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Understanding the Prognosis of Bipolar Disorder

written by: Daniel P. McGoldrick • edited by: Paul Arnold • updated: 8/28/2010

A bipolar prognosis has many ramifications that need to be recognized and understood by the patient who is diagnosed with it, along with any trusted family and friends. Here, we’ll explore factors that influence complications and possible outcomes for bipolar people.

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    Acceptance, Awareness, and a Proactive Approach

    One vital key to understanding a bipolar prognosis is becoming well informed about all the implications and factors that will play a part in living and coping with this mental illness, also known as manic depression. When a patient receives this diagnosis from a trusted psychiatrist well versed in the signs and symptoms of a bipolar condition, the sooner they come to accept the fact that they have it, the better. It’s not uncommon for a person recently deemed bipolar to reject such a diagnosis and refuse to take the requisite mood stabilizing medications to manage the symptoms and severity of the roller coaster which takes them to the heights of hypomania and the dismal lows of depression.

    That is partly because this serious mental illness is not without a stigma that is unfortunately perpetuated in many media outlets. Even if surrounded by understanding and caring individuals, the over-sensitive bipolar person can suffer from an unwarranted shame for having an imbalance of chemicals in their brain that they have no control over. Know what you’re up against; untreated bipolar individuals can appear crazy, unstable, unreliable and flighty while experiencing hypomania or stuck in the debilitating bouts of depression. Challenging the Stigma of Bipolar Disorder will help the bipolar person, and the ones that care about them manage and cope with this illness effectively.

    Intertwined with acceptance of the prognosis should be a lifelong commitment to finding the best medications for treating the individual, along with counseling and therapy from trained mental health professionals. In addition to the medications which are only to be worked out with your doctor (feedback on how they react in the individual bipolar is vital; trial and error may be required in the beginning and even after), there are proactive things a bipolar can do to help relieve some of the symptoms. Taking a gander at Treating Bipolar Disorder with Natural Supplements will give you an idea of some options that may help. In addition, yoga is an ancient practice that can greatly help still the mind, so it becomes more aligned with a peaceful outlook on life coupled with a healthy body.

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    Among the many factors to contend with for the bipolar are:

    • An increased risk of suicide in both manic and depressive states.
    • The tendencies to isolate, withdraw, and turn to alcohol or drugs for self-medication must be avoided and discussed with a therapist.
    • Poor judgment.
    • Racing and disturbing thoughts.
    • Risky behavior.
    • Spending sprees or making unwise financial choices.
    • Inability to concentrate.
    • Frequent absences from work or school
    • Hopelessness, depression that makes everything seem pointless.
    • Perceiving society and people as contrived and phony.
    • Fatigue, irritability, anger, loneliness.
    • Chronic pain without a known cause.
    • Guilt (for thinking you should be happy or able to "fit in" better).
    • Sleep problems and general anxiety that can cause panic attacks.
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    Making an Asset out of a Perceived Liability

    Brighter Days Ahead Be apprised that the thoughts of a bipolar are not always your best allies in coping with the disorder. Talking to counselors and other bipolar folks who effectively manage their bipolar diagnosis as well as visiting anonymous online forums dedicated to supporting and treating this mental malady is so important. Feelings aren’t always facts and as for callous people who say hurtful things to the over-sensitive bipolar, well in essence they’re sicker than you are so try to forgive and forget. And if you think that feeling things much more acutely then neurotypical people do is something to feel shame or guilt about, that is no more than the stuff that comes out of the back of a bull. Perhaps you are more in tune with the real nature of this world than many other people.

    Moreover, both famous and less well known boxers, soldiers, authors, astronauts, artists, leaders (Winston Churchill and Abe Lincoln; some believe that their bipolar natures were the key to saving their respective nations in their darkest hours), professionals, actors, and everyday heroes, are among your ranks leading productive, healthy lives. You are not alone. Fight it, manage it, and endeavor to see those curving mood swings (which will lessen with proper treatment) as your courageous signature through life; because you are assuredly worth the struggle. And we all know what a flat line represents anyway. Once you get to a place where you have learned to live with it to the best of your abilities, you can pass on what you learned to those still struggling. Make use of the links provided below to learn more. No matter how bad it seems at times, brighter days will be on the horizon with the hard work you do on yourself and the helpful assistance of caring individuals and professionals who are there to help you out.

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