Lifestyle Changes to Manage Bipolar Disorder
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Having good habits can help you live better. Here are some tips:
You may be taking more than one medicine. There may be times when you may be tempted to skip them. It's important that you take them as advised by your doctor. If you don't, then your symptoms may return.
Ask your doctor for advice on when to take your medicines. Find out what to do if you miss a dose. Use a calendar, sticky notes, or a phone reminder.
Getting enough sleep can help prevent mood swings. Not getting enough can change your brain chemistry. It can bring on manic episodes. If you are having sleep problems, talk with your doctor. You may be given a medicine that will help you sleep better.
Stress can trigger manic attacks. Make sure that you get plenty of rest. Try to find a job that you like. Try not to take on more than you can handle. Relaxation methods can help you cope with stress. You may want to do meditation, deep breathing, progressive relaxation, yoga, biofeedback, or massage. Make sure you have activities that you enjoy and that relax you.
Eat a healthful diet on a regular basis. Your diet should be low in bad fats. It should be rich in whole grains, fresh fruits, and veggies. If your medicines cause weight gain, you may need to cut back on your calories.
Exercising on a regular basis can help you manage stress. It also helps control weight gain and can help increase feelings of well-being.
Bipolar disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114738/Bipolar-disorder. Updated September 9, 2019. Accessed October 10, 2019.
Bipolar disorder in adults. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at:
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Updated October 2018. Accessed October 10, 2019.
Yatham LN, Kennedy SH, et al. Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT) and International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD) 2018 guidelines for the management of patients with bipolar disorder. Bipolar Disord. 2018 Mar;20(2):97-170 Bipolar Disord 2018 Mar;20(2):97.
Last reviewed September 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Rimas Lukas, MD
Last Updated 10/10/2019
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