years, untreated. They may not even be aware that they are sick. This by no means suggests that a patient should ignore their symptoms. In fact, the sooner that he or she is properly diagnosed … the easier it will be to get these symptoms under control and effectively manage their condition.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, there are steps that you can take for better living:
- Eat healthy choices, i.e. Omega-3 foods. Avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Communicate with your Doctor or therapist.
- Always take your medications as directed.
- Monitor your symptoms.
- Stay connected to your Support System, i.e. family, friends, etc. Don’t isolate.
- Develop a more structured lifestyle.
- Get some form of exercise. It’s emotionally beneficial.
- Limit your stress.
Remember, our lives are like gardens. None are perfect, but all are beautiful. Give yours the chance to blossom and grow!
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
*Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash