Coping with Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar isn’t always easy, but there are tips and tricks to help control it

Izak Zeller (he/him), Writer

Managing the Mania

Sometimes Bipolar Disorder can make you feel invincible. If you’re manic, things get out of control fast. How does that invincible feeling mix with, say, irritability? Or recklessness? Things can get pretty bad, but there are always things you can do to help manage your symptoms. These are some of the things I use to help me.

  • Take your medication

Even though they may seem like they’re not working, you still need to take your medication. Not taking it can make your symptoms worse. It can ramp up your mania from 50% to 100%. Also, don’t forget to avoid substances and alcohol. I know this can be hard when you’re manic, but it may mess with your medication or make everything worse, trust me.

  • Get into bed at the same time every day

Sleep is critical with Bipolar Disorder. It could be the difference between a regular manic episode and Bipolar psychosis. My psychiatric nurse practitioner told me that sleep deprivation can make anyone psychotic and that’s why it’s so important. Going to sleep at the same time can make falling asleep easier. Even if you feel like you don’t need it, trust me, you do. 

  • Use a notebook

I get it, your thoughts are moving so fast and you have nowhere to put them. Try a notebook. It’s much easier to start the day when you have a clear mind. Sticky notes work as well, just make sure you don’t waste too much paper.

  •  Use grounding techniques

During mania, we tend to get stuck in our head. With all of those racing thoughts, it’s hard not to. To ground yourself, try the 3-2-1 method. Find three things you can see in the room you’re in. Next, find two things you can hear. Finally find one thing you can smell. This can work with any of your five senses. It does a really good job at bringing you back to the present.


Dealing with the Depression

People think the worst part of Bipolar Disorder is depression. Depression is like an ankle ball and chain, it drags you down to rock bottom and causes you a lot of grief. Although it may seem hopeless, there are ways to deal with Bipolar depression.

  • Wake up at the same time every day

Don’t let yourself sleep in too much. Sleeping issues are common with depression and they can make or break your day. If, like me, your problem is sleeping to much, it can actually make you want to stay in bed for longer. This won’t help anything and can be very detrimental to your day.

  • Go on a walk in nature

Nature can be very beneficial to your mental health. Vitamin D can help improve moods as well. Most people with depression are Vitamin D deficient, and it can help you start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Seeing all of the animals can also have many benefits to your mental health. Who could pass seeing a cute deer or bunny rabbit.

  • Try to remain objective

Depression stains your memories with negative feelings, often causing people to only focus on the negatives. Doing this can make the depression worse. Instead, try to focus on the good things that have happened. But don’t just ignore the bad parts. You need to be able to accept the bad parts.

  • Listen to uplifting music

When you’re depressed, you may have the urge to listen to some real downers on your playlist. According to Frontiers in Psychology, music can be very effective when treating depression. Just make sure you listen to something bright and uplifting.