Friday, July 19, 2013

Bipolar: When Routine Is Interrupted and Depression Sets In

I have noticed from research and my own personal experience that if your wife loses routine that is probably going to be a great start in the pendulum swinging for either a mania or depression episode. Routine is extremely important (often very challenging to achieve) in a person with bipolar disorder. Even the slightest routine changes can really throw off someone with bipolar disorder. A few simple examples would be, the holidays, going on vacation, getting the flu or a cold, and trouble sleeping. It is very often simple out of ordinary routine that starts a snowball effect towards an episode. We obviously don't have the ability to keep everything constantly in perfect routine. That is simply not a part of reality, things happen, vacations occur, and our bodies get sick. We must help our wives when routine is lost.


  • Keep taking medications, try to take medications at the same time every day. Help them stay consistent so that they are less likely to miss doses and fall into depression.

  • Make sure that they are getting adequate rest. If they stop sleeping well that is a tell-tale sign that something is off.

  • Make sure they don't overdo it on caffeine or alcoholic beverages

  • Take all necessary steps to keep as much routine as possible and a minimal change if possible.

It is not uncommon for Bipolar people to become depressed after being sick, going on vacation, or having company in town. Follow those steps mentioned above with your wife to help prevent such vulnerability to mood problems after a change in routine. The most common episode that follows routine breaks, is depression.

Depression in Bipolar Disorder is usually more than just a few days of feeling low. In fact usually the type of depression experienced in bipolar patients is "clinical Depression". This Depression often includes some or all of the following symptoms.


  • Sadness/unhappiness

  • Low/no self-esteem

  • Zero motivation

  • Negative thinking

  • Irritability

  • Weight loss

  • Loss of appetite

  • Low/no sex drive

  • Fatigue

  • Worry/anxiety

  • Suicidal thoughts

Even mild depression can seriously interrupt one's life. Major depression can interrupt work, home life, school, and all different types of relationships. This time can be extremely painful for the depressed and also the family and friends of the depressed person. The duration of clinical depression varies from person to person but is not uncommon at all to last for months on end. Depression is extremely disruptive because it affects the brain so substantially that it can if serious enough affect the body and makes the person physically ill as well. Clinical depression usually is shown in two different types of forms. It is usually brought out in the person either being unhappy and mean, or clingy, sad, and overly emotional. Both forms of depression are parts of clinical depression and both can be overwhelmingly difficult on the husband. The husband tends to feel unable to help their wife in any way.

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