Learning to Live with Bipolar Disorder

The bipolar disorder or bipolar spectrum disorder is based on a set of different mental disorders. Its most notable characteristic is the instability it causes in emotions, thoughts and behaviors, to the point of making the sufferer doubt who he or she really is. Two people with bipolar disorder can be totally different, which makes it difficult to diagnose and requires personalized treatments to be effective. It is important to note that it is a brain-based illness, in which the patient will show periods in which it will be difficult to identify and balance their emotions and perceptions of reality.

The announcement of having a bipolar disorder is not easy to accept. It is important to assume it with determination and realism in order to enjoy a good quality of life. It will be very useful to have the maximum of professional, family and social support, and in this way, to treat the problem calmly.

Psychiatrists agree that diagnosis of bipolar disorder is not always easy since there is no medical test to confirm it. Confirmation is based on symptoms and mental health professionals are currently trying to avoid the progression of the disease and therefore act early when the symptoms are mild. Intervention is increasingly carried out in early forms, in children and adolescents. The good news is that there are more and more effective pharmacological treatments, which are of great help if the patient also becomes an ally of the therapy.

If treatment is interrupted or not carried out correctly, there is a risk of relapse. The patient should strictly follow the treatment and develop his capacity for self-observation without falling into exaggerations. It is necessary that he learns to detect changes in his mood in order to transmit this information to his therapeutic team.

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Families are initially as disoriented as the patient himself and lack information about the disease, so it is essential that they become involved in the treatment. With professional help, they will begin to understand that many of the patient’s behaviors are not the result of bad faith. They will assume the role of caregivers for difficult moments and will have help to alleviate their negative feelings, fatigue and uncertainty.

Guidelines and advice for people with bipolar disorder

It is advisable to create healthy lifestyle habits based on stress reduction, good nutrition, alcohol and drug restriction and regular sports activities.

Sleep habits are the most important and it is not advisable to go to bed late or sleep less hours than usual. The phases of decompensation are usually announced with variations in the way of sleeping, generally fewer hours but also, sometimes, with greater drowsiness.

In other respects the most important thing is to take it easy. This will make the patient feel that it is easier to achieve his or her fundamental goal of living with bipolar disorder while maintaining a good level of well-being.