Self-management for bipolar disorder

When it comes to managing bipolar disorder, in addition to seeking professional help, it is very important to develop coping strategies for everyday life.

Learn about different strategies you can use and what to do if your symptoms are still difficult to control.

Join Head Habitat's course on 'mood disorders' to get the tools necessary to cope


Why self-help strategies are effective in bipolar disorder

If you're diagnosed with bipolar disorder, it's really important to figure out with a psychiatrist rather than trying to treat the condition yourself. However, research has shown that self-help strategies planned together with your psychiatrist can make a world of difference in managing your bipolar disorder. Mood swings can often be triggered by stress or insomnia. Having a daily routine and taking care of yourself is vital for everybody, but even more important for somebody with bipolar disorder. There are many different strategies you can try that can help you manage your mood daily. Self-help strategies for bipolar disorder

  1. Monitor your mood. Keep an eye on your mood on a daily basis, including factors like sleep, medications, and events that can affect your mood. Use a chart or app to help.
  2. Develop a schedule. Routine is vital to keep your mood stable. Organize a schedule and check out to stay thereto no matter your mood for stability.
  3. Sleep hygiene. Disturbances in the sleep cycle can affect the circadian rhythm and negatively affect mood. Read how to get into a sleep routine.
  4. Limit stress. Limit the stressors in your life whenever possible and don't make too many commitments. This can mean taking one semester less or working shorter.
  5. Take your time in making decisions. Or ask others, e.g. For example, have a trusted family member or friend help you make decisions when you are feeling impulsive.
  6. Build a good support network. Family and friends can help you manage your everyday symptoms by giving an outside perspective on your mood. You can also be there when you need to talk about your more difficult moments.
  7. Join a support group. It can be very comforting to hear from people who have similar experiences. Support groups can provide good advice and comfort.
  8. Exercise. Regular exercise helps control mood.
  9. Take some time to relax. Relaxation is effective in relieving stress.
  10. Avoid alcohol and drugs. These can make our mood worse. If you are taking medication, alcohol and drugs can be especially dangerous. Talk to your psychiatrist or family doctor.
  11. Only take medication as directed. Never make changes to medication without talking to your psychiatrist or family doctor.
  12. Make a feel-good plan. Write down your plans for managing sleep and routines, dealing with ups and downs, and contact details if you need help. Do this plan with your psychiatrist and give a copy to family and friends.
  13. Make a suicide safety plan. Prepare how to deal with depression and thoughts of suicide.