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Bipolar: Control What You Can

Posted Jun 17 2013 12:00am

There are some things you don’t have control over when it comes to your bipolar disorder ; however, there are some things that you do have control over.

Some people with bipolar just kind of “roll over and play dead” when they’re given the diagnosis and think that they have no more power, and they just let the disorder run roughshod over them, but I disagree with this approach. I don’t think we’re powerless at all.

See, I think medication only goes so far in the treatment of bipolar disorder. I think part of the treatment has to come from you, yourself. You do have control over the management of your own disorder, in my opinion. You don’t have to roll over and play dead. You don’t have to let the disorder manage you, or let it have control over you, you should have control over it.

What do I mean? Well, absolutely you should take your medication religiously. That’s the first part of treatment. But you should also go to therapy, which is up to you – you need to keep those appointments and not skip them because you don’t feel like going or because you feel fine that day. You need to be consistent with your appointments with your doctor, psychiatrist, and therapist. You have control over those.

You also have control over your sleep habits. This is very important, because loss of sleep can trigger a bipolar manic episode. And too much sleep can trigger a bipolar depressive episode. So you have to get the right amount of sleep every night (8-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep). It’s also important to go to sleep at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning so your body is used to the routine.

You also have control over what you eat. A good, healthy, nutritious diet is important when you have bipolar disorder. Many bipolar medications can cause unwanted weight gain, which can lead to diabetes. So you need to eat right. Make sure you eat a diet low in sugars and fats, and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Exercise is very important in the management of your bipolar disorder, too. And something over which you have control. You need to exercise at least 3 times a week for at least 30 minutes each time for best results. It will help keep your weight down, but it will also help you feel good, as it will affect the endorphins in your body, which naturally improve your mood.

You should also stick to a routine, as that will help you feel as if you have some power and control over your life and over your bipolar disorder.

If you haven’t been feeling very stable, check the areas I’ve talked about, and try getting control over them.

Wishing you joy and stability,

Remember God loves you and so do I,

Michele

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