Senior Care - How to Provide Elderly Independence

What You Can Do To Manage Your Bipolar Disorder

by Stephen Silva

Bipolar disorder is an often misrepresented and misunderstood mental health condition. While some people in society think that bipolar disorder is just having basic mood swings, it is so much more than that. If you are struggling with managing your bipolar disorder, you know that coping with this condition is not always a walk in the park. However, there are ways that you can go about managing your bipolar disorder. All you need is to get to know some of the bipolar disorder management techniques available to you and then get the help and support you need in utilizing these techniques. 

Track Your Symptoms and Moods

While you may not think about it, bipolar disorder is much easier to manage if you keep track of your symptoms and moods over time. Oftentimes, there is some type of pattern that you can find when you do this for a few weeks or months. Some women, for example, experience worsening symptoms around the time of menstruation. Other people with bipolar may begin to notice symptoms increasing when work stress increases or when bills come due. 

For still others, the pattern may be seasonal or related to dates around past traumas. The key idea here is to start to track how you are doing and to assess your patterns with your mental healthcare providers. If you can predict your mood cycles, you can be better prepared to cope with them.

Writing your symptoms and moods down daily is one way to track them. You can also use one of the many smartphone apps out there that are designed specifically for tracking patterns in mood disorders. These apps are especially handy because you can send your data to your therapist or doctor directly from the app. 

Work with a Social Worker on Your Behavioral Health Risk Management

Managing your behavioral health risks is one of the most important parts of dealing with bipolar disorder. Your health is at risk when you are manic or depressed. Both mania and depression can lead to suicidal thoughts and tendencies, increase the risk of losing a job, and otherwise negatively impact your life. Mania can also involve reckless behavior that could endanger your health or life.

Working with a social worker or other mental health care professional on your behavioral health risk management plan can help you to better handle depression and mania when they occur. Having such a plan in place will determine how your care is handled in these situations and will give your providers a guidebook for how to help you. 

For example, if you are suffering a major depressive episode, one of the steps your medical provider may take is to limit the number of pills you can get from the pharmacy at one time. Perhaps they will only allow you to fill one week's supply at a time to prevent overdose. 

Part of your behavioral health risk management plan may involve hospitalization when you become either manic or depressed. This plan would include which hospital to contact and what treatment providers and family members need to be informed of the hospitalization. 

Having an established plan in place that you and your providers can both reference and follow helps to reduce your overall health risks and ensure that you get the best care possible when you are struggling with your bipolar mood swings. 

Knowing some of these steps that you can take to manage your bipolar disorder, you can contact your care providers as soon as possible to start better managing your mental health condition. 

Contact a company like Texas Applications Specialists, Inc. to learn more about behavioral health risk management.