Category Archives: Bipolar Disorder

Living with bipolar disorder Orange County mental health IOP

Living With Bipolar Disorder in Orange County

Am I Bipolar?

Living with bipolar disorder can be a challenge. Here we explore some ways to stay healthy offer day-to-day solutions.

Most of us have heard about bipolar disorders. The various media and news outlets tend to cover it in a non-descript way. But that approach is not exactly helpful, and as a result very few of us really understand what bipolar disorder is. (The movie Silver Linings Playbook is an example of characters that may struggle with bipolar disorder.)

Even if you have been diagnosed with one of the types of bipolar disorder, you might not fully understand it and, more importantly, how to make sure you are living with bipolar disorder in a healthy way.

Bipolar Highs and Lows

Bipolar common knowledge is if you have bipolar disorder, you likely have times where you are very happy and times where you are very sad. That’s pretty much the extent of most people’s understanding.

The more complex term for this is episodes of mania or hypomania contrasted with depressive episodes. This is where the term manic depression comes from, the term that once referred to bipolar.

Though it is common to call them mood swings, they are fairly intense. And to qualify for a bipolar diagnosis, they have to have a significant negative impact on your life.

Bipolar Mood Swings

Bipolar Highs: During manic episodes, a person with bipolar disorder is gleeful, energetic, or unusually irritable.

Bipolar Lows: Depressive episodes have you feeling hopeless, sad, and without interest in pleasurable activities. Often, the mood shift is accompanied by emotional symptoms as they affect your sleep, thoughts, energy, and judgment.

Seeking treatment helps you live a good life despite the condition. However, there are simple, everyday habits you can adopt to get better control over your symptoms.

Living With Bipolar Disorder in Orange County

The worst thing you can do with a bipolar diagnosis is pretend it doesn’t exist. Bipolar Disorder Treatment comes with a certain degree of acceptance so you can move forward towards healthy change and wellness.

When you fully engage and participate in your treatment, you become an expert in your own individual journey living with bipolar disorder.

This may look like this:

  • You understand the symptoms and can recognize them before they become debilitating.
  • You actively research and explore available treatment options to ensure you lead a healthy life.
  • You work with your treatment professional to draw up a list of achievable goals to work on.
  • You develop trust and patience in the process.
  • You also learn to communicate your thoughts and feelings with your therapist.

Know Your Triggers

The symptoms of bipolar disorder are often a result of specific life experiences. Knowing your bipolar triggers helps you recognize an oncoming episode and take measures to protect yourself. The most common triggers of bipolar disorder include:

  • Stress
  • Irregular sleep schedule
  • Strained relationships with close friends and loved ones
  • Financial strain
  • Inability to adapt well to a new environment

*We go further into 10 bipolar triggers and how to manage them in this article.

Monitor Your Symptoms and Moods

If you have bipolar disorder, staying attuned to your thoughts, feelings, and environment helps you intercept mood swings. You are aware of subtle changes in your thoughts, moods, energy levels, and sleep patterns. When you monitor your symptoms and temper, you can prevent a minor change from turning into a full-blown bipolar episode.

Develop an Active Daily Routine

Your lifestyle choices affect your mood, energy, sleep patterns, and eating habits. Developing an active daily routine is a great way to get your symptoms in check and keep bipolar episodes at bay. One way to build an active lifestyle is to structure your life, so you know what to do and when to do it. Other positive ways to improve your life are:

  • Having a strict diet – Your body is what you eat. Watching what you eat and having healthy meals ensures you have enough nourishment and energy to keep you going.
  • Having a regular sleep schedule – the ups and downs of life can overwhelm you and affect your sleep schedule. Having a regular schedule ensures you get enough rest and are focused on what you need to do to survive every day.

Living With Bipolar Disorder by Getting Treatment

If you are currently living with a bipolar disorder and want help, Lido Wellness Center in Newport Beach offers a full PHP, IOP, or outpatient mental health program that is designed for whole life healing. Our team is available now to answer any questions about our unique program and specifically how we can help you manage a bipolar disorder. Call us today: 949-503-9655.

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adhd and bipolar disorder

Can You Suffer From ADHD and Bipolar Disorder?

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and bipolar disorder symptoms overlap and are often difficult to differentiate. Confusing a diagnosis more, ADHD and bipolar disorder can be co-occurring. However, working with a professional prevents missing a diagnosis of ADHD and bipolar disorder.

How Can You Have ADHD and Bipolar Disorder?

ADHD and bipolar disorder symptoms include restlessness, being easily distracted, impulsivity, and poor concentration. Because ADHD is more common and the symptoms are similar, bipolar disorder is often undiagnosed. 

Furthermore, ADHD is generally diagnosed in childhood, while bipolar disorder is typically diagnosed in teens and adults. Because ADHD is usually the initial diagnosis and symptoms are so similar, any signs of bipolar disorder are blamed on ADHD.

What is the Difference Between ADHD and Bipolar Disorder?

ADHD

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder typically affecting children. However, many adults are also struggling with ADHD. Signs and symptoms of ADHD include:

  • Trouble focusing
  • Forgetfulness
  • Excessive fidgeting
  • Interrupting or talking too much 
  • Impulsive behaviors
  • Risk-taking
  • Trouble forming relationships

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental health disorder causing extreme mood swings. People can experience mania (extreme highs) or hypomania (extreme lows). Daily life and living with bipolar disorder can be challenging because people can flip from one mood to another or be free of symptoms.

While there are various types of bipolar disorders, there are two distinct episode types – mania and hypomania. Mania is more severe, causing issues at school, work, social gatherings, and in relationships. 

Although they are different types of mood swings, the symptoms are the same and may include:

  • Abnormally jumpy and upbeat
  • Highly energetic
  • Extreme agitation
  • Exaggerating self-confidence or well-being
  • Sleeping less
  • Overly talkative
  • Racing thoughts
  • Easily distracted
  • Poor decision making

Mania may also cause a break from reality and require hospitalization. 

What are the Causes of ADHD and Bipolar Disorder?

Although ADHD and bipolar disorder share similar symptoms, what causes these disorders are different. While research continues on the causes, known risk factors increase the risk of developing these disorders. 

ADHD

Studies show ADHD is often genetic, but the cause is still unknown. Environmental factors, such as nutrition, social environment, and brain injuries, may increase the risk of developing ADHD. 

In the past, professionals thought sugar, too much television, and family stress played a part. And while these factors can exacerbate symptoms, they have been debunked as causes. 

Bipolar Disorder

Research shows having a close relative, such as a parent, with bipolar disorder increases a person’s risk of developing the disorder. However, it is thought not to be just one gene but a collection of responsible genes. 

Furthermore, brain structure and function may increase the development of bipolar disorder. Studies have shown issues with how nerve signals are transmitted in the brain, and the balance of brain chemicals play a role in bipolar disorder. 

Why Can You Have ADHD and Bipolar Disorder at the Same Time?

It is relatively common for a person with bipolar disorder to have ADHD. Almost 70 percent of those with bipolar disorder have co-occurring ADHD. Furthermore, 20 percent of people with ADHD receive a diagnosis of bipolar disorder as teens and adults. 

According to the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, children whose parents have bipolar disorder have a higher occurrence of ADHD and eventually bipolar disorder. 

Diagnosing ADHD and Bipolar Disorder

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or the DSM-5 classifies ADHD and bipolar disorder as mental health disorders. It also lists the specific criteria used to diagnose both disorders. 

ADHD

Generally, children receive a diagnosis of ADHD between the ages of 5 and 11. If an adult is being evaluated for an ADHD diagnosis, their symptoms must have been present by age 12. Often, a pediatrician diagnoses ADHD, but psychologists, psychiatrists, or primary care doctors can also diagnose ADHD. 

Bipolar Disorder

Typically, bipolar disorder develops in older teens and adults. There are various types of bipolar disorder, and each has its criteria for diagnosis. It can take a few years to get a diagnosis since it’s based on a history of mania and depression symptoms, medical history, and tests to rule out any physical issues causing the symptoms. 

What are 6 Factors that Differentiate ADHD and Bipolar Disorder?

Because ADHD and bipolar disorder have similar signs and symptoms, the risk of misdiagnosis is high. As a result, professionals often use the following six factors as a guide. 

1. Age of Onset

ADHD is a chronic or lifelong disorder with symptoms appearing before age 12. Although children can have bipolar disorder, it is rare. Most people experience their first bipolar episode after age 18. 

2. Consistency of Episodes

Because ADHD is a chronic disorder, it is always present. Bipolar episodes come in waves with periods of “normal” moods. 

3. Mood Triggers

A person with ADHD has passionate, emotional reactions to life events. Intense happiness and excitement occur with happy events. Likewise, unhappy events such as rejection, criticism, and teasing cause extreme sadness. However, those with bipolar disorder can have mood swings and emotional episodes without being triggered by any connection to life events. Here we cover ten bipolar triggers and how to manage them.

4. Speed of Mood Changes

The mood changes in ADHD are instant because life events trigger them. While the shift in mood is valid, it’s the intensity that becomes abnormal. Because they come on rapidly, episodes are often called “snaps” or “crashes.” On the other hand, bipolar episodes are typically untriggered and may take days to fluctuate. 

5. Duration of Episodes

Despite the diagnosis, severe loss and rejection often cause weeks of hypomania. The mood swings of ADHD are typically measured in hours. While bipolar episodes must last at least two weeks according to the DSM-5. 

For example, for a diagnosis of “rapid-cycling” bipolar disorder, a person must experience four mood shifts in a year. However, people with ADHD may experience four or more mood changes every day. 

6. Family History

Both ADHD and bipolar disorder run in families. However, people with ADHD have multiple cases of ADHD in their families. On the other hand, bipolar disorder generally has fewer genetic connections.

What is the Treatment for ADHD?

ADHD is a chronic disorder which means there is no cure. However, treatment options help manage symptoms and develop coping skills. 

Since ADHD is often seen as a childhood disorder, adults may avoid a diagnosis. Unfortunately, this can seriously affect work, relationships, and overall well-being. But, a combination of medications, behavioral therapies, and lifestyle changes can improve daily life. 

Medications for ADHD

Two medications have approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating ADHD – stimulants, and non-stimulants. Stimulants are the most commonly prescribed, with 70-80 percent of children seeing fewer symptoms on stimulants, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Common stimulants to treat ADHD include:

  • Adderall
  • Concerta
  • Desoxyn
  • Dexedrine
  • Focalin
  • Vyvanse

Non-stimulant medications may be used when stimulants produce unwanted side effects. They may also be used when people have other health issues or fear addiction. Common non-stimulants for ADHD include:

  • Strattera
  • Wellbutrin XL
  • Intuniv
  • Catapres

Sometimes, a person may use both stimulants and non-stimulants to manage ADHD. This combination improves behavior and cognitive function over stimulants alone for some people. 

What Therapies Help Manage ADHD and Bipolar Disorder?

The therapies used to manage ADHD, and bipolar disorder varies depending on age. Most therapies help people understand their disorder, its effects and help change their thinking and behaviors. 

Psychotherapy

Older children and adults find meeting with a therapist a safe space to share their feelings. Psychotherapy or individual therapy helps develop coping skills and address co-occurring mental health disorders such as bipolar disorder. 

Behavioral Therapies

Some teachers are specially trained in behavioral therapies to help children replace unhealthy behaviors with posit ones. Tools such as goal setting, reward systems, and teaching organizational skills can reinforce positive behaviors. 

Therapies including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, are useful in treating ADHD and bipolar disorder adults.

CBT and EMDR help people process their negative thought patterns and behaviors, allowing them to heal and cope with their conditions and the symptoms that occur as a result, such as emotional distress. Processing these patterns changes a person’s perspective, allowing them to make better decisions and improve their relationships. 

What Lifestyle Changes Can Improve ADHD and Bipolar Disorder 

Although medications and various therapies are beneficial in managing ADHD and bipolar disorder, lifestyle changes can help balance mood and minimize episodes. Healthy eating, exercise, and good sleep hygiene can prevent relapses. 

Eat Healthy Foods

Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for brain health. While vitamin D and B can help fight hypomania. So, eating various foods, including fresh produce, whole grains, lean meats, tuna, and salmon, is vital in managing ADHD and bipolar episodes. 

Good Sleep Hygiene

ADHD and bipolar disorder can make sleep challenging. Mania can cause people to sleep very little. At the same time, hypomania can make it difficult to get out of bed. On top of it all, a lack of sleep can trigger mood changes. 

Tips to sleeping better include:

  • Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day
  • Keep your room cool and dark
  • Avoid screen time (computer, tv, and phone) before bed
  • Take a bath, read a book, or do another relaxing activity
  • Avoid large meals at bedtime

Get Regular Exercise

Although exercising too hard or too often can trigger mania, regular exercise can ease depression and changes in mood. For example, riding a bike or taking a walk in the fresh air and sunshine is proven to be a mood booster.

Can Alternative Therapies Manage ADHD and Bipolar Disorder?

Adding alternative therapies to your medication and behavioral therapies can enhance the benefits of treatment. Adding yoga and meditation to your daily routine can help balance your thoughts and feelings while minimizing mood changes. 

Yoga and Meditation

Yoga and meditation can calm and relax your mind. They can also boost concentration and focus while lowering blood pressure, anxiety, and mood swings of ADHD and bipolar disorder. 

Many people believe that yoga and meditation take an hour or more to do. However, when a person is experiencing mania or hypomania, taking five minutes to find a quiet spot can help them regain control and balance emotions. 

Treating ADHD and Bipolar Disorder at Lido Wellness Center 

Are you wondering if you struggle with ADHD, bipolar disorder, or both? Have you tried treatments, but nothing worked? At Lido Wellness Center, our mental health approach gives people access to the proper resources they need to take control of their mental and emotional health. We develop customized individualized treatment plans to help you get your life back. Contact us today to find out more. 

References:

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs40474-013-0004-0

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/bipolar-disorder

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd#part_2289

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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. This is important when learning how to live with a 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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