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Symptoms and treatment of bipolar disorder

Living with bipolar disorder is debilitating if not properly managed. It can ruin everything going on in your life such as your relationships, jobs, daily activities and finances. The lows are very low and can cause extreme withdrawal from daily life. The highs are very high, where you feel on top of the world but often act out of the ordinary. These highs and lows can often cause intense irritability, aggravation and anger.

Taking medication is only part of making your life with this condition manageable. Living with bipolar disorder also calls for arming yourself and those around you with information, support and careful day-to-day management.

Dealing with Bipolar Disorder

  • Build a support system. Educate your family and friends about bipolar disorder so they can support you. It's often hard to do this because part of living with bipolar disorder is isolation, feelings of embarrassment and no desire to communicate with others.
  • Keep a regular sleep schedule and a daily routine. Bipolar disorder can cause you to either sleep much more than the average person or not get enough sleep. Forcing yourself to stick to a regular sleep schedule will help keep you from sleeping days away or triggering manic episodes due to lack of sleep.
  • Exercise on a daily basis. This can be as minimal as just walking, but staying active is important to managing this disorder. Exercising releases endorphins which will help you feel better.
  • Learn to avoid stress. Stress causes bipolar depression and / or manic episodes to surface. Don't put too much pressure on yourself. If something you must do seems overwhelming, break it down into pieces and do a little at a time.
  • Educate yourself about medications. Trazodone and bipolar disorder are not always compatible. Trazodone is an antidepressant, and while it may work fine for some patients, it can actually trigger manic episodes in others.

Talk to your doctor about any medications and keep him updated on your moods while you're taking them. Ensuring you have the proper medication and implementing a healthy lifestyle regimen will help you live with bipolar disorder.

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