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Bipolar disorder is defined by extreme mood swings from mania to depression. Understanding exactly what causes mood swings can be the very first action in coping with the ups and downs of bipolar disorder.

Bipolar Mood Swings: Causes and Triggers

Bipolar illness is thought to be brought on by a chemical imbalance that alters a person’s state of minds. This imbalance might be linked to irregular hormone production or an issue with chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters that act as messengers to nerve cells. Due to the fact that bipolar affective disorder tends to run in households, genes are also believed to contribute; in reality, scientists believe that the chemical changes leading to the condition result from a mix of genes and environmental impacts. Some brain scans have exposed actual physical changes in the brains of people with bipolar affective disorder.

The best way to avoid mood swings is to obtain treatment for bipolar condition. But it’s also possible to decrease the frequency and intensity of mood swings by understanding circumstances or occasions that can activate them.

The most typical triggers for bipolar mood swings are:

  • Stress from major life events, both positive and negative
  • Lack of sleep
  • Erratic schedules
  • Caffeine and alcohol
  • Certain medications, such as antidepressants and corticosteroids
  • Seasonal changes (for example, winter can worsen depression, while summer can increase the risk of mania)
  • Stopping bipolar meds or varying the treatment schedule
  • Thyroid problems
  • Substance abuse

While some triggers– like seasonal changes or a stressful event– may be impossible to prevent, lifestyle changes and mood-management techniques can make a huge difference. Attempt the following recommendations from specialists for handling and managing mood swings.

Control stress. Stress is a significant bipolar trigger. Do exactly what you can to simplify your life and alleviate tension in your work and individual life. See if your spouse, relative, and pals can aid with home duties. “If you work that requires insane hours and great deals of travel, you might wish to change to a less-stressful task,” recommends Dr. First. Stress-management techniques, such as meditation, visualization, and yoga, can likewise assist.

Keep a regular schedule. Adhere to a regular to assist control mood swings. Bipolar people don’t do well with lots of changes, states. Have meals, do errands, exercise, and go to sleep about the very same time every day.

Professionals likewise recommend that you make your bed room a calming location and utilize it just for sleep and sex. Be disciplined about your sleep habits.It’s typical for individuals with bipolar disorder to remain up late seeing motion pictures, playing video games, or surfing the Internet, which can make mood swings even worse, states Carrie Bearden, PhD, a bipolar-disorder professional and associate teacher of psychology and behavioral sciences at UCLA.

Research studies show that routine workout can assist improve mood. Gradually work up to exercising on many days of the week.

Prevent caffeine, alcohol, and drugs. Caffeine is a stimulant, which can keep you up during the night and exacerbate manic episodes. Cut back on coffee and soda, specifically at night. Alcohol and drugs can affect how your medications work and possibly trigger a mood episode.

Over time, you might see patterns emerging. By knowing what your triggers are, you might be able to prepare for times when you may be most vulnerable to mood swings.

While these way of life modifications and coping strategies can assist handle mood swings, they will not make bipolar illness magically disappear. Knowing what your triggers are and taking steps to handle them can help avoid a small mood swing from becoming a major issue.