5 Ways to Manage Bipolar Disorder without Drugs

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Can you manage a mental condition without drugs? It’s not ideal, but it’s quite possible. Bipolar disorder is a type of manic-depressive mental condition. It’s characterized by periods of elation and depression. A patient may feel and act abnormally happy one day then becomes deeply morose the next. The cause of this condition remains unclear. Health experts believe genetics and environmental factors could increase the likelihood of developing this mental condition.

Usually, bipolar disorder can be controlled through antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs. But it’s possible to control it without medications. To control the symptoms, keep these tips in mind:

1. Getting Enough Rest

Sleep deprivation is one of the triggers of bipolar disorder. Unfortunately, those afflicted with this condition have sleeping problems. 25% of bipolar patients sleep too much while 1/3 get very little sleep. Irregular sleeping pattern could lead to a manic or depressive state. So make it a point to get as much sleep as you can. Start by developing a sleeping habit. Set an alarm every day if you tend to oversleep. At night, remove any distractions that keep you from getting enough rest. That means no mobile phones and no tablets on the bed. Your bedroom should be cool, dim and relaxing to induce sleep. Drink chamomile tea before going to bed for good measure.

2. See a Psychiatrist

Therapy is important in managing any type of mental disorder. Research shows that bipolar patients’ moods stabilize after seeing a psychiatrist regularly. Most times, patients struggle with people who love them but could not understand what they are going through. Loved ones can only do so much. Patients should seek specialists that can understand and interpret thoughts and events.

Therapy can also help the whole family deal with the disorder. Interpersonal therapy is an excellent way to develop stable relationships and promote open communication. Having a support system is an important part of managing bipolar disorder. You can get all the support you need from your loved ones and a qualified psychiatrist.

3. Expending Energy

Overstimulation could trigger manic-depressive symptoms. It could also ruin friendships or cause family conflicts. People living with bipolar disorder tend to wear people out with their unstable moods. You want to strike a balance between your condition and your social life. Start by figuring out what you like doing on your own. Think of a hobby or a sport that you love. Then, find time to indulge in these passions. Doing what you love helps get the mind off your issues and into something that’s important to you.

4. Know Your Triggers

What causes your mood to shift from mania to depression? Figure out what triggers episodes of mania and depression helps manage the disease. Common triggers for manic-depressive disorder include stress, sleep deprivation, social isolation and routine disruptions.  If you know your triggers, take the necessary steps to avoid them at all cost. Try not to let life changes get in the way of your day.

5. Exercise Regularly

Exercising releases endorphins, brain chemicals that elevate the mood. These chemicals cause euphoric feelings. They also promote better sleep. When you work out, you take your mind off things that trigger your condition. Also, people afflicted with bipolar disorder are at risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. They are also prone to obesity. Working out regularly cuts the risk of acquiring these diseases too!

Living with bipolar disorder is not easy. But as long as you get the help and support you need, you can manage the symptoms. However, it’s equally important to control the disease with the right medication. Talk to your doctor about ways to manage the symptoms safely.

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