There are a lot of things that one needs to take into consideration when they are told that they have bipolar disorder. It generally means that a lifestyle change is in order. This can be anywhere from the foods one might eat to taking medications that will help a person be in more control. Here are several key things that you should not do if you do have bipolar disorder.
Never Hide Your Symptoms from Your Doctor
On average, it takes anywhere from 9 to 10 years for someone to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder. There are two important reasons why it takes this long. One, doctors too often miss the diagnosis even if the symptoms have been brought up. The second reason is that patients have failed to tell their doctor all of their symptoms.
Most of the time, it tends to be symptoms of depression that will send people to see a therapist. If someone happens to be put on anti-depressants then they may think it’s working but they will be unable to recognize they’ve gone into what is known as a hypomanic state which can make it hard to diagnose as bipolar. If a person doesn’t let their doctor know how far their mood swings have gone it’s going to be difficult to be treated properly. So, it’s important to report all symptoms to your doctor so that your treatment can be the appropriate one.
Don’t Skip Physical Tests
There are plenty of physical illnesses that have symptoms that often overlap with those of bipolar and this something else that can complicate getting the right diagnosis. These illnesses can include, epilepsy, lupus, Lyme disease and many others.
Never Stop Taking Your Medications
If you are bipolar and have been put on medication, never stop taking your medication unless you are having extremely severe side effects. By stopping your medication abruptly can also cause some very serious side effects. This is why it’s important that you talk to your doctor before considering not taking your medication. Often when someone stops their medications can lead to something called SSRI discontinuation syndrome. Some people will actually experience something similar to withdrawal.
Just because you don’t want to take medications all your life, if you’re diagnosed as having bipolar disorder, medications are going to be a part of your life. At this point in time, there is no alternative treatment for bipolar other than medication.
If you have a chronic mental illness it means that you have an imbalance in the chemical and electrical systems of your brain. If you fail to be responsible for your treatment. Without treatment, it could affect your job, your home, your family and your life in general.
Don’t Be Around People Who are Toxic
Only you can know what people in your life can be toxic. These are the people who tend to always hurt your feelings, they are people who seem to drain you of energy. They are the people in your life that always seem to attack you over and over again. It depends on the relationship on how easy or difficult it will be to remove these people but it is very important that something is done about it.
People who are toxic can be those who seem to complain constantly. They also will be people who tend to blame you for everything. Toxic people can take it to the point where they turn the situation around. Taking it to the point where you actually believe it is your fault. They often tend to be people who will bombard you with nothing but negativity and this makes you spend more of your energy trying to fend off the negativity.
People who have bipolar disorder are often susceptible to toxic people since they are very sensitive to negative emotions. For instance, if you’re bipolar and in the middle of a depressive episode you might have a weaker grip on your emotional stability and that can make you an easier target for those who have toxic personalities.
These are the type of people you need to try to avoid. However, if it’s a relationship where it’s difficult to do, you still should try to find some way to have that person in your life less often.
Don’t Change the Amount of Medication You Take
It’s important that you don’t mess around with the amount of medication you are taking. Even if you believe that the amount isn’t getting the job done, you should never increase your medication. Instead, you should talk to your doctor about it. Let them decide whether or not your dose of medication should be increased or decreased.
Never Challenge the Diagnosis or Dismiss Treatment
This goes for both those who are diagnosed with bipolar and their friends and family members. Too often people who suffer from this disorder discover that their family and friends seem to tend to refuse to accept this diagnosis and sometimes refuse to learn all they can about the illness.
Often those around a person with bipolar disorder don’t believe it’s true. They often think that someone is just looking for attention or for someone to feel sorry for them. This can shut down conversation immediately and does nothing to help the person suffering from this illness and it doesn’t help family and friends either.
It’s important to understand that bipolar is truly a serious mental illness. It can and often does disrupt every part of a someone’s life. If left untreated it can lead even to death. It also can be extremely disabling. This is why neither the patient or family members should refuse to listen or learn more about it.