Sleep is important for everyone’s health, and is especially critical for those with bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder has been linked to disruptions in circadian rhythms, and many people notice a connection between sleep and their mood.
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Having bipolar disorder is certainly a tough illness to manage, but that doesn't mean there aren't any positives that come with it. We hear a lot about the connection between creativity and bipolar disorder. While many people with bipolar disorder are creative, what about the rest who aren’t? We asked our volunteers about other positive qualities that come with living with bipolar disorder, and here’s what they had to say:
Mental Illness Awareness Week is the first full week of October. This year, we ask our volunteers what mental illness awareness means to them. Here’s what they had to say:
1. “Mental Illness Awareness means recognizing that mental illness is as real as any physical illness.” – Clarice Andrade
There are a lot of tools people with bipolar disorder use as a part of their treatment plan. Medication is one of the main tools used, along with therapy and self-education. We asked our volunteers about their experience with medication, they share what they have learned in this article.
Finding the Right Medication
Finding the right medication or combination of meds can be a journey. The journey begins with making the decision to try medication. Then it can be a long process of finding what works.
Bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses are sometimes called "no casserole" diseases. Meaning that when someone is diagnosed with a physical health condition like cancer, people are quick to show their support by bringing casseroles and helping out in other ways. But this usually doesn't happen when someone is diagnosed with a mental illness.
When to Bring It Up
It’s important to find the right place and right time. Don’t bring it up when either of you are angry or emotional. Try to be as calm as possible. You should both feel safe and comfortable. Choose a place where the person you are speaking to doesn’t feel threatened or caught off guard.
You’ve made a big step by deciding to get help. Now you have to find that help. Finding a good therapist can be daunting for anyone, especially if you aren’t feeling well. These tips will help you find a therapist and find out if they are a good match for you.
Self-management techniques are things you can do on your own at home to help manage bipolar symptoms, in addition to therapy and/or medication. The following tools and activities were beneficial to our volunteers.