Studies shows that in 60 percent of bipolar disorder cases, the first major depressive or manic episode is preceded by a significant stressor. Moreover, the more a person experiences mood swings, the more he or she is vulnerable to developing future relapses. Not only that, but relapses may diminish the effectiveness of drugs.
While bipolar disorder is not a medical condition that can be self-treated, there are several simple steps you can take to minimize your episodes and effectively manage bipolar disorder on a long-term basis.
Controlling levels of stress is a vital mental hygiene management technique. This can be done easily by creating a set of routine for themselves and augmenting it with some healthy habits, including exercise, healthy diet, nutritional supplements, and regular sleep habits.
According to several studies presented over the past few years, those who experienced disruptions in their normal daily activities – especially in their sleeping and eating habits – prove more susceptible to developing new episodes of mania and depression. They are also more vulnerable to experiencing more relapses in their symptoms. Experts agree that those who maintain predictable routines handle their bipolar symptoms much better.
A bipolar person must develop skills to cope with stress. Although most of us think of stress as exposure to bad situations, there is such a thing as “good” stress. Events that give you joy can be just as difficult to manage as traumatic, unpleasant events. Think of a wedding and the stresses involved. Exposure to stress can enhance both of manic and depressive episodes.
As an individual will respond differently to different circumstances, there are an endless number of activities that may be chronic stressors in their lives. Learn to identify these stressors, pay attention to life rhythms, and then establish a list of what you intend to do to minimize their impact on your life. Ideally, will be great to share this list with his family and close friends, they can help in trying to maintain a low-stress environment.
An important aspect of a daily routine for anyone with bipolar disorder is the necessity of keeping some semblance of an adequate sleep routine. Individuals with bipolar disorder appear to have a central nervous system that “commits errors.” The body’s hypothalamus regulates our internal clocks.
In individuals who suffer with bipolar disorder, this clock is difficult to regulate. Once the rhythms are disturbed – and it doesn’t take a great deal to disturb the rhythm of a person with bipolar disorder – it triggers a set of reactions. Disturbed patterns then affect the individual’s schedule for not only sleeping and waking, but a host of other routines as well.