By Minnie Daniel
Bipolar disorder is a serious brain disorder that causes one to experience changes in energy, activity levels, mood and the capability to perform daily tasks effectively. The symptoms of this disorder are severe and can result to poor performance in school or at the work place, inability to sustain healthful relationships and even suicide. However, bipolar disorder is treatable, and people affected by this disorder can lead normal lives. Below are ways to help manage symptoms of this disorder:
Take your medication as instructed
One effective way of managing the disorder is taking medication as prescribed by the doctor. For example, one in three people will not experience bipolar disorder symptoms if they take mood stabilizing medicine such as lithium or carbamazepine for the rest of their lives.
Engaging in physical activity is another important way of managing the disorder. Exercising for 30 minutes a day can help manage mood swings. Exercise helps boost one’s self esteem, promotes better sleep and makes one feel good.
Take a balanced diet
Eating a balanced diet is important too. Ensure that you get all the essential nutrients. Vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, lean proteins and dairy must be included in your diet. Supplement your diet with foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids like fatty fish. Research has shown that the essential fats reduce depression in patients with bipolar disorder.
Don’t travel to other time zones
If you plan to travel widely, consult your doctor before you leave. When you travel to other time zones, your medication schedule changes. This is hazardous in that it can trigger a switch. Hence, consultation is important as it gives you the know-how of what to do in case of an emergency.
Sleep for a specific number of hours every night
Changing your sleep pattern can at times trigger a manic episode. Try as much as you can to maintain the same bed and rise timely there is a variation, it should not exceed more than one hour.
Don’t take alcohol and illegal drugs
Make sure you don’t take even a glass of alcohol. This again applies to illegal drugs such as bang and cocaine. Alcohol and drugs can alter your mood or interfere with your medication. This can aggravate the symptoms or even trigger a switch.
Stress should be a no-go zone for individuals affected by bipolar disorder. Stress can trigger a depressive episode. If stressed at work, try to keep regular working hours. If stressed at home, try to schedule some recreation in your day. Social time should be included in your schedule.
Avoid nicotine and caffeine
Try to avoid drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes when experiencing manic episodes as much as possible. Nicotine and caffeine can decrease or increase the speed at which medications are metabolized. This will in turn increase or decrease the level of these medications in the bloodstream. Consequently, the symptoms become worse and your sleep pattern is disrupted. In conclusion, have a better sleep, avoid stress, exercise frequently and follow prescriptions to have a better life.
Minnie Daniel is a passionate blogger. Presently she is working for Ni card which assists you to get a national insurance number.
As an avid reader and blogger, she shares her experience through her articles on Health, Travel, Education, Technology, Parenting and many more.