Monthly Archives: September 2021

bipolar disorder triggers

10 Bipolar Disorder Triggers And How To Manage Them

Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder where people experience mania (extreme highs) and depression (extreme lows). These episodes are often random or may be triggered by specific events. However, understanding your bipolar disorder triggers can help manage or prevent an episode. 

What Triggers A Bipolar Episode?

Bipolar disorder generally develops due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Although the genetic aspect of bipolar disorder is not fully understood, having a parent with this disorder increases the likelihood of also struggling with bipolar disorder. 

If you are struggling with bipolar disorder, it is vital to understand the personal factors that can trigger an episode. Though triggers vary from person to person, we will explore the most common triggers of bipolar disorder.

1. Sleep Issues

Sleep issues are not only a symptom of bipolar disorder but also a trigger. If you work long hours or you’re a student functioning on little sleep, you risk triggering a bipolar episode. Sleep disturbances such as traveling between time zones may contribute to these sleep issues as well.

2. Positive Events

While most bipolar disorder triggers revolve around a negative event, meeting goals and positive events can also be triggers of bipolar disorder. Winning an event, getting a promotion, or starting a new relationship can all trigger a manic episode. 

3. Substance Abuse

Using drugs and alcohol does not cause bipolar disorder. However, they are significant triggers of a bipolar episode. Drugs and alcohol can also “awaken ” bipolar disorder that beforehand was dormant. Even though both drugs and alcohol are bipolar disorder triggers, one in five people with bipolar disorder has a co-occurring substance use disorder. 

4. Life-Changing Event

One of the most significant life changes we will face is the death of a loved one. Although you may be able to manage your bipolar episodes while mourning, death can also be a trigger of bipolar disorder. 

If you are going through a life-changing event while also managing bipolar disorder, eliciting the help of friends and family may provide extra support and monitoring during difficult times.

5. Stress

Stress is perhaps the number one trigger of bipolar disorder. Not only can childhood stress lead to developing bipolar disorder, but stress can also trigger an episode. Managing stress is often easier said than done. It is crucial to work with a therapist to learn ways to cope with and manage your stress levels.

6. Trauma

Childhood trauma is a leading factor in the development of bipolar disorder. This trauma may include physical or sexual abuse, neglect, or the loss of a parent. While the trauma may have happened during childhood, symptoms of the trauma may not be apparent until another traumatic event occurs in adulthood.

7. Changes In Seasons

The changes in seasons are triggers for almost 20 percent of people with bipolar disorder. Seasonal changes are often experienced as mania during the spring and summer, and depressive episodes or seasonal depression in the winter and fall.

8. Changing Or Missing Medications

The majority of those who experience bipolar disorder rely on medication for symptom management and stabilization. This is important in keeping depressive and manic episodes under control and preventing a relapse. However, finding the proper medication can be tricky. 

For instance, antidepressants may actually trigger bipolar disorder. To mitigate this trigger, they must be taken with a mood stabilizer or avoided altogether. Always consult with your doctor before changing or stopping medications to avoid unwanted side effects or bipolar episodes.

9. Arguments With Friends, Family, Or Coworkers

When your bipolar disorder goes untreated, it often leads to broken relationships. The irritability you experience during manic and depressive episodes can increase arguments with friends, loved ones, and even co-workers. 

These arguments increase stress which is one of the triggers of bipolar disorder. In fact, A study in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that negative social experiences often trigger suicidal thoughts in those struggling with bipolar disorder triggers. 

10. Having A Baby

Bipolar disorder is strongly associated with postpartum psychosis. As a result, 67 percent of women with bipolar disorder will experience episodes weeks and months after birth. New moms commonly experience changes in their sleep, hormones, and medication each of which are common triggers of bipolar disorder. 

How Can You Manage These Bipolar Disorder Triggers?

It is impossible to avoid your bipolar disorder triggers. However, learning how to manage these triggers is key to controlling this disorder. Just like with triggers of bipolar disorder, managing personal triggers may be different from others. 

 

Minimizing your stress levels is the best way to prevent and manage bipolar episodes. Some ways to reduce stress include:

 

  • Avoid drugs and alcohol
  • Get more sleep
  • Create boundaries
  • Manage your time 
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Exercise
  • Spend time with friends and family
  • Yoga
  • Mindfulness and meditation

Regularly attending therapy is very beneficial in helping you manage your bipolar disorder triggers. Some people also use medications along with therapy. However, you should never self-medicate as this can worsen your bipolar disorder.

Why Is A Stable Routine And Environment Important For Bipolar Disorder Triggers?

If you struggle with bipolar disorder, it is vital to have a stable environment and regular routine. People suffering from Bipolar Disorder are often sensitive to disruptions in routine.

The most important way to manage bipolar disorder triggers is having a set sleep schedule. This means going to bed at the same time each night and waking up at the same time each morning. A set sleep schedule helps keep the brain regulated and minimizes your reactions to bipolar disorder triggers.

Lido Wellness Center Can Help You Manage Triggers Of Bipolar Disorder

If you or a loved one is struggling with managing bipolar disorder or other mental health issues, we can help. With our integrative and comprehensive holistic care, you can live a happy and fulfilled life. Contact us today to find out how.

References:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25706607/

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cycle of depression

8 Ways To Break The Cycle Of Depression

Every person has low moments. However, these moments typically pass quickly. If you struggle with depression, these low moments can last for days, weeks, or months. Although depression can leave you feeling hopeless and isolated, there are things you can do to break the cycle of depression. 

Serotonin’s Role In The Cycle Of Addiction

Serotonin is a chemical in the brain that helps regulate your mood. When your serotonin levels are high, you feel more positive and calm. When your serotonin levels are low, you often feel sad and can feel the cycle of depression beginning. 

Your serotonin levels change with every thought and emotion you experience. If you focus on the sad or negative thoughts and emotions it is difficult to pull yourself out of the depression cycle. Instead, focusing on happy memories and the positives in life can raise serotonin levels and pull you out of depression.

While there are many ways to improve your mood, keep reading for 8 simple ways to help break the cycle of depression.

1. Exercise

Exercise is a great way to get the blood flowing, boost serotonin, and break the cycle of depression. Exercise doesn’t mean going to the gym for a hard workout. While some people beat the depression cycle at the gym, a walk around the block and even cleaning your house can be enough to make you feel better. 

2. Get Outside

Although you feel like staying in bed, get up, walk outside, and feel the sun hit your skin. Every chance you get, go outside. Getting at least 15 minutes a day in the sun can help stop the cycle of depression. So put on that sunscreen, find a grassy spot at the park, and let the sunshine on your face. 

3. Spend Time with Friends and Family

When you feel like the cycle of depression is beginning, call your friends and family. Make plans to go to dinner, hang out, or play board games. The very nature of depression is isolation. So, whether you sit on the porch with a neighbor and talk about nothing or play a softball game with the family, not being alone will help break the depression cycle.

4. Learn A Hobby

Do you have a hobby you love, but depression stops you from doing it? Maybe you always wanted to pick up a hobby. Did you love to paint as a child? Or perhaps you like building and flying model airplanes. Hobbies are fun and relaxing and a great way to break the cycle of depression. 

5. Watch A Comedy

Laughter is powerful. It lifts your spirits. Your lungs work harder. And, even your abs get a workout. So watch a funny movie or see a comedian when you feel the depression cycle beginning. 

Smiling is also great for your mood. The muscles you use when you smile calm the nervous system. So smile at people when you walk by and make a habit of recalling happy moments in your life. 

6. Listen to Upbeat Music

The effects of music are vast and powerful. It affects our mood, thoughts, and feelings. We all have that song we go to when we are sad. There is also a song when we want to pump ourselves up. When you feel the cycle of depression taking over, put on some upbeat music, dance around, and sing like you are putting on a concert. 

7. Take A Day Trip

When you are trying to break the cycle of depression, changing your environment can help. Planning a day trip doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money. Packing the car going to the beach or driving across the state with the music up and the windows down can break the depression cycle. 

8. Start A Gratitude Journal

Feeling gratitude is vital in combating the cycle of depression, so is keeping a gratitude journal. A gratitude journal is simply a record of things you are grateful for. It can be something small such as a hot shower or the bird outside your window. 

You can also write down the big things like a loved one recovering after surgery or a special relationship. Keeping a gratitude journal allows you to remind yourself of all the positives in your life when you feel a depression cycle coming. 

What Signs Of Depression Mean You Should Seek Help?

It is normal in life to feel lonely or sad sometimes. When these feelings persist and interfere with your daily life it is time to seek professional help.

While your regular doctor can evaluate you and prescribe medicine for depression, it is often better to seek a mental health professional. Of course, medications can help increase serotonin levels. However, talking through your feelings and healing underlying traumas can end the cycle of depression for good.

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of depression is crucial since undiagnosed depression may lead to suicide. They often include:

  • Fatigue
  • Feeling guilty or worthless
  • Feeling empty
  • Trouble concentrating and making decisions
  • Pessimism
  • Sleep issues
  • Loss of interest in things you once enjoyed
  • Change in eating habits
  • Aches and pains
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts

People struggling with depression often feel like they are alone. However, over 17 million Americans are trying to break the cycle of depression. You do not need to struggle alone. 

Lido Wellness Center Helps Break The Cycle Of Depression

Are you or someone you love struggling to break the depression cycle? We offer a variety of outpatient treatments to meet your needs and help you live a happy and healthy life. Contact us today to find out more.  

References:

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/coping-with-depression.htm

 

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trauma

Grief And Trauma: Understanding The Stages Of Emotional Recovery

When you experience a traumatic event, the world around you may seem to crumble and fall apart. Are you left wondering how to put your world back together again? In this period of uncertainty, it is easy for feelings of sadness and anxiety to set in about what may happen next.

Learning how to process grief during Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) recovery is a crucial element in healing. Reducing the intense internal response to loss can begin with quelling anxiety about sadness and uncertainty. Symptoms of PTSD are a result of trauma or severe stress.

Working with a mental health professional can help you manage grief, trauma, and move through the stages of emotional recovery. Traumatic loss does not need to be overwhelming or debilitating, you can get help managing the symptoms. 

What Is A Traumatic Loss?

Traumatic loss is characterized as a traumatic reaction to an event such as an unexpected death, accident, or violence. A traumatic event may also include expected events such as the death of a loved one from a chronic illness. Emotions caused by traumatic loss may include separation anxiety, disbelief, or a sense of emptiness. 

Due to the nature of a traumatic event, it may be difficult for a person to move through the typical stages of emotional recovery. 

How Is Trauma-Related To Grief?

Traumatic grief is a combination of bereavement and PTSD symptoms that occur when an individual loses someone significant in their life. Symptoms of grief and trauma include: 

  • Preoccupation with the lost person
  • Hypervigilance for signs they are still around
  • Desire to be reunited with them despite knowing they’re gone
  • Difficulty moving on from this loss (future feeling hopeless)
  • Anger towards others or oneself 
  • Social difficulties due to extreme grief

Studies have reviewed traumatic loss among different groups and found symptoms generally fall into two categories. The first is separation distress, a preoccupation of thoughts and feelings associated with the deceased. The second is traumatic distress, which includes feelings of distrust and withdrawal from others. 

For example, young adults who lose a friend to suicide may experience separation distress symptoms such as preoccupation with thoughts of their lost loved one and longing for them. They might also feel traumatic distress including anger towards themselves or the deceased person’s family members as well as disbelief in God and trust issues.

What Are The Stages Of Emotional Recovery?

  1. Grief and denial 
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance 

The First Stage: Grief And Denial

Grief is an intense emotion that is caused by suffering a loss. Denial is a typical human reaction that occurs as a defense mechanism against experiences that are difficult to accept. Before learning to accept grief you will generally deny the loss. 

Thoughts like “This can’t be happening to me”, and “That couldn’t have happened”, are very common. However, denial will slowly give way to the realization of the situation. That’s when individuals move on to the second stage. 

The Second Stage: Anger

During the anger stage, people ask themselves “Why me?” They feel angry over their loss. This feeling exists for anyone close to the deceased. 

Anger is a common feeling during grief. You might feel anger at the person for causing pain, though you know they are not to blame. Anger is also connected with stages of isolation. Dealing with loss may cause an individual to disconnect from their support system. However,  expressing emotions such as anger allows one to reconnect and learn to cope with intense feelings.

The Third Stage: Bargaining

Bargaining is a way to try and hold on to hope in an intense situation of pain. You may be willing to do anything to return to your life before the loss. During this internal negotiation, guilt could be accompanying as there maybe thoughts like “if only”, or “what if.”

These thoughts and feelings are normal and expected during this stage. As difficult as these emotions may be, they will help you heal as you are confronting the reality of the loss. 

The Fourth Stage Of Emotional Recovery: Depression

The most obvious sign of grief and trauma is depression. Unlike other stages of emotional recovery, this stage comes with intense sadness and despair that can feel like a never-ending tunnel without the light at the end. It’s important to remember that this response is completely natural given the loss experienced. 

It’s understandable to question why you should continue when your world has been turned upside down. However, there will come a time where things get better. As intense as this feeling maybe it’s important to remember that it is part of your journey in healing. 

The Fifth Stage Of Emotional Recovery: Acceptance

Reaching acceptance does not mean you will forget about your loved one or no longer experience sadness over your loss. You’ve also learned when to reach out emotionally during difficult periods as needed.

When you are experiencing grief, it is normal to feel like there’s no end in sight. You might have times when you accept the loss and then later go back into a stage of denial or anger. This is a natural part of the process. 

Grief And Trauma: Recognizing The Symptoms Of Traumatic Loss

Severe symptoms related to loss are indications that the individual is suffering from something more than typical bereavement. It’s estimated that 10-15% of bereaved individuals are suffering from a traumatic loss. 

Traumatic loss symptoms can be extremely difficult to manage without professional help. Symptoms may last for several years and vary based on each individual. These symptoms can interfere with a person’s normal day-to-day functioning. That’s why it’s important to recognize symptoms and seek help immediately. 

Get Help Moving Through The Stages Of Emotional Recovery 

Lido Wellness Center offers therapeutic solutions that can help you or your loved one work through traumatic loss. To recover from loss, it’s important to be able to move through the stages of emotional recovery. Our mental health professionals understand how grief and trauma relate and can help overcome the challenges it prevents.

Contact us today to learn more about our mental health solutions. We can help you cope with pain or death, as well as teach you to reconnect with activities and relationships that are supportive and enjoyable.

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