You just got diagnosed with bipolar disorder…now what? You might be feeling confused, angry, and maybe even relieved, but just know this- you are not alone. Over 5 million people in the US live with some form of bipolar disorder and it’s possible to control bipolar disorder and lead a happy, healthy, productive life. Here are 5 first steps to take after your bipolar diagnosis to start you on the path of working towards your own recovery and finding balance in your life.
- Educate yourself. You probably left the doctor’s office with plenty of pamphlets and maybe a new prescription. Read them! But don’t let your research end there. Read books, watch documentaries, find articles and follow blogs. You can’t cope effectively with something you know nothing about! Learn about triggers, medications, side effects.
- Find a therapist. Find a therapist you like, respect, and feel understood by. Your therapist should be easy to contact and open to last minute appointments for when an emergency arises. An outside professional will have very valuable input to maintain your mental health.
- Mediation leads to a higher state of mental awareness, which can be a powerful tool when trying to seek balance with bipolar disorder. Being able to channel a state of inner peace and calm will help you stay level when stress sets in. Meditation even stimulates the same mood lifting neurotransmitters that medications do like serotonin and dopamine.
- Establish a routine. With a structured schedule, you’ll be able to better manage your bipolar disorder. This sense of routine can stabilize your mood. Have a sleep schedule, eat at regular intervals, find time to exercise, and make socializing a daily to-do.
- Join a support group. Either online, in person, or both finding groups of people struggling with the same issues can be incredibly beneficial. As a part of a community, you’ll get some crucial social support and even pick up some coping tips from your peers.
Do you or loved one suffer from bipolar disorder? See if you qualify for Segal’s clinical research study today!