Bipolar disorder: Is characterized by extreme shifts in mood from high moments of grandeur to deeply depressed lows.And when those shifts are severe enough, they can have a profound effect on your life.”It may take months or years to piece your life back together after the damage is done”, says psychiatrist Jeffrey Bennett, MD, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield.

Skimping on Sleep:A change in your sleep pattern is a hallmark symptom of bipolar disorder — but it can also be a trigger.Shift workers, people who work long hours, and students who are short on sleep are all at risk for bipolar mood swings related to a lack of sleep. Social rhythms therapy is the most effective prevention, Bennett says.

Blow-Out Arguments:Broken relationahips are too often the result of untreated this disorder disorder.But getting into a spat with a loved one could also be a red flag: Your argument could be due to the irritability that signals an upcoming this disorder mood swing, or it could trigger a this disorder episode. Any type of relationship conflict — whether it’s with your partner, co-worker, family member, or friend — can trigger stress and send you over the edge.

A Bad Breakup:A number of people with bipolar disorder — especially those with a history of manic episodes — have failed marriages.If you’re going through a divorce, working with your therapist through what is often a drawn-out — and extremely stressful — process can help. Bennett also says you might consider a durable power of attorney that allows someone else to make major decisions for you, such as financial ones, when you are going through bipolar mood swings because of a breakup.

Boozing and Using Drugs:Abusing drugs and alcohol doesn’t cause bipolar disorder, but it can set off a serious bipolar episode. What’s more, about one in five people with bipolar disorder have a substance abuse problem, according to an analysis of data on young adults with mental illness published in February 2015 in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology.

Antidepressants and Other Medications:Can antidepressants make you manic? While recent studies have not done much to prove that antidepressants lead to mania in people with bipolar disorder, many psychiatrists say they’ve seen patients enter a manic phase after starting antidepressants — and some feel uncomfortable prescribing them to their bipolar patients.

A Brand-New Season:About 20 percent of people with bipolar disorder experience fluctuations in mood when the weather changes. Specifically, they’re more likely to undergo seasonal depression during the early winter, and mania or hypomania during the spring or summer, according to a research review published in October 2014 in the Journal of Affective Disorders.

A Visit From the Stork:The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology estimates that women with this disorder disorder have up to a 67 percent chance of bipolar mood swings in the postpartum period — the weeks and months after birth.

Job Loss:One of life’s most unpredictable stressors? Losing your job.And the emotions you may feel about your job loss can be equally unpredictable. People who weren’t satisfied with their work can find it liberating. For others, the financial and emotional strains involved can trigger major stress. Either way, the dramatic shift in emotions could trigger a bipolar episode.

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