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Can You Live a Normal Life with Bipolar Disorder?

a person living with bipolar disorder looks in a mirror and holds their face

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance states that bipolar disorder affects an average of 5.7 million American adults. It is a serious mental health condition that often requires bipolar disorder treatment to help those who live with it achieve stability.

At Kiwi Recovery, we offer bipolar disorder treatment, including medications, to help you learn to live with bipolar disorder and better manage the symptoms that can affect your daily life. Call us at 617.751.6610 to get started.

Understanding Bipolar Disorder: Types

Formerly known as manic-depressive disorder, bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that causes severe shifts in moods, activity, concentration, and energy levels of those who live with it. Mood shifts especially can affect how individuals function and deal with everyday tasks.

There are two main types of bipolar disorder, each causing different symptoms and requiring slightly different treatment.

Bipolar I disorder can cause manic episodes that continue for at least seven days or manic symptoms so severe that they impact everyday life and require immediate care. Depressive episodes also occur, usually lasting about two weeks.

Bipolar II disorder causes depressive episodes, but manic episodes are less severe than those you would experience with bipolar I disorder.

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

To truly understand bipolar disorder, there are two major shifts in mood to recognize: manic and depressive.

Manic Episodes

The symptoms of a manic episode can be:

  • Feeling euphoria
  • Racing thoughts
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Feeling you can do many things at once
  • Having excessive appetite
  • Engaging in high-risk activities

During a manic episode, many people feel like they can accomplish anything. While these periods can help them be more productive, they can also lead to risky behaviors, including drug use.

Depressive Episodes

The symptoms of a depressive episode include:

  • Lack of interest in favorite activities
  • Restlessness
  • Feeling sad or anxious
  • Memory issues
  • Concentration problems
  • Inability to complete simple tasks
  • Suicidal ideation

You can also experience both manic and depressive symptoms at the same time, which is called having an episode with mixed features.

Living a Normal Life with Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a happy and productive life.

Living with bipolar disorder requires that you take an active role in your mental health, which usually means reaching out to therapists and treatment centers that can help you understand the condition and manage the symptoms. This usually includes talk therapy and medications.

Recognize Triggers

When you are living with bipolar disorder, you need to also learn to recognize triggers and early warning signs of an episode. Triggers can be stress, lack of sleep, issues with relationships, and much more.

By taking the time to notice and even write down the triggers, you can begin to spot when a manic or depressive episode is about to start. This gives you a chance to reach out for help from your therapist or other professional guidance.

Substance Use and Healthy Habits

Living a normal life with bipolar disorder can also mean monitoring your alcohol intake. You should avoid drugs and alcohol, despite their false promises of relieving your symptoms. In the long run, drugs and alcohol can make symptoms worse because they impact your brain chemistry.

It is also crucial that you get enough sleep and eat correctly. Give your body and mind all the tools they need to function at their best.

You can also express yourself, whether by drawing, writing in a journal, or speaking with someone you trust. These activities offer a chance to vent and express your feelings.

Get Help Living with Bipolar Disorder at Kiwi Recovery

Living with bipolar disorder is complex, and it requires having the right people there to help you. At Kiwi Recovery, we offer treatment programs that can help with many mental health conditions, including bipolar disorder.

Don’t spend another day struggling with unpredictable manic and depressive episodes when help is available. Contact Kiwi Recovery by calling us at 617.751.6610 today.