Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes extreme mood swings. People with bipolar disorder can go from feeling really happy and excited to feel really sad and hopeless very quickly.
Sometimes they can feel like a completely different person than who they are. This is because of their mood swings.
The symptoms of bipolar disorder can be different from person to person.
Some people with the illness only have one episode in their lives and never go through another episode after that. Other people have periods of time when they are healthy, then start having episodes again.
How does a person with bipolar think?
Intense mood swings
Intense mood swings are one of the defining characteristics of bipolar disorder.
These mood swings can be sudden and extreme, causing a person with this condition to feel happy and excited one moment and sad and hopeless the next.
These shifts in mood can make it difficult for someone with bipolar disorder to maintain normal functioning in their daily life, as they are often unable to predict how they will feel from one moment to the next.
While there is no single cause of intense mood swings in people with bipolar disorder, a combination of environmental and genetic factors is believed to be at play.
Irrational and impulsive during these episodes.
People with bipolar disorder can sometimes exhibit irrational and impulsive behaviors during their episodes of intense mood swings.
These behaviors may include excessive spending, reckless risk-taking, or engaging in reckless or abusive behavior toward themselves or others.
This is often due to a lack of impulse control that is associated with the changes in mood and functioning that are common among people with bipolar disorder.
Struggle with concentration, memory, or decision-making.
People with bipolar disorder often struggle with concentration, memory, or decision-making. This is due to the intense mood swings and shifts in functioning that are common among people with this condition.
These struggles can make it difficult for someone with bipolar disorder to effectively manage their day-to-day responsibilities and navigate the challenges of daily life.
Additionally, these cognitive challenges can make it difficult for people with bipolar disorder to cope with the emotional impact of their condition, which can further exacerbate their symptoms and impair functioning.
Difficulty with sleep, changes in appetite.
People with bipolar disorder often experience difficulty with sleep and changes in appetite as a result of their condition.
These symptoms can be particularly disruptive, making it difficult for someone with bipolar disorder to get the rest they need or maintain a healthy diet.
Additionally, changes in sleep and appetite can exacerbate other symptoms of the disorder, such as mood swings, impaired cognitive functioning, and risk-taking behaviors.
How to manage your thoughts with bipolar disorder?
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing bipolar disorder, as the symptoms and challenges experienced by each individual will vary based on a variety of factors.
That said, some strategies that may help manage thoughts and symptoms associated with bipolar disorder include:
Seeking professional treatment
Seeking professional treatment is an important step in managing bipolar disorder.
This involves working with a healthcare provider or therapist who can help identify the underlying causes of your symptoms and provide strategies for effectively managing them.
Some common treatment approaches for bipolar disorder may include psychotherapy, medication, lifestyle interventions, or a combination of these methods.
Engaging in regular exercise
Engaging in regular exercise is an important strategy for managing the symptoms of bipolar disorder.
Research has shown that engaging in physical activity can help improve mood, reduce stress, and promote better sleep and cognitive functioning.
Additionally, engaging in regular exercise can help people with bipolar disorder manage some of the impulsive behaviors that are often associated with this condition.
Establishing healthy sleep habits
Establishing healthy sleep habits is an important part of managing bipolar disorder.
This may involve establishing a regular sleep routine that includes setting consistent bedtimes and wake times, limiting screen time and other electronics before bedtime, avoiding caffeine or alcohol in the evenings, and engaging in relaxing activities before bedtime.
Additionally, it can be helpful to practice stress-management techniques, such as deep breathing exercises or mindfulness meditation, which can help promote better sleep and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
Sticking to a regular treatment and medication regimen
Sticking to a regular treatment and medication regimen is essential for managing bipolar disorder.
This may involve regularly taking prescribed medications as directed, attending appointments with your healthcare provider, or engaging in other forms of therapy or support that are recommended by your provider.
It is also important to work closely with your healthcare provider to monitor the effects of your treatment plan and make any necessary adjustments or changes as needed.
Working with loved ones to manage day-to-day responsibilities
Working with loved ones is an important part of managing day-to-day responsibilities for people living with bipolar disorder.
This may involve enlisting the support and guidance of friends and family members, as well as seeking out professional mental health services or support groups to help manage symptoms and cope with the challenges associated with this condition.
Seeking support from mental health or other community
Seeking support from mental health or other community resources can be an important part of managing bipolar disorder.
This may involve seeking out professional counseling services, joining a support group or peer network, or reaching out to family members and friends for additional emotional support.
Other options for seeking support may include engaging with online communities or utilizing online resources, such as self-help websites or apps, which can provide valuable information and support for people living with bipolar disorder.
Although managing bipolar disorder can be challenging, there are many strategies that can help to effectively manage its symptoms and promote overall well-being.
These may include seeking professional treatment, engaging in regular exercise, establishing healthy sleep habits, sticking to regular treatment and medication regimens, working with loved ones to manage day-to-day responsibilities, and seeking support from mental health or other community resources.
By incorporating these strategies into your daily life, you can better manage the symptoms of bipolar disorder and live a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling life.