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The ongoing global epidemic is unpleasant for everybody, but it's especially challenging for people with bipolar disorder, because being under a lot of stress is one of the leading causes of a bipolar episode.
Allow Yourself to Grief or Mourn if Necessary
During the pandemic, many people have lost human connections, employment, and loved ones. Recognizing your feelings might be difficult, but it is an essential aspect of the grieving process. Allowing yourself the room to experience your feelings is recommended by researchers. Recognize that, like everyone else, you will be emotionally crushed for a period of time. Support, on the other hand, is critical in preventing an episode—as well as improving your overall mental health. “Friends, family members, and a therapist can all be beneficial. Attending a bereavement group in addition to counseling may be beneficial.
Make it a Habit to Check in with yourself on a Regular Basis
The constant barrage of bad news can cause worry, and depending on what transpired that day, you might feel a variety of emotions or have difficulties sleeping. However, setting aside time each day to check in with yourself might help you spot crucial behaviour alterations, such as going to bed later, and potentially prevent an episode. Sleep is an especially crucial habit to keep track of because even one night of inadequate sleep can trigger a manic episode.
After you've checked in with yourself, talk to your psychiatrist or therapist about how you're feeling so they can advise you on how to best care for yourself right now. Depending on your specific needs, they may recommend more frequent therapy sessions or a change in your medication. And now is not the time to cut back on counseling or stop taking any of your bipolar illness meds.
Talk to your Support System on a Regular Basis
Many of us are lonely and isolated right now, which makes it critical to maintain interactions in a physically separated, safe manner, particularly for persons with bipolar disorder. Having supportive friends and family who can help you identify and monitor triggers might be beneficial. If you can, find a check-in buddy you can trust and get to know well, and with whom you can talk at least once a day.
There's always phone and video chat, but an app like Marco Polo can come in handy because it lets you send a fast video message whenever you really need to talk. Your friend does not have to be available at the time you send the message. Rather, they can watch your video whenever they have free time and respond with their own video.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
Although it may be tempting to unwind with a glass of wine after a long day at work, alcohol and drugs are direct triggers for bipolar disorder. They have the potential to interact with bipolar disorder medicines. Mixing alcohol or narcotics with mood stabilizers like lithium or antipsychotic medicine, for example, can reduce the effectiveness of the prescriptions. These could have long-term implications, such as an increase in mood episodes.
If you're truly tempted to drink alcohol, a researcher suggests delaying for an hour after the temptation arises. Occasionally, a craving will pass in one hour. If you're tempted to join in, it's a good idea to set some boundaries with the folks who are drinking around you.
Make a Plan to Sleep Consistently
Sleep is critical in the treatment of bipolar disorder. It is suggested that you follow the methods outlined below to better manage your sleep.
Caffeine Consumption Should be Steady, if at All
When you're stressed out and sleeping less, you're more likely to turn to caffeine to keep you alert during the day. Caffeine levels that are too high, on the other hand, can cause an episode. According to new research, taking more caffeine is associated to more manic, hypomanic, and mixed symptoms. The researchers aren't sure why this happened, but they believe it could be related to how caffeine affects your sleep patterns or how well your body metabolizes your prescription. Even if you're fatigued, don't consume more caffeine than normal. Then, for your next bedtime, attempt to concentrate on appropriate sleep hygiene.
Citation: Saroja K (2021) How to Cope with Bipolar Disorder Triggers during Pandemic Times. Bipolar Disord 7: 152. doi:10.35248/2472-1077.21.7.152.
Received: 28-Jun-2021 Accepted: 21-Jul-2021 Published: 28-Jul-2021 , DOI: 10.35248/2472-1077.21.7.152
Copyright: © 2021 Saroja K. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.