Self-Help Advice

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Getting support and understanding

During a manic phase you may be quite unaware that your actions are distressing or damaging to other people. Later, you may feel guilty and ashamed. It can be especially difficult if those around you seem afraid or hostile. It helps if you provide people with information about bipolar disorder.

After going through a manic depressive episode you may find it difficult to trust others, and may want to cut yourself off. These feelings are to be expected after experiencing such difficulties, but it may be far more helpful to talk through your emotions and experiences with friends, family, carers or a counsellor.

There are now many support groups, where people who have gone through similar problems can come together to support each other.


Managing your own condition

Self-management involves finding out about bipolar disorder and developing the skills to recognise and control mood swings early, before they become full blown.

It can be very difficult at first to tell whether a 'high' is really the beginning of a manic episode or whether you are just feeling more confident, creative and socially at ease. It can be a strain watching out for symptoms all the time, particularly when you are first learning about the effect bipolar disorder might have on your life. There are various books on self-managing bipolar disorder. They may feature checklists and exercises to help you recognise and control mood swings, like mood diaries, tips on self-medication, and practical tips for dealing with depression and mania. Self-management is by no means instant, and can take some time to use effectively. However, you may find you need to rely less on professionals, and have more control over mood swings. This can lead to greater self-confidence and lessens relapse.


Day-to-day life

Routine is important, as well as good diet, enough sleep, exercise and enough vitamins, minerals and fatty acids. Gentle stress-free activities also help, like yoga or swimming. You could also try complementary therapies, such as reflexology and massage.


Working life

It's important to take things slowly and avoid stressful situations. If you already have a job, you might want to find out if you can return on a part-time basis to start with. If you are a student, most colleges and universities will offer good support and advice.

 

Recovery

Bipolar disorder need not be chronic and it can be possible to recover. There is a growing recovery movement among sufferers. Developing countries have a far higher non-relapse rate than industrialised countries. Great recovery tools are hope, love, support and work.


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The Have I Got A Problem website is a free online resource to help people better understand any issues or concerns they may have about mental health or addiction. The website includes resources specifically focused to; general Mental Health, Depression, Stress, Anxiety, Insecurities, Self-harm Schizophrenia, Bipolar, Anger Management, Eating Disorders, Coping, general Addiction, Alcohol, Smoking, Gambling, Drugs, Cocaine, Heroin, Marijuana (Cannabis) Ecstasy, PCP, Mephedrone, Ketamine & Crystal Meth.

The site was created to give the public information to help them understand mental health and addiction issues and to assist people in making better informed decisions about their life and personal choices.

www.haveigotaproblem.com was created and is run by 'Advising Communities’, which is a UK registered charity (Charity No. 1061055)

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