Understanding that you have bipolar disorder and seeking treatment for it are two different things entirely. Finding effective treatment for a mental health disorder takes time, patience and persistence. And, finding effective help for bipolar disorder is critical to successful treatment. Seeking help is the first step. For many, this takes courage and strength. It is an additional challenge to maintain the will, effort and energy required when you’re also struggling with a mental disorder.
Because causes of mental illness can vary so widely, integrative medical doctors are trained to help you uncover what’s going on, and assist you in trying new strategies to manage your bipolar disorder. While medication can be an important element of managing bipolar disorder, there are many strategies you can try in conjunction with pharmaceuticals.
Here are three treatment options to consider, and how professional guidance can help you address this complex illness:
Stick to a Schedule
No, we’re not saying that buying a new planner will help you deal with bipolar disorder. However, setting a routine and sticking with it can help you manage the symptoms. We know that bipolar disorder can profoundly impact your body, including your ability and inclination to sleep. Setting a bedtime and wake-up time, along with eating meals at regular times, can help you better understand and treat your symptoms. If you notice you start to deviate from your bedtime, or sleep more often than normal, it may be a sign that you’re about to have a manic episode – or may be more depressed than usual. Likewise, eating more or less than usual can be an indicator that something’s going wrong.
However, it’s one thing to tell yourself that you’re going to go to bed right at 10pm every night, and quite another to do it! This is where a professional can be tremendously helpful. Not only do you have somebody to be accountable to, your mental health professional can also help you strategize how to set and keep a schedule. And if it turns out that a routine works best when paired with medications that address bipolar disorder, working with a professional will ensure that these two care-strategies work to support each other to the fullest – helping you to live a healthier life.
Anxiety and stress can have a bad impact on your overall health – but especially so when you’re managing bipolar disorder or other mental health ailments. Not only are people with bipolar disorder more prone to stress, but stress can also be a major symptom trigger!
In order to manage stress, you first need to understand what a stressor could look like for you. Even positive things, like starting a new job or moving into a bigger apartment, can be stressors. Then, you need to understand how you react emotionally to these stressors. Some people become irritable when stressed. Others have a hard time concentrating. You may be more tired than usual, get upset to your stomach more often, or just feel like crying.
Stress is frankly a part of life. Integrative medical doctors can assist you to better manage stress by helping you understand both the mental causes of stress and the physical reactions you may be having. They’re there to help you get a handle on the hardest, most stressful parts of your life. They can then recommend additional supportive strategies, like exercise or meditation, to help you manage and alleviate stress. Integrative physicians can do all of this while also monitoring any medications you may need – providing a holistic approach to your treatment, rather than relying on a single option.
When it comes to treating bipolar disorder, you do not and should not have to go through it alone. Many places have support groups for different mental illnesses, and specifically for those who have bipolar disorder. These groups provide more than just a place to talk about your feelings. You can learn specific, hands-on strategies for managing stress or for finding a therapist. You can talk about the challenges you’re facing with people who understand – because they’ve been there.
Support groups combined with professional assistance can be really powerful. Your support group can help motivate you to keep up your treatment plan, and your doctor can help provide you with tools and methods for managing your bipolar. Combined, this amounts to support you can count on.
Building Your Bipolar Management Dream Team
When it comes to making healthy choices, you’re the only one who can actually make yourself do something. However, doctors who understand both mental and physical challenges can provide immense support when it comes to common treatment methods for bipolar disorder – and their advice can ensure that you engage in actions designed specifically to benefit you as an individual, no matter what your health needs may be.
Integrative medical doctors can be your advocates when it comes to exercise and eating right, your professional support for emotional problems, and your expert coach when it comes to making and sticking to new schedules and treatment plans. Above all, this holistic approach can ensure that all aspects of your diagnosis and treatment plan are considered, including addressing your physical health needs.
Ready to make a commitment to yourself? Reach out here to get in touch with us, make an appointment and explore how we can work together to start your journey to wellness.