Happy Thanksgiving and Bipolar? Who’s in Control?


Happy Thanksgiving if you celebrate it.

How are you doing today? I hope you’re having a great day.

You know I talk a lot about being in control of your bipolar disorder. That’s because if you don’t,

the bipolar disorder will be in control of you. So how do you take control? By doing the things you need to do to be stable.

Although you are not the only one with bipolar disorder, you are the only one who can take care of your own disorder. It’s different for different people.

But there are some things that people with bipolar disorder should have in common:

1. Take your medication. If there are any problems with your medication, you

need to report it to your doctor so they can help you.

2. Eat a healthy diet. There are some foods that are bad for people in general,

much less people who have bipolar disorder. For example, caffeine (even

in chocolate) can be bad for you.

3. Live a healthy lifestyle. You can’t smoke, drink, and/or take drugs if you

want to get better. Even nicotine can possibly affect your stability. And

substance abuse is a problem in itself (and can also have bad consequences

for your bipolar medication).

4. Stick to a good sleep schedule. You should get at least 8 hours of

uninterrupted sleep every night, and go to bed at the same time and rise at

the same time every day. Your body clock needs to be stable in order for

you to be stable.

5. Go to all your appointments. Not everyone with bipolar disorder is on the same treatment plan, but each should have at least a doctor and therapist. You may

have a psychiatrist as well, who manages your bipolar medications. Missing

appointments can become a very bad habit, and hurt you in the long run.

6. Have a strong support system. Not everyone has the same people in their

support system, as each person decides for themselves, but they should all

have a support system. You could have your supporter, friends, family,

co-workers, your clergy person, your pharmacist, and others to help you.

In addition to these common things, there are other things that some people with bipolar disorder do to maintain control over the disorder.

1. Keep a mood chart or diary. Recording your moods on a daily basis can be very beneficial for you if you have bipolar disorder. You can see at a glance any patterns, such as a prolonged depression, that can indicate that you might be going into an

episode, and you can avoid it.

2. Have a good social life. You don’t need to hide just because you have bipolar disorder. And you shouldn’t be alone a lot of the time, because isolation is one of the biggest triggers to a bipolar episode. Having friends and a “normal” social life is good for your self-esteem as well.

3. Stay close to family. Many people with bipolar disorder shy away from their family, or have offended them when they were in an episode. It’s important to maintain these relationships, so they can be there for you.

4. Be productive. You may no longer work outside the house, you may even be on disability, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be productive with your time. Some people with bipolar disorder start their own home business, while others volunteer their time to a worthy cause. Being idle and/or bored can lead to a bipolar episode.

So who is in control? If you do these things, chances are that YOU will be in control of your

bipolar disorder. If you aren’t doing these things, or not doing them consistently, your stability

is in jeopardy, as your bipolar disorder has control over you.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


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