Up All Night and Day and Night…How to Cope with Bipolar Mania Symptoms
Bipolar disorder can be perplexing to observe in someone else. But it can be downright bewildering when it happens to you. There are different varieties of bipolar disorder and each one has its own unique set of symptoms. Some people with bipolar experience depression as a major symptom. But bipolar with a focus on manic symptoms defines the popular view of the illness. Even though the manic symptoms can make you feel out of control, the right kinds of efforts will help you manage them.
Stay in Touch with Your Doctor
Now is not the time to decide to put your doctor on “ignore” status. You may be tempted to leave your doctor out of the loop—after all, you feel pretty good. But it’s important to know that there’s a dark side to feeling too good when you have bipolar disorder. Your doctor needs to know what’s going on, if for no other reason than to track your episodes. Although you may already take a mood stabilizer and other medications, you may also need additional emergency medication. Antipsychotics can be particularly helpful if the manic period gets out of control.
Count on Your Other Support Team Members
None of us are meant to go through life alone. But this advice is especially important when you’re dealing with bipolar symptoms. A loved one or trusted confidant can help keep an eye on you and make sure your actions aren’t putting you—or anyone else—at risk. Without someone to keep you in check, a manic episode could leave you with a lot more debts, regrets, or even permanent mistakes.
Do Whatever You Can to Get More Sleep
Sleep disturbances are one of the first and most obvious signs of an episode of bipolar mania. While the early stages of mania feel like a caffeine buzz, eventually it turns bad. You can ward off some of the irritability of sleep deprivation by making early interventions. You may not be physically able to get to sleep on your own, but your doctor can prescribe medication to help you get more rest.
Stay Busy and Keep Your Mind Occupied
Boredom is the worst thing possible for an episode of bipolar mania. But because the energy of a manic episode will eventually run out, it’s important to choose your activities wisely. Instead of beginning a project that will take months of dedicated effort, such as a kitchen remodel, choose smaller and more manageable activities instead. Ask your friends and loved ones to spend more time with you during this period as well. Being lonely and bored is a bad combination when you’re bipolar with a focus on manic symptoms.
Focus on Developing More Consistent Rhythms
Daily routines are predictable and stable, but they also require a lot of discipline to maintain. Consistent daily rhythms are a key method for preventing or shortening bipolar episodes. But the pace of modern life makes it very easy to slip out of those predictable routines, especially if you work in jobs with irregular hours. There’s also the fact that daily routines aren’t known for being particularly exciting. This is one case where the rewards will definitely make the self-discipline worthwhile, though. When you follow a consistent schedule with regular daily rhythms, it has a beneficial effect on keeping your moods stable.
Make Sure You Have an Emergency Plan
It’s important that the information about your care is easily accessible to loved ones and medical or public safety officials. Make sure to have a list that contains information such as the name of your doctor and any medication you’re currently taking. With care and a bit of luck, this may never be necessary, but it’s best to have it available just in case.
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