Saturday, March 23, 2013

Bipolar 101 - Common Episode Trigger Points

Bipolar disorder can be one of the most debilitating disorders. On one hand you have the manic episodes which can be extremely productive times in which energy and efforts put out are at top levels, and on the other hand the depressive episodes which can consume the very person who suffers from it. Finding a balance between the two can be very time consuming and difficult at best for the person suffering from the disorder.

One way we can minimize and try and prevent some of the cycling is by realizing our triggers.

Here are some of the most common triggers:

Drugs or alcohol consumption. Due to instability of the bipolar individual's moods and mental state, substance abuse can be the very worst thing for them. It can trigger emotional instability and cause the onset of a manic or depressive episode dependent on how the time goes while using these substances.

Stress. Most people can cope with stress. For the person with bipolar syndrome, stress can send them into a spiral either manically, in which they are actually able to cope with and fix the source of the stress. Or depressive, where the sufferer would rather lock the world out and pretend the issues and stresses are not even there. In either case, if not dealt with appropriately, it can cause an offset of issues due to the persona mental instability.

Life events. Life happens. And so do episodes. Things like a death or birth can trigger an episode. Even something as simple as losing your job, or having to move can cause the onset of an episode.

Lack of sleep can cause it as well. When your body is not rested and able to cope, it is easy for it to turn to mania or depression as a method of coping with the overall lack of sleep.

The changes of the season can also affect a bipolar sufferer. Any one can be affected from the changing of the seasons. Winter brings with it cabin fever, from staying indoors so long, which can easily cause a depressive episode. Summer often brings with it a level of mania, as the sun and the warmth bring out the promiscuity and carefree attitudes.

Having some idea of the trigger points can help you prevent or minimize the changing of your moods and triggering of episodes. It may also be wise to let your doctor know the times of year your episodes most commonly occur. This way in winter time when depression levels are higher, you can increase your antidepressant medications, and in summer when mania is more present, you can adjust your anti-psychotics.

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