Bipolar disorder, formerly manic depression, is a mental disorder with periods of depression and periods of elevated mood.
1. Too much caffeine.
Ah yes, coffee, tea, Mountain Dew, energy drinks and super dark chocolate. They all sure either taste good or give you so called ‘energy.’ The facts are that they don’t give real energy- they pump you up for a while and then either lead to the shakes or a crash. They then cause sleep problems. If you have more than one regular coffee a day, simply ask yourself if it affects your sleep. .
2. Stay in relationships that are argumentative.
There is nothing worse for bipolar disorder than fighting. When I used to allow fights to happen in my family, I would have an immediate suicidal thought such as, “I just want to die.” In order to stop the thoughts and the pain that comes with them, I stopped arguing. This meant that certain people had to go. It also meant that my contact with some family members had to change.
3. Let irritation take over.
Bipolar disorder can lead to a lot of irritation and anger. This can even lead to violence. I wasn’t having a very smooth day yesterday. I could feel that I was irritated and that I needed to just calm down and make sure I didn’t take it out on anyone. Yes, I did have a coffee! That is going to stop! A man pulled out in front of me on a busy road and literally drove across two lanes to get to a side street. I honked my horn and thought ‘my god, what a stupid driver.’ Then he flipped me off. I was already irritated enough and this sent me a bit over the edge.
4. Travel without planning for bipolar disorder mood swings.
I’m currently writing a book on bipolar disorder and travel. In fact, you may have read about my last trip in a past newsletter. Traveling is a microcosm of bipolar disorder triggers. Time changes affect sleep that can then cause mood swings. You may be stuck with people you don’t really want to be around. You may have to go places that are too over stimulating.
5. Get trapped in the bipolar conversation.
This one is for family members. All of my books talk about what I call the bipolar conversation. This is when you think you’re talking to the person you care about, where in reality, you’re simply talking to the illness. My books Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder and Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder have chapters dedicated to preventing the bipolar conversation.