Today I want to talk to people who have bipolar disorder themselves, so you might want to show this email to your loved one. Especially if they aren’t doing as well as you might like them to be doing. You can look at this as sort of a bipolar report card, if you will. Remember when you were in school, and you got a report card periodically as sort of a checkup to see how well you were doing in school? Well, this is sort of like that.
The first thing we want to check up on is: Are you taking your medications? Too many people with bipolar disorder will stop taking their medications after they start feeling better, because they don’t feel that they need it any more. That’s very dangerous, because they don’t realize
that it’s the medication itself that’s making them feel better in the first place! And stopping the medication is one of the surest ways to go straight into a bipolar episode! Then you have to start all over with your medication anyway. So it’s better just to stay on your medication and keep taking it.
Next, are you keeping your appointments with your psychiatrist and therapist? That’s very important as well. Your psychiatrist and therapist should be part of your support system. Your psychiatrist should be the one who is helping to manage your medications. And your therapist should be helping you to cope and deal with the daily issues surrounding your bipolar disorder.
Also…How are you sleeping? You should be sticking to a regular sleep schedule, sleeping 8-9 uninterrupted hours every night, going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time.
What about your diet? You should be eating a healthy, nutritious diet, and not a lot of junk food, caffeine, and sugar. Are you exercising? I’m not saying you have to join a gym or anything (although some people do), but you should at least be walking 3-4 days a week. Exercise releases endorphins, which naturally make you feel good, and will keep away depression. You should also have a daily routine, which includes some kind of job or volunteer work. You need to be productive and stay busy, as that will help you to feel good about yourself. Even if you can’t work full-time, you might be able to work part-time, volunteer, or work at home, or start your own business. You should also do things just for pleasure, things that you enjoy. This could include projects that you can do. You should also have hobbies, things that you’re good at. And these would be things that you enjoy as well. You need to have fun as well. Do things that make you happy, as this, too, will keep you from getting depressed. Spend time with other people, with friends and family. They should be part of your support system as well. But this will also make you feel good.
You might also want to attend a bipolar support group, which would not only get you out around other people, but other people who have bipolar disorder, like you. Are you still watching yourself for patterns, mood swings, triggers, signs and symptoms of a bipolar episode? Although you may be stable, you must still be vigilant and be on guard for these.
Well, how did you do with your bipolar report card?
Well, I have to go!