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Bipolar Disorder

What is Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that affects a person's mood, energy, and ability to function. It is characterized by episodes of mania and depression, can vary in severity and duration. People with bipolar disorder may experience periods of high energy, impulsivity, and euphoria during manic episodes, and periods of low mood, sadness, and hopelessness during depressive episodes.

Physical Effects of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder can have a range of physical effects on the body.

Changes in appetite

Bipolar disorder can cause changes in appetite, which can be a symptom both manic and depressive episodes. During manic episodes, a person may experience an increased appetite and indulge in binge eating. Conversely, during depressive episodes, a person may lose their appetite and experience weight loss. It's important to monitor changes in appetite and discuss them with a healthcare professional as part of managing bipolar disorder.

Sleep patterns

Sleep problems can be a common issue for individuals experiencing bipolar disorder. It's important to establish a consistent sleep schedule and practice good sleep hygiene habits, as avoiding caffeine and electronics before bed.

Fatigue and Decreased energy levels

Bipolar disorder can cause fatigue and decreased energy levels, which can make it difficult to carry out daily activities. It's important to prioritize self-care and seek professional help to manage symptoms and improve overall well-being.

Stomach issues

Individuals with bipolar disorder may experience stomach issues as a result of their condition or medication. It's important to discuss any symptoms with a healthcare provider to determine the best course of action. In addition to medical treatment, practicing self-care techniques like eating a balanced diet staying hydrated, and managing stress can also help alleviate stomach issues.

Health Effects of Bipolar Disorder

Depression

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that can cause extreme mood swings, including episodes of depression. Symptoms of depression in bipolar disorder may include feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness as well as changes in appetite, sleep patterns, and levels. It's important to seek professional help if you or someone know is experiencing symptoms of bipolar disorder.

Mania

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that can cause extreme mood swings, including episodes of mania.

During a manic phase of bipolar disorder, you may:

  • feel very happy

  • have lots of energy, ambitious plans and ideas

  • spend large amounts of money on things you cannot afford and would not normally want

It's also common to:

  • not feel like eating or sleeping

  • talk quickly

  • become annoyed easily

You may feel very creative and view the manic phase of bipolar as a positive experience.

But you may also experience symptoms of psychosis. Psychosis can occur during manic or depressive episodes, and may include symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations, and disordered thinking.

Ways to help Reduce Symptoms

Bipolar disorder can be a challenging condition to manage, but there are ways to symptoms and improve quality of life. Some strategies medication, therapy, lifestyle changes, and support from loved ones. It's important to work with a healthcare professional to develop a personalized treatment plan that meets your unique needs. With the right approach, it's possible to live well with bipolar disorder.

Advice for Family and Friends

Don't pressure them

Putting pressure on someone with bipolar disorder can be harmful. It can trigger episodes of mania or depression and worsen symptoms. It's important be patient, understanding, and supportive of their needs.

Try to Understand

Being sympathetic and trying to understand the thoughts and feelings of someone with bipolar disorder can make a huge difference in their life. It can help them feel understood and supported, which can lead to better management of their symptoms. By showing empathy and being patient, you can help create a safe and positive environment for them to thrive in.

Ask how you can help 

Asking how you can help someone experiencing bipolar disorder can be helpful. It shows that you care and are willing to support them. However, it's important to approach the conversation with empathy and understanding, and to be open to their needs and preferences.

Support them to seek help and advice

If you want to help someone with bipolar disorder reach out for help, the first step is to let them know that you're there for them and that you care. Encourage them to seek professional help, such as therapy counselling, and offer to help them find resources if needed. Be patient and understanding, and avoid minimizing their feelings or pressuring them to do anything they're not comfortable with. Remember that everyone's journey is different, and the most important thing is to support them their efforts to manage their symptoms.

Look after yourself

When supporting someone with bipolar disorder, it's important to prioritize your own self-care as well. This can include setting boundaries, taking breaks when needed, and seeking support from others. Remember that you can't pour from an empty cup, so taking care of yourself will ultimately benefit both you and the persons you're supporting.

Further Support

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