Ways of Managing Bipolar Disorder

November 13, 2020
Bipolar Disorder


According to estimates from the National Alliance of Mental Illness, around 2.6% of people have bipolar disorder in the USA. Of these, 86% of the cases are severe. People with bipolar disorder have mood alterations of high {manic} periods and low {depressive} states. During the manic period, the person feels happy, is quite sociable, and has lots of energy. In the depressive period, he/she is socially withdrawn, has low energy levels, and often feels sad.

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The severe mood alterations associated with bipolar disorder can affect someone’s life, including his/her work, relationships, and sleep. Though there is currently no cure for a mood disorder, there are several methods of managing the condition so that a person lives free of its symptoms. Below are some options for managing bipolar disorder.


Lifestyle Management

When you carefully consider your lifestyle habits, you can keep your mood change episodes at a minimum. Some of the beneficial lifestyle habits to adopt include getting enough sleep, sticking to a healthy diet, exercising, and minimizing stress. People with bipolar disorder have a higher risk of engaging in addictive behaviors, with about 56% addicted to drugs or alcohol at some point. Practicing moderation will help you avoid addiction and minimize your bipolar disorder symptoms.



The optimal management of bipolar disorder requires a thorough understanding of the condition. When you and your loved ones understand what causes it, you can take deliberate steps to minimize its manic or depressive phases. There are a lot of online sites that will help you understand what bipolar disorder entails and the best way to manage it. Moreover, most hospitals now have support groups where you can learn from other people dealing with the same condition about strategies that will help you cope with bipolar disorder.


Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness.



Stress is one of the main things that can trigger a mood change in people with bipolar disorder. Keeping your stress levels under control is therefore essential. Psychotherapy techniques that help you cope with stress, regulate your mood, repair your relationships, and communicate your feelings are used by experts to manage bipolar disorder. Some of the techniques that a psychotherapist might use in your case include cognitive behavioral therapy {CBT}, family therapy, and social rhythm therapy.

Family therapy addresses issues that might trigger your mood change in a home environment while social therapy centers on establishing a stable social rhythm that will, in turn, stabilize your mood. CBT helps people with bipolar disorder examine the negative emotions and thoughts that trigger mood changes then change these into positive emotions or coping mechanisms.

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Day Treatment Programs

There are now day treatment programs for groups and individuals dealing with bipolar disorder. The programs include case management, peer support, daily living skills, and psychoeducation that will help you cope with the triggers that cause a mood change. Some day treatment programs also have housing and vocational support for people with additional needs.


Day Treatment Programs
Bipolar disorder can be treated.



Medications are the cornerstone of the management of bipolar disorder. The drug categories a doctor might prescribe to manage your symptoms include:

  • Antidepressants: These manage depressive episodes. Though they have been used extensively in the past, antidepressants are no longer routinely prescribed for bipolar disorder patients because of increased concern about their efficacy and safety.
  • Mood stabilizers: These will manage both depressive and manic episodes. Lithium is the most commonly used mood stabilizer for those with bipolar disorder. It is highly effective in the management of manic episodes. Even so, it is not the best choice for people who have rapid cycling or mixed episodes type of bipolar disorder. Other mood stabilizers include quetiapine and olanzapine.
  • Antipsychotics: These treat some of the symptoms of bipolar disorder. Some common examples include clozapine, risperidone, and ziprasidone.
  • Anticonvulsants: These reduce mood swings and relieve manic symptoms. They include carbamazepine, lamotrigine, topiramate, and valproic acid.

Other than these drug categories, your doctor might prescribe benzodiazepines to relieve agitation, insomnia, and anxiety in bipolar disorder patients. They are often used for a few weeks before mood stabilizers take effect.


Complementary Treatments

There are also treatments that you can combine with the above approaches to better manage bipolar disorder symptoms. Some complementary treatments that have shown some promise in this regard include:

  • Light and dark therapy: This regulates a person’s biological rhythms, much like social rhythm therapy.
  • Acupuncture
  • Mindfulness meditation: This uses breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation to manage bipolar disorder symptoms.

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With the right approaches, you can successfully manage bipolar disorder. The above alternatives might seem easy enough to institute or get from your nearest health center. Even so, they need an expert’s input because they should be customized to fit a patient’s needs. Book an appointment with the expert physicians at Mango Clinic to get a management approach that will work best for you. The professionals here will also consider different aspects to guarantee the management option you use has no or minimal side effects.

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