Bipolar Mood Swings:

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.But can they be avoided? Perhaps. Understanding what triggers bipolar mood swings and planning ahead to deal with them can help you avoid a damaging episode of mania or depression.

 

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. This treatment approach, available in group as well as individual sessions, helps you develop an orderly life schedule surrounding sleep, diet, and exercise habits to make you more effective at managing bipolar disorder.

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.

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