Bipolar disorder is a mental illness, characterized by episodes of depression and mania(or just recurrent manic episodes). If you got here directly, read this to learn about depression and mania. Medications like antipsychotics and antidepressants are indicated in the management of acute states and mood stabilizers( lithium, valproate, lamotrigine and carbamazepine) are indicated in prophylaxis. Each relapse into a depressive episode or a manic episode worsens the prognosis of bipolar affective disorder. It is thus of prime importance to prevent relapses, here are 5 easy ways to prevent relapse in patients with bipolar disorder.
- Do not skip your medications – Most people end up in a relapse because they discontinued their medications prematurely, either secondary to remission of symptoms or due to side effects. PLEASE refrain from discontinuing any medications without consulting your doctor first.
- Sleep Sleep Sleep – Do not push your boundaries, make sure you have a perfect sleep – wake schedule. Avoid late night movies and parties. Try avoiding shift work. And consult your doctor as soon as you feel sleep is unsatisfactory.
- Avoid substance abuse – All drugs of abuse can lead to a relapse, controlled drinking may be acceptable in some. However, always get someone to monitor your substance use. Make sure to seek help, when you begin to tip over.
- Watch for triggers – Stress, isolation, sleep deprivation, and changes in your normal routine can trigger episodes of depression or mania. Be cautious during major life events like starting a new job, going to college, moving out of town or going through a breakup.
- Early symptoms – Watch for early symptoms, a disturbance in the quantity or quality of sleep is usually the first sign of an impending mood episode. A sudden loss of interest or confidence may predict a depressive episode. An increase in spending or substance use could be early indicators of a manic episode.
Make sure your loved ones know what you are going through and how you are feeling, they might sense something tat you might miss. Always seek help at the first sign of a relapse, DO NOT WAIT, DO NOT CHANGE MEDICATION DOSES BY YOURSELF.
It is very possible to live a very normal life with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Best of luck