Living with Bipolar Disorder

Most teens love to talk about their newest crushes with friends, getting admitted to the college of their choice, and having driver’s license. Not Robert. At 16, he is busy chasing girls and having sex one after the other, talking to dealers into selling him a new car although he does not have any money, and waging a week-long boycott of his high school physics class just because he is not happy with how the instructor teaches.

Robert has bipolar disorder. He is only one of the 3 million Americans suffering from this condition. Managing and living with this disorder can be very challenging as this condition is characterized by dramatic shifts in mood and energy, as well as the ability to function. It can disrupt a sufferer’s life. Here are some helpful steps to cope with bipolar disorder:

Maintain medication

Many people with bipolar disorder are having hard time with their medications because they are struggling with the idea that they are staying on their medication for the rest of their life. However, maintaining medication can significantly reduce the severity and number of episodes for many people with bipolar disorder.

Change lifestyle

Kick bad old habits and try to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Include healthy food in your diet, engage in physical activities, and try to maintain a regular sleep pattern. Healthy eating, exercise, and regular sleep appear to help those with bipolar disorder better manage their moods and behavior. You also have to avoid substances like alcohol and drugs because they can trigger a mood episode and hamper the effectiveness of your medication.

Adapt to the condition

Adapting to bipolar disorder can save you from exhibiting embarrassing behavior when in a manic episode. This disorder management approach can help you set practical goals for your treatment. In addition, your doctor can also help you get ready for potential manic-depressive episodes and deal with fear of having more. You have to understand the kinds of stress that can trigger episodes as well as the lifestyle changes you need to reduce them.

Ask for help

You can better manage and live with bipolar disorder if you ask for help. There are many support groups that help people with this condition by giving encouragement, sharing concerns, and teaching coping skills. A support group may also help you feel less isolated and hopeless.

Friends and family members may also benefit from support groups as they gain a fuller and deeper understanding of bipolar disorder. Support groups also help them with their concerns and teach them how to best support people with bipolar disorder.