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Articles and Poetry > Stable Lifestyle to Calm Mood Swings


 

                                                       Stabilization Support for Bi-Polar Disorder and Mood Swings

There is a vast difference between patients who learn to manage their illness and those who just wait for the next attack and pretend that they do not have this disorder. The most powerful thing you can do to reclaim your life away from the mood swings that threaten your relationships, work and ability to live normally, is to develop the self care regimes listed below.

 

1. Recognize that you have the disorder and that your changes in functioning and perception are not your faultor a sign of bad character. They are symptoms of brain chemistry deficits that are genetically inherited.

You can think of the disorder as being like diabetes. Someone with diabetes may have times when their illness impacts brain functioning, but no one thinks of them as “crazy.” they have to learn to manage their symptoms and be rigorous about self care…just as you do.

2. The brain needs nutritional support to stay on a stable cycle. Research has shown that fish oil in higher doses provides important chemical precursors to the brain chemistry that you need. Working with a naturopath to support your brain chemistry is crucial. Even if you decide to take medication, correct nutrition can make brain stability more achievable.

3. Stable life patterns around sleeping, eating, exercise and meditationare a tremendous help. Successful mood swing managers make stable ongoing schedules the highest priority. This can be hard when you want to socialize late or travel. Loyalty to your self care is going to be very important in your life in order to have a normal life.

4. Sobriety- even a little use of non-prescription drugs or alcohol upsets the patternsof brain chemistry that are so important to your survival and well being. Even if you are not an addict or alcoholic, you need to think of sobriety and abstinence from substance use as crucial to your plan to beat this illness.

5. Sleep is a strong stabilizing factor for the brain. With mood swings sleep patterns can get broken up. The thing to realize is that even 8 hours of staying in darkness will cue the brain correctly. You do not have to be asleep. You can listen to music or recorded books while staying in the darkened room. Complete darkness for 8 hours is very important.

6. You need a strong support team!Family and friends who care about you and are willing to become educated about your illness can be very helpful. They can let you know if they see subtle changes in your functioning when you are still in the early stages of de-stabilizing, so that you can consult with your medication doctor, therapist and naturopath. The support team can support your sleep, exercise and daily routine patterns and help you enjoy your new life as you strengthen your brain chemistry.

7. Rigorous daily exercise makes you feel better immediately. The endorphins protect you from depression and the routine strengthens brain stability. People with mood swings who invest in an intense daily form of exercise stay stable longer and have fewer relapses.

8. Meditation is like making the brain work out at the gym. You do not need to believe in any particular religious practice to benefit from a specific brain organizing meditation. It takes 22 minutes and you can see the guided version online at—

 http://www.mindful.org/video/the-wheel-of-awareness

Anne Allanketner LPC