I know firsthand bipolar disorder is a debilitating illness which affects all aspects of your life once mania or your depressive state is triggered. Understanding these triggers and how to avoid them are the first steps in successfully in managing your bipolar disorder.
Here are some of the most common triggers:
Drugs and alcohol: Many of us who suffer from bipolar disorder attempt to self-medicate our mental illness with recreational drugs or alcohol.However, because of our unstable moods, these are some of the worst things we can use because eventually, we will become dependent on them.
Stress: People who suffer from being bipolar tend to have a really hard time dealing with stress and anxiety. What many people consider a normal amount of stress can send us into a spiral of either mania or depression. Once triggered these instances of mental instability are very hard to recover from.
Life Events: There is always something positive or negative going on in our life that we can control and most people with bipolar disorder have a hard time with that fact. Life-changing events like death, o losing a job r even the birth of a child can trigger an episode in us.
Not getting enough sleep: Not getting enough sleep is common among most mental illnesses including bipolar disorder. When we don’t get enough sleep our body finds it difficult to cope with everyday life and turns to either mania or depression as a way to help us adjust.
Change of seasons: Personally, I find summer the most difficult time of year to deal with because of the heat here in Arizona. I don’t want to go outside which usually causes a depressive episode. Winter, however, usually causes mania since I get to go outside more and around Christmas, everyone seems to be in a joyous mood.
When you get an idea of what triggers your mania or depression you can get a handle on preventing or at least minimizing your moods and the negative effects they bring. I suggest if you figure out different things which happen to trigger you to let your doctor know so they can adjust your medication as needed prior to a triggering event.
Bipolar disorder is a difficult illness to deal with and I encourage you to always seek out professional help if you suffer from it. Hopefully, by recognizing some of your triggers you can successfully avoid the high and low points your mental illness is causing you.