According to the WHO, Bipolar disorder affects approximately 45 million people worldwide. Someone who suffers from bipolar disorder experiences drastic mood swings as well as extreme changes in their activity and energy levels. Bipolar disorder can also cause depressive episodes, which include severe symptoms that can prevent a person from carrying out basic, daily activities.
Living with bipolar depression is tough. However, you can find ways to help you cope with this mental illness. In this article, you’ll discover how.
Symptoms of Bipolar Depression
Aside from extreme mood swings, bipolar disorder can cause other symptoms. Bipolar disorder can cause sleep deprivation or insomnia, as well as fatigue and heavy tiredness. It can also cause changes in your appetite and quick and noticeable changes in your weight.
When facing major bipolar depression, you’ll experience a variety of feelings. Some include:
- feelings of extreme sadness
- excessive guilt
- the inability to find joy in the things you once used to
It may even make you more irritable, anxious, and hypersensitive. If the depressive episode worsens, it can even provoke suicidal thoughts.
How to Treat Bipolar Depression
Bipolar depression makes it hard to stick to a consistent schedule, which worsens symptoms. Creating a routine and sticking to it is one way that can help you find relief from your bipolar depression. For example, going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day.
Eating the right foods and feeding your brain healthy nutrients helps produce “happy” hormones—such as dopamine or endorphins. This also means limiting the intake of foods that might worsen your depression or anxiety, such as alcohol or caffeine. Getting regular exercise also helps with the release of endorphins, which improves your overall mood.
Writing has also proven to be a therapeutic way of channeling depression and improving mental health. Keeping a journal and tracking your emotions every day will help you not only find emotional comfort but also help you identify possible triggers, whether or not your medication is working, and monitor your eating and sleeping habits.
It’s also important to find a support system. You want to surround yourself with people that will be there for you in your moment of crisis. Educate them on everything possible on bipolar depression, and that way, they can be more understanding and learn how to assist you in a time of need.
Most importantly, though, make sure to always take the meds your doctor has provided for you, even if you feel stable. Meds can be expensive and difficult to obtain, which is why it’s also good to see your options. Also, keep your doctor updated on how the medication affects you and communicate all your concerns.
Don’t Give Up
Bipolar depression is a serious mental condition but, by closely following these tips and sticking to your doctor’s appointments, you’ll be able to manage your depression more effectively.
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