Ways To Cope With Bipolar Mood Swings

  • mood swings of bipolar disorder can often occur spontaneously, for no particular reason and can be profoundly detrimental.
  • While it’s always more beneficial to prepare for the times when you might be more sensitive, there are ways to cope during a mood episode. Here are ten tips to do both:
  • #1 Look for patterns or signs
  • Be on the look out for signs that you may be entering a period of depression or mania. Besides a shift in your mood, be aware of changes in sleep patterns, energy level, alcohol or drug use, sex drive, concentration and self-esteem.
  • #2 Control stress
  • Since stress is a major bipolar trigger, it’s in your best interest to do what you can to simplify your life and relieve stress in your personal and work life. This may mean asking family members to share more household responsibilities or even considering a new job if yours is high-pressure with long hours.
  •  #3 Write it down
  • One of the best ways to monitor triggers and early red flags is to keep a mood diary. Use this to check in with yourself throughout the day and log your emotional state and other symptoms you are having. In order to spot any patterns, you can also log information such as the number of hours your sleeping, medications you’re taking, your weight, and any alcohol or drug use.
  • #4 Build structure into your life
  • Since people with bipolar don’t do very well with a lot of changes, it’s best to stick to a regular routine to help control mood swings. Developing and following a daily schedule can mean having meals, exercise and bed time about the same time every day.
  •  #5 Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and drugs
  • Alcohol and sedatives can provoke depression and drugs such as ecstasy, cocaine and amphetamines can trigger mania. Any of these substances can interfere with sleep and can affect how your medications work. Remember that even limited social drinking can upset your state of emotions and possibly spark a mood episode.
  • #6 Practice healthy sleep habits
  • It’s best to maintain a consistent sleep schedule, striving to go to bed and awaken the same time every day. Try and stay disciplined about your sleep habits, being aware that staying up late watching television or surfing the Internet can worsen mood swings. Not getting enough sleep, even losing just a few hours, can trigger a manic episode, though getting too much sleep can also aggravate your mood.
  • #7 Get moving
  • Exercise – especially aerobic, like running, dancing, or swimming – has a beneficial impact on mood swings. It’s best to try for at least 30 minutes of activity daily; the good news is this can be broken into ten-minute segments throughout the day. A good start is walking, as people of any fitness level can do it.
  • #8 Watch what you eat…
  • There is an undeniable relationship between the food and mood. The best foods for an optimal mood include fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains and healthy fats, while limiting sugar intake. Avoid a high-carbohydrate diet as this is certain mood crasher, as is processed foods, chocolate and caffeine.
  • #9 Get healthy fats
  • Early research shows promise for omega-3 fatty acids decreasing mood swings in bipolar disorder. Increase your intake of omega-3 by eating cold-water fish such as salmon, sardines and halibut, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds and walnuts. If you’re not receiving enough of this healthy fat through diet alone, you can consider an omega-3 nutritional supplement.
  •  #10 Get thyroid checked
  • Changes in mood have been linked to thyroid disorders: depressive symptoms in hypothyroidism patients and manic symptoms for patients with hyperthyroidism. In fact, one study assessing outpatients with bipolar found thyroid autoimmunity to be highly prevalent. Therefore, it may be wise to evaluate thyroid function before a diagnosis of depression or bipolar disorder is made.

Source: BP Magazine, 12/2016 @ http://www.bphope.com/bipolar-buzz/10-ways-to-cope-with-bipolar-mood-swings/


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