Author Archives: Lisa Jane

Lido Wellness Center Blog

10 Bipolar Disorder Triggers And How To Manage Them

September 23, 2021

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/

Lido Wellness Center Blog

The Positive And Negative Effects Of Social Media On Your Mental Health

August 4, 2021

Billions of people use social media every day. This has changed the way we communicate with each other. These days, the average user spends 2 hours and 16 minutes every day on social media platforms. Although social media has given us an open door to more information than ever before, there are good and bad effects on our mental health due to our use of this technology.

What Is Social Media?

In simple words, social media is a computer-based technology that facilitates sharing your ideas, thoughts, and information. This is done through the building of virtual networks and communities. People engage with social media through a computer, tablet, or smartphone by using web-based applications.

What Is Social Media’s Effect on Mental Health?

There has been substantial growth in the use of social media in recent years.There has been substantial growth in the use of social media in recent years. The Pew Research Center found that 72% of Americans in the U.S. use social media. However, since social media use is still relatively new, there aren’t any long-term studies recording the effects of social media. 

Still, several recent studies show that social media impacts mental health in several ways. As a result, the increasing dependence on the use of social media puts a large number of Americans at an increased risk for feeling: 

What Are The Positive And Negative Effects Of Social Media?

Positive: Increases our awareness 

One of the great benefits of social media is that a person or organization can quickly increase awareness of an important issue to a huge audience. More people are using social media every day to promote change and help make positive changes in the world.

Negative: May contribute to fake news.

Even though many social media platforms have taken steps to try to combat fake news, it hasn’t stopped the worldwide spread of misinformation. Anyone with a computer or smartphone can share information with a massive audience and when used with bad intentions, it can have bad results.

Positive: It can help combat loneliness

Humans are social creatures with a need to socialize and connect with other people. Frequently, social media is blamed for replacing face-to-face communication. However, for some, social media is a way to promote conversations with like-minded people and build friendships. A recent survey showed that 70% of senior citizens are using social media to stay in touch with family, friends, and the outside world.

Negative: It can increase the feelings of loneliness and isolation

According to something called “social displacement theory,” the more time people spend on social media, the less time they are likely to spend face-to-face socializing. Although social media was meant to increase social interactions,  a survey found that those people who spent more time on social media every day felt lonelier than people who checked their social media less. Despite social media bringing people together digitally, it could be risking our in-person relationships and increase feelings of disconnection and isolation.

Positive: It makes you feel like you are not alone and part of a community 

It’s very typical to feel hesitant about talking to family and friends about health issues. But with so many health services and information available online, social media can give a person a safe space to ask questions and connect to a slew of health resources. For people living in a remote or rural area, social media is an inexpensive and usable option for getting help by providing resources to people who may not have access any other way.

Negative: It may support antisocial behavior

When it’s not used properly, social media can have unhealthy consequences for your mental health. If social media takes the place of any face-to-face interactions, it increases the likelihood of antisocial behavior. Although meant to bring us together, when social media is used incorrectly it can lead us to compare our lives with other peoples’ and have a hurtful impact on our well-being. Social media tends to only show the best parts of someone’s life. So, if you spend too much time looking at misleading or biased content, it can make you feel deficient in some way and cause serious psychological and physical problems including self-esteem.

Positive: It creates and maintains relationships

Because social media has changed the way we communicate with each other, it has changed how we make and preserve relationships. It is not only a useful tool for individuals who are looking for other people who share their views and have similar interests. It also provides an opportunity to meet and stay in touch with people from all over the world.

Negative: Cyberbullying

Even though social media creates opportunities to meet like-minded people and can help to support positive relationships and discussions, cyberbullying and trolling are major contributors to feelings of anxiety and depression. Cyberbullying is the use of technology to harass, bully, and intimidate another person. A recent study discovered that cyberbullying is associated with depression and suicide among teenagers. Furthermore, reports are suggesting that cyberbullying is increasing. Sadly, it’s an ongoing issue that is difficult for social media platforms to reduce.

Your feelings of anxiety, depression, and loneliness are increasing sharplySigns That Social Media Is Affecting Your Mental Health

  • It distracts you from work or homework.
  • You use it to escape from negative emotions.
  • You’re being cyberbullied or trolled.
  • You spend more time online than with your family and friends.
  • Your feelings of anxiety, depression, and loneliness are increasing sharply.

Social Media and Depression in Teens

The new research analyzed several studies of cyberbullying on social media and found that it is associated with depression in teenagers. Young people being victimized online has gotten a lot of attention, particularly after a series of suicides of teenagers who were bullied on various social networks.

The use of social media is common with teenagers, but the health effects of cyberbullying are mainly unknown. Regular, in-person bullying during the teen years may double the risk of depression in adulthood and the effects of bullying can be as bad as or worse than child abuse.

6 Tips To Protect Your Mental Health From Negative Effects Of Social Media

According to the American Psychiatric Association, more than one-third of adults in America believe social media is harmful to their mental health. And only 5% see it as being positive. Another 45% say it has both negative and positive effects. So here are 6 tips for protecting your mental health:

  1. Set a limit for when and where you use social media: You’ll have better connections with the people in your life if you set certain times each day when your notifications are off or your phone is in airplane mode.
  2. Have detox periods: Plan for regular multi-day breaks from social media. Several studies show that even a 5-day break from Facebook can lower your stress and improve your satisfaction with life. And you don’t have to go cold turkey. Just cutting back can result in lower loneliness and depression.
  3. Pay attention to what you do and how it makes you feel: Try using your favorite platforms for different amounts of time and at different times of the day. You may feel better after a few short spurts online than after 45 minutes or more.
  4. Use social media mindfully: Ask yourself why you’re using it. Are you trying to avoid something?
  5. Unfollow those who don’t serve a purpose: Take time to unfollow contacts or groups that are annoying or worse. Most won’t notice and your life will be better for it.
  6. Don’t let social media fool you, it’s not always realistic: Remember, most people post only what they want you to see on social media. Using platforms such as Facebook to keep up with friends and relatives is fine, but don’t let it be a replacement for in-person interactions.

Live Life, Don’t Just Read About It

Are you dealing with the negative effects of social media? Or are you dealing with depression and don’t know why? You know when you aren’t feeling quite right, whether it’s a result of social media or not. At Lido Wellness Center, we can work through this together and get you back to a more fulfilling life. 

Sometimes having a pre-existing mental condition can lead to substance abuse as a means to cope. At Lido Wellness Center, if you have developed multiple conditions, our dual diagnosis program can help treat your co-occurring disorder.  

Let us help you improve the way you feel and experience greater mental and emotional well-being. Contact us today. 

References

www.ontheline.org.au

www.livescience.com

www.investopedia.com

www.theconversation.com

Lido Wellness Center Blog

Is Mental Illness A Disability?

July 26, 2021

Mental health is being increasingly recognized as an important and valid factor in our daily lives. As a result, there are many supports and systems in place to assist those who experience some form of mental illness. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) defines mental illness as a health condition that involves changes in emotion, thinking, or behavior. It can refer to a variety of diagnosable mental disorders.

Because of the greater focus on mental health, a big question is “Is mental illness a disability?” Mental illness and disability are far more related than we might think. For those who experience disruptions in their day-to-day activities due to their mental illness or have decreased performance in these activities, mental illness is considered a psychiatric disability.

However, mental health is a spectrum, so each person may experience different levels of impairments in their daily activities. If you or a loved one have a mental illness and or a disability, the information provided here will provide more clarity to the question of “Is mental illness a disability?”

What Is The ADA And How Does It Qualify Psychiatric Disabilities?

The American Disabilities Act (ADA) has been in place since 1990 to prevent discrimination against individuals with disabilities in the workplace.The American Disabilities Act (ADA) has been in place since 1990 to prevent discrimination against individuals with disabilities in the workplace. The ADA classifies a disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of an individual. This means that any physical or mental condition is protected as a disability if it impacts a person’s capabilities.

Mental illness and disability often go hand-in-hand. However, it is important to note that the ADA does not guarantee that a mental impairment is evidence of a disability. Instead, an impairment can be part of a disability if it substantially limits major life activities. A psychiatric disability can include conditions like anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and beyond. Any of these conditions have the potential to limit a person’s capability to complete daily activities.

Discussing Mental Illness In The Workplace

If you or a loved one have a mental health problem, you have the option to disclose it to your employer. Keep in mind that it is not mandatory to disclose mental health problems to your employer and that it is your choice. However, you may choose to disclose if you are looking to request reasonable accommodation in the workplace. A notice to an employer can look different for everyone and only requires that you clarify that a medical condition is a reason for the request. If you request a reasonable accommodation, an employer can ask for medical information.

Other situations where an employer may ask for medical information include during a survey, once the job is offered if it is asked of everybody, or regarding a significant safety concern regarding one’s ability to complete a task. Any information you disclose can only be used by the employer and cannot be shared with any coworkers or individuals. Additionally, an employer cannot discriminate or use any information you provide against you.

When Is Mental Illness a Disability?

The SSA Blue Book lists various physical and mental conditions that fit the SSA definition of a disability and the criteria a person must meet to receive disability benefits. Representatives from the SSA reference the Blue Book to determine whether someone meets the criteria to qualify for and receive SSDI or SSI benefits.

The Blue Book lists a multitude of mental illnesses and breaks them into 11 categories. The categories listed in the Blue Book are:

  • The SSA Blue Book lists various physical and mental conditions that fit the SSA definition of a disability and the criteria a person must meet to receive disability benefits.Neurocognitive disorders
  • Schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders
  • Depressive, bipolar, and related disorders
  • Intellectual disorder
  • Anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders
  • Somatic symptom and related disorders
  • Personality and impulse-control disorders
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Trauma and stress-related disorders

Depending on the mental illness, you or a loved one will need to meet certain criteria to be eligible to receive disability insurance. The Blue Book documents the medical criteria that you or a loved one must demonstrate for each category in your medical evidence. It also documents what criteria are used for each category to assess how your mental disorder affects up to four areas of daily functioning.

To be eligible for benefits, a condition must result in “extreme” or “marked” limitation in at least two areas of daily functioning. A disability is also supported by evidence proving that it has not improved with medication. The Blue Book helps provide a case-by-case answer to the question of “Is mental illness a disability?”.

Is My Mental Illness a Disability?

As an example, anxiety and depression are two common mental illnesses and can be considered a disability by the Social Security Administration (SSA). However, it can be difficult to receive benefits for anxiety or depression disorders since it is challenging to document the degree and everyone has a different experience, making the evidence subjective. This means that it is important to have documentation from a physician and mental health professional to demonstrate your history of the disorders.

The SSA specifies that the medical impairment must have prevented an individual from being able to work. As a result, medical documentation should also demonstrate how anxiety or depression disorder has affected your daily living or employment capabilities.

Receiving Social Security Disability For Mental Disorders

Once enough evidence has been established, you or a loved one have the option to receive social security disability for mental disordersOnce enough evidence has been established, you or a loved one have the option to receive social security disability for mental disorders. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) provide options for people with disabilities to receive financial assistance. However, SSDI is only available to those who have been able to work in the past and have contributed to Social Security taxes.

Receiving Social Security disability for mental disorders is ultimately like receiving benefits for physical disabilities, although they may be more difficult to prove. In any case, eligibility will depend on the degree to which a disability affects your daily functioning and ability to maintain employment.

You or a loved one can apply for SSDI benefits either online, at an SSA office, or over the phone. You can apply for SSI either in person or over the phone.

For more information on mental illness and disability and the question of “Is mental illness a disability?” contact us here at Lido Wellness Center in Newport Beach, CA. We are committed to providing holistic, comprehensive care and making a positive difference in your life.

References:

https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/what-is-mental-illness 

https://adata.org/factsheet/health 

https://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/12.00-MentalDisorders-Adult.htm 

https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/enforcement-guidance-ada-and-psychiatric-disabilities

Lido Wellness Center Blog

Summer Slow Down

June 9, 2021 | Alyson Peña, LPCC

Stopping to smell the roses or admiring nature has always helped me focus on what is important. There is something about the air, trees, and liveliness of everything in nature, in my opinion. It helps to keep things simple in this over complicated world. The beginning of this summer is a bit different than last year where COVID rocked our existence and kept people inside and isolated. Instead of what we needed more of (e.g., nature, beach walks, family gatherings) we increased our use of social media and devices to get through the traumatic impact of the pandemic. It made sense to me, as I struggled and still struggle to put down my phone. It was all too much.

Slowing down this summer is not about saying “no” to family gatherings, vacation with loved ones, or getting out in nature, but slowing down the social media and device obsession. I know my online presence has increased in the last year, and I have gone back and forth with deleting and redownloading the Facebook app a few times. I have become somewhat of an anthropologist, recognizing that when I am feeling down, tired, or frustrated, I tend to reach for my phone to scroll and zone out, not having to think about my worries for a bit. As a therapist, I know all too well I need to use healthier coping skills. I am currently working on that. I find that when I am zipping through social media, I can elicit emotions as I view. I can see things that bring on jealousy, joy, sadness, and anger as I flood my mind with endless feed. I begin to compare myself and life to others which robs me of experiencing contentment. It is as though I speed things up with the novelty of pages and messages on social media, even as I appear to have slowed things down lounging on the couch.

Slowing down this summer means saying “yes” to people, real people in person. Saying “yes” to the hike, walk, run, or beach walk is what we need more of today. Slowing down this summer means saying “no” to myself when I want to zone out and scroll and not connect with nature, people, and outside. The way I connect in my life is walking outside. No need to put a lot of expectations on it, just put on the shoes, grab a loved one or not and start stepping into slowing down.

Contact us now

Alyson Peña, LPCC
Clinical Director and Family Therapist