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Explains what bipolar disorder is, what kinds of treatment are available, and how you can help yourself cope. Also provides guidance on what friends and family can do to help.
Bipolar disorder can make you feel like you have little control. However, there are lots of things you can do to manage your symptoms and increase your wellbeing:
"I have to be careful how much social contact I have – too much can send me high. I have to start saying 'no' to demands."
"I have an alarm set on my phone so I take my meds at the same time every day."
"The trick for me is not to be seduced by the 'high' and to look after myself – get enough sleep, good nutrition."
Building a support network can be really valuable in helping you manage your mood. A support network might include friends, family or other people in your life who you trust and are able to talk to. The kind of support they can offer includes:
"When I tip the balance by going too high or low, I approach people for support."
Making connections with people with similar or shared experiences can be really helpful. You could try talking to other people who have bipolar disorder to share your feelings, experiences and ideas for looking after yourself. For example:
It can also be helpful to see if your local area has a recovery college. Recovery colleges offer courses about mental health and recovery in a supportive environment. You can find local providers on the Mind Recovery Net website.
If you're seeking peer support on the internet, it's important to look after your online wellbeing. (See our pages on how to stay safe online for more information.)
"No two people's experience is the same but there's a peace and joy in not having to explain. Of shared understanding. Of coming home."
This information was published in May 2018. We will revise it in 2021.
References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information, see our page on permissions and licensing.