Bipolar Bob's Tips for Managing Bipolar Disorder

By Bipolar Bob

The Bipolar Family

  • Start seeing a Psychiatrist
    • Bipolar Disorder needs to be managed by a Psychiatrist, not a family practitioner, a herbalist or various others that claim to have a backgrounds in psychiatry. A Psychiatrist can properly diagnose you and prescribe the medications you need to manage your bipolar disorder

  1. Get a diagnosis from a Psychiatrist
    • Get a diagnosis from a psychiatrist and make sure you understand the diagnosis and what to expect.
  1. Take your medication
    • Take your medication as prescribed. Do not adjust the doses without the Psychiatrists permission and do not stop taking your medication because you feel better. Only stop taking a medication if the Psychiatrist stops the medication.
  1. Understand your medications
    • Know why you are on your medications and what they are for. The side effects and what to expect. Do not be afraid to ask the psychiatrist questions about your medications. The more your know the better.
  1. Tell your Psychiatrist how you feel
    • If something feels off it may be off. Tell your Psychiatrist about it. Do not just assume it is normal. Do not be afraid to speak up. Document any strange behavior.
  1. Document how you feel
    • Mood diagrams are very helpful. The DBSA Wellness tracker is a great tool. It can be found at the following hyper link: Share your documentation with your Psychiatrist.
  1. Start seeing a therapist
    • Find a therapist of a counselor that you can talk to. You may have addition issues and other things that you need to work through. Support groups are very helpful as well and can help you connect with others that have bipolar disorder.
  1. Have someone keep and eye on you
    • Reach out to a friend or family member that you can trust. Ask them to keep and eye on you. Have them keep track of any strange behavior. This may not be easy if you live by yourself.
  1. Stop Drinking and taking drugs
    • Most Bipolar people struggle with Drugs and or Alcohol at some point in their lives. Self medication is very common in untreated Bipolar disorder. Alcohol and drugs can interfere with your medications and change the way your medications is absorbed by your body. Any reputable Psychiatrist will recommend that you stop drinking and taking drugs if you have bipolar disorder. This may be an entire process in and of itself. It does not happen over night but it can be done one step at a time with the proper support network.
  1. Exercise
    • Find a way to incorporate 20 minutes of exercise into your daily routine. If you miss a day it is OK. Over time you will find that the exercise makes you feel better and is therapeutic. Exercise is a great way to start fresh and to clear your head, it also provides a much needed break from a stressful day.
  1. Get 8 hours of sleep
    • In our fast paced world this may seem impossible but it is critical to managing Bipolar disorder. You need to find a way to get 8 hours of continuous sleep every night. Some people like myself need 9. Regardless sleep is critical and you need to find a way to get it every night (no excuses).
  1. Eat a healthy diet
    • You need to avoid sugary, fatty, and processed foods. These foods will impact your blood sugar and cause instability. Talk to your Psychiatrist about your diet and what foods to avoid.
  1. Keep the suicide and crisis hotline numbers posted where you can easily find them
    • Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in Bipolar people. It can also be a symptom when medication is off. Keep the local suicide and crisis line numbers posted where you can easily find them. I have the numbers posted on the fridge in the kitchen.
  1. Believe in something bigger than yourself
    • This is different for everyone. For some this is a religion for others it is a philosophy. Regardless believe in something bigger than yourself and reach out to it when you are frustrated or at the end of your rope.
  1. Do not give up
    • Bipolar disorder is a life long condition that requires you to manage your life to mange the condition. Do not become frustrated or give up.