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Bipolar Disorder Self Care
by Patty E. Fleener M.S.W
Learn what your triggers are and try to avoid them.
Examples from the book "Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder" include:
Things That Help
Bright light therapy is also recommended even if the person does not have SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Light boxes are recommended from Drs. especially for SAD, and SAD is extremely common with the bipolar disorder. An inexpensive light box can be ordered through drugstore.com.
Though not nearly as good as alight box, some people recommend "grow lights" that are available at stores such as Walmart.com.
Diet: Lean protein such as chicken, lean red meat, turkey and complex carbohydrates (most should come from vegetables, fruits and some grains). Avoid sugar and saturated fat. Also avoid alcohol, dairy products, caffeine, carbonated beverages, food colorings, flavorings, preservatives and other additives.
Therapy: Once treated with the correct medication, therapy can be of great help in further assisting you with depression, mood swings, thinking disturbances and the effects that bipolar disorder has had on your life.
Self Help Groups: Coming together with people with the same disorder can be very helpful in many ways. No one can fully understand this disorder like another person who suffers from it.
Recognizing the early signs of mania allows you to seek help early and take measures that help stop the escalation of mania.
The book "New Hope for People with Bipolar Disorder" gives this list:
Develop a written plan of steps to take should mania begin. Try to do this with your family about what works when you begin developing mania. Discuss strategies.
Exercise helps to reduce depression, especially aerobics, and also helps to rid yourself of manic extra energy. If you are just starting out and not in good shape, be sure and see your Dr. before you begin your exercise regimen.
In regards to aerobic exercise, I have noticed a great deal of difference in my moods, my stability, my outlook on life, my energy level and I sleep so well. I have slept this restful since I was a young child.
Aerobic exercise has been rated very high as an effective treatment for bipolar disorder.
Create a healthy support system.
Make a list of what personality traits are you and what is the bipolar disorder. This will assist you in understanding that you are not your disorder and hopefully reduce any guilt you might be experiencing.
The book "Living Without Depression and Manic-Depression," adds the following: (this is a partial list)
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Copyright © Patty Fleener, M.S.W. All rights reserved.