Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition characterized by recurring and often frequent episodes of intense highs (manic episodes) and intense lows (depressive episodes).
Someone living with bipolar disorder can experience a multitude of negative side effects as a result of the condition, in one, several or all areas of their lives.
Manic episodes can result in the person experiencing an elevated or irritable mood, increased energy and activity levels, insomnia, reckless behavior and poor judgment. Depressive episodes can cause a person to experience hopelessness, sadness, sleeping too much, loss of interest in previously enjoyed relationships or activities, and suicidal thoughts or tendencies.
Bipolar disorder takes a toll on our everyday lives, and it’s not until we recognize the different ways it does that we can begin to combat those effects.
In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at what it’s like to live life with bipolar disorder, the different effects of bipolar disorder on everyday life, and then we’re going to share with you five tips for living with bipolar disorder.
What are the effects of bipolar disorder on everyday life?
Bipolar disorder can have a big impact on multiple (if not all) areas of a person’s life. The exact effects of bipolar disorder on everyday life will vary slightly per person, but it does commonly affect relationships, work, home dynamics and overall quality of life.
Someone living with bipolar disorder can experience different challenges with employment. During manic episodes, it may be hard for them to focus or communicate effectively, and they may become stressed easily and be unable to complete tasks. During depressive episodes, they may struggle to get out of bed in the morning, have “brain fog” and experience an overall lack of energy and motivation.
Relationships can become strained due to the frequency and intensity of changing behaviors and mood swings. Manic episodes can cause the individual to engage in risky, impulsive or careless behaviors that damage the trust or sense of safety and respect in the relationship. Depressive episodes can result in the individual withdrawing from, shutting down and/or rejecting their partner in ways that can deeply hurt the partner and destabilize the relationship.
Bipolar disorder can also cause individuals to struggle to consistently practice healthy habits (even in basic hygienic ways), the fluctuating episodes can result in a lack of financial stability due to things like impulsive spending or difficulty managing financial obligations.
Tips for living with bipolar disorder
Living with bipolar disorder can be difficult, but this condition doesn’t have to be the ruler of your life. By building a support system, taking care of yourself physically, practicing stress management and seeking professional help when you need it, you can manage and sometimes even fully recover from bipolar disorder.
1. Build a support system
It’s not enough to surround yourself with people who love you — you need to surround yourself with people who understand what you’re going through. Bipolar disorder takes a toll on relationships, and while this condition doesn’t justify mistreatment, surrounding yourself with people who are willing to work through these difficult times with you is invaluable.
2. Take care of yourself physically
Bipolar disorder symptoms can make it difficult to perform day-to-day tasks, but establishing a routine that helps you take care of yourself can make it easier. Creating an exercise plan you enjoy, prioritizing restful sleep, implementing self-care practices and eating nutritious foods are all ways you can help manage bipolar disorder.
A healthy diet can alleviate and even eliminate the symptoms of bipolar disorder, while a diet high in sugar, alcohol, carbohydrates and fried foods has been shown to trigger bipolar disorder and exacerbate symptoms.
3. Practice stress management
Stress is one of the biggest root causes and triggers of bipolar disorder systems, so learning and regularly practicing stress-management techniques can greatly benefit your mental health. These techniques could be breathwork, meditation, earthing/grounding (connecting bare skin to the earth), journaling and exercise.
4. Seek professional help when you need it
Both manic and depressive episodes will vary in severity depending on the individual, but in extreme cases, these episodes can result in dangerous and even fatal behavior. Because of the intensity and unpredictability of bipolar disorder, it’s important to seek professional help when this illness is suspected to be present in an individual.
Start your healing today
If you think you or someone you love is struggling with bipolar disorder, reach out to our team here at Silvermist Recovery. We know this can be a confusing time, but you’re not alone.
Our mission here at Silvermist is simple: help you restore your mind, body and soul so that you can resume living your happiest, healthiest life.
As a premier treatment center in Pennsylvania, we offer a variety of different mental health treatment programs to best help you embark on and successfully navigate the road to well-being. Our team is committed to providing you with the highest level of care possible, and we’ll work closely with you from day one to curate a treatment plan designed specifically for your needs.
To speak with an advisor and learn more about how we can help you recover and positively maintain your mental health, send us a message or call us directly today.