Living with Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder does not go away over time or with treatment. It’s therefore important that people with the condition see their healthcare providers regularly, follow their treatment plan, and take all medications as prescribed. As well, any changes in health status should be reported to healthcare providers. Know that even with long-term treatment, mood changes can occur.

If you have bipolar disorder, there are several things you can do in addition to medical treatment to help manage the condition:

  • Talk with your doctor regularly.
  • Maintain a regular routine (including meal times and when you go to bed and wake up).
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Take medication regularly.
  • Learn about warning signs of a shift into depression or mania.

As well, know where you can find addition support. Your healthcare team can be great support resource. Additional sources for help include community mental health centers, hospital psychiatry departments and outpatient clinics, bipolar disorder support groups, and church groups.

If You or Someone You Know Is in Crisis…

If you are thinking about harming yourself or know someone who is, this is an emergency. Call for help immediately. Call your doctor, dial 9-1-1, or go to the emergency room. Ask a friend for help if you’re not able to do these things on your own.

You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or speak to a trained counselor at 1-800-799-4TTY (1-800-799-4889).

A person who is considering suicide should never be left alone.

Resources

National Institute of Mental Health

American Psychiatric Association

Mental Health America>

Sources

Bipolar Disorder. The National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/bipolar-disorder/complete-index.shtml. Accessed December 2010.

Bipolar Disorder. Healthy Women. Available at: http://www.healthywomen.org/condition/bipolar-disorder. Accessed December 2010.