Being very aggressive when it comes to prevention, takes an effort on every front The earlier we start in life, the easier it is, but it is never too late. We need to be just as powerful [as the disease].
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It takes partnership and communication between doctor and patient-rare commodities these days. Keeping a daily food journal that counts calories such as at www. It also provides a reference point for analyzing and measuring nutrition. Abstain from Alcohol For many people with bipolar disorder, abstinence from alcohol is a necessity. Alcohol use and mood disorders go hand in hand.
Mood swings can be accentuated through alcohol use. At times it can be difficult to untangle the strands of symptoms that may be due to substance abuse and those perceivable due to bipolar disorder. Find acceptable substitutes for alcohol towards a partial solution leading to recovery from bipolar disorder. While a mentally healthy individual may actually benefit physically from moderate use of alcohol, for those with an addictive personality, or who have been diagnosed with depression or bipolar disorder, abstinence from alcohol is a better choice.
Quit Smoking Dr. It is an incredible killer, far worse than I was even taught in my medical training. If heart disease kills on in every two men and women, then smoking accounts for approximately half of those deaths. Research strongly suggests that it is not a question of if, but when and how smoking will cause death or disability. After the staggering risk of cardiovascular disease, cancers linked to or caused by smoking now number in the double digits.
Finally, emphysema is a terrible disease- a progressive inability to breathe as the lungs are slowly destroyed from within.
Of all the quitting methods-hypnosis, drugs, acupuncture-there is one method shown to be one hundred times more effective. Smoking can constrict the blood vessels in the brain; this can be a contributing factor in mental health issues for some individuals. Therapeutic Self-Help for Bipolar Disorder 5. Create and Contemplate Art The peace and solitude of creating artwork can help you develop self-control.
It can also help stop racing thoughts, commonly associated with manic episodes. One person suffering with mental health problems described it as like someone wringing out your brain i. When you have bipolar disorder, your moods fluctuate between ecstatic highs and plunging lows, either over longer periods of time or more rapidly. Your moods need to stabilize, and your mind needs to quiet down. The constant stimulation that the mind may receive from the media i. Art is a natural mood stabilizer. It has an added advantage of being, generally, side-effect free. Moreover, those with anorexia and bulimia can benefit from creating art.
It fills the void for visual stimulation, and it produces peaceful, soothing images in your mind. Read the newspaper and news magazines for the news The news can be depressing for many, as well as violent. It can accentuate feelings of trepidation and isolation. Reading to keep up with world events is not only gentler on the mind; it can strengthen brain activity, comprehension, reading skills, and memory.
Be selective and mix reading about distressing events never a shortage news media with positive reading material. TV is not a necessity, but it is a 20th and 21st century luxury that you can learn to do without. For some, it can make a big difference towards good mental health.
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This can help you to organize your thoughts and clear you mind. Some find if helpful to write in their journal before going to bed as an aid to better sleep. Keeping a daily journal helps circumvent and control racing thoughts, a symptom identified with bipolar disorder.
It can also help you find an emotional outlet, to decode events of the day, and interpret personal interactions and relationships. Identifying triggers is a first step towards gaining control and relapse prevention. Write for Self Expression as a Stabilizing Therapy Clinical studies indicate that when those with depression engage in expressive writing it forces them to identify and focus on the source of their emotional troubles, which results in a shorter recovery period; the same can be said for bipolar disorder.
Writing can be positive for those with bipolar disorder because it helps you to gain insight into your thoughts, behaviors, triggers, and emotions.
Bipolar Disorder Signs, Symptoms, and Treatments - Psycom
It can result in stress relief and help you organize your thoughts. Writing in a journal provides opportunity for self-analysis, to capsulize your own small victories as well as your mistakes, and make positive, deliberate choices in the future. Writing has proven to be an effective therapeutic self-help technique, and an catharsis on numerous levels for many.
Liz Miller who documents her success in full recovery from bipolar disorder medicine free for 15 years , attributes her recovery, in part, especially in the beginning stages of her self-help mission, to extensive self-directed writing therapy, for all of the reasons mentioned above.
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For some, poetry can be a healthy form of creative expression, that has cathartic, healing mental results. Reading and writing haiku poems can be especially helpful for those with bipolar disorder, as the poems are very compact in a nature, and force the mind to visualize, as well as to exercise restraint. Reading and writing haiku poems is an excellent mental self-control exercise, and helpful for bipolar disorder.
See author Sherry Reiter , PhD's page on this site. Her book Writing Away the Demons: Coping with Depression, is one among several excellent books on the subject of writing therapy. The book is based on Reiter's personal experience in experiencing relief through writing.
Reiter is a Registered Poetry Therapist. Commit to periods of daily relaxation. Experiment until you find the relaxation technique that is right for you. You should schedule at least 20 minutes a day to wind down, and actively reflect on your life i. Unplug- Movies , Video Games , Television Unplugging the TV, as well as reducing the number of movies you watch and time spent playing video games can help symptoms of depression and bipolar disorder. If we want to talk about unhealthy ways to stimulate the mind, we can start with these three things overstimulation from movies, video games and TV.
It is also important not to forget about the effects of the Internet, depending on how we use it. TV programs with commercials are generally very fast-paced. Movies and music can affect emotions, stimulating emotional highs and lows. Video games can have a similar effect.
Furthermore, movies are can be powerful tools of emotional stimulus, but the film-aficianado is a passive participant, and, like a drug, when the movie is over, the virtual stimulus is over, potentially leaving an emotional void. Films can take the mind through emotional highs and lows. Similarly, the Internet can become both a preoccupation and addiction, and contributes to an addictive type of personality in some.
Those with compulsive or addictive personalities may do better without continuous access to the Internet. For those who are addicted to the Internet in a damaging way, or those who become addicted to Internet pornography, it may be best to use the Internet at the local library.
Using the Internet away from home may prevent the Internet addict from becoming consumed with the Internet. Children and teens need to have limits at home and at school, and also need to be educate in using the Internet in healthy ways, while avoiding the potential danger zones. If you overindulge in violent entertainment, for those who experience symptoms of bipolar disorder, it may be contributing to the mood roller coaster ride.
Media overload excites the mind, pushing it beyond limits, and mind may have a hard time turning off. This can especially be true of young children, teens and young adults. These positive ways to spend time can contribute to a better mental health profile, one that is not in constant response-mood to artificial stimuli. Avoid Pornography and its Effects Avoid pornography and break free from pornography addiction.
Pornography can contribute to depression and mania, the two hallmarks of bipolar disorder. While some psychologists have condoned pornography as a healthy outlet for sexual desires, it has been noted that addiction to pornography can be as strong as that or illegal drugs, which can ultimately lead to depression.
Additionally, for some, pornography addiction and other forms of over-indulgence in sex, or hypersexuality, may be a contributing factor for symptoms of bipolar disorder, or part of a vicious cycle that leads to mood swings, erratic behavior or even self-loathing. Pornography can destabilize and isolate those who become addicted. Pornography has become infinitely more accessible to adolescents through the Internet. See: Pornography - Is It harmful? Love is one of the greatest single factor in maintaining good mental health; pornography has been described as being "anti-love.
It also depicts and teaches an unbalanced view of sex — with others as mere sex-objects. This way of thinking can harm real-life relationships. Learning to avoid pornography and finding positive outlets to occupy free time can be of value in overcoming the symptoms of bipolar disorder. Music and Bipolar Disorder It can lift our mood, excite our mind, and propel us to action.
It can also inspire us or depress us. Listening to music directly affects the dopamine levels in our brains. Music is used for therapy for those with bipolar disorder on a professional level.
It can also be used as a self-help therapy. Two things need to be considered when listening to music as a way to promote peace and tranquility. The amount of time we spend listening to music, and 2. The type and intensity of the music we listen to Because bipolar disorder is a mood disorder, and music affects moods, if we are struggling with a mood imbalance, too high or too low, to the point that psychiatric intervention is needed, we need to carefully consider the amount of time we spend listening to music. For some teens, one hour to 12 hours a day listening to music is not uncommon.
Listening to too much popular music is linked to a higher rate of clinical depression in teenagers. This may be the case for some adults, as well. In addition, taking anti-depressants can lead to manic-like symptoms for some, and can even be a contributing factor towards an eventual bipolar diagnosis, especially if core issues are not addressed during the interim.
For those with bipolar disorder, or with symptoms of bipolar disorder, music should be enjoyed moderately, in measured doses. Avoid overindulging in music. Even classical music can have a profound affect on your moods.