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How to start understanding your swings...


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I was recently diagnosed as "Mood Disorder NOS, most likely Bipolar." I want to start taking care of myself better, and managing everything better so I don't end up withdrawing from college again. How did any of you begin to function better and understand the mood swings and what brings them on for you better? Any thoughts are appreciated!

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Finding effective medication made the biggest difference for me. Next is learning to recognize episodes when they first start and adjusting meds very early. That keeps me on a fairly even keel. Healthy lifestyle helps. Getting regular sleep during the night for the same amount of time is very important. Learning to cope with situations to reduce stress in my life is another factor. Seeing a therapist has helped me get a better handle on a few of these.

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Ditto what Stacia said.

Educating yourself is important too, I think. Read up (credible sources, of course) on your disorder. We have some great books in the Crazystore.

I've personally found journaling helpful. I write down in detail what I'm thinking during an episode. It helps me remember what it was like, and reading back helps me recognize whether or not I'm in a mood state.

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I'm not sure for certain what brings on a swing, but when I do feel I'm on the up I am more outgoing, have more of an opinion, want to share with others more (esp here) and can't alway's follow one thought to it's logical conclusion. Easily distracted, convinced of my own superior knowledge, feeling as if I could make life better, if only people could see it. That's a "hypomanic" mood, for me, maybe that's manic for some, but all I know is it's a symptom.

Or, I realise just how futile my existence is, how much potential harm I'm doing to my family, and that the sooner they have to deal with my lack of coping skills the longer they'll have to come to terms with it.

It all sucks, either I suffer or they suffer.

At least we have the choice, our family don't. But that said, there is no such thing as the end, as long as this site is here.

Long live Crazyboards.

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For me, it doesn't matter how much I know about this order, and/or if I can recognize the signs of either swing in mood. If I am not on the right med combination/dosage, the moods are uncontrollable. And an uncontrollable life is miserable. Telling even what I think are minor mood swings to my doctor is essential to cutting off a full-blown episode.

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Medications and therapy are a big help. I've noticed that through therapy, I'm learning what my early warning signs are of my mood swings (such as lack of sleep, disturbed thought processes, change in affect)

Also, keeping a mood chart can be helpful too to help you to track your mood, medications, and side effects.

Having a good psychiatrist and therapist is key.

I know that when I was going to college, they had a counseling center. It's short term therapy but I made sure to utilize it because it helped me get through the roughest of my illness. (and this was before my accurate diagnoses).

I hope this helps and best of luck to you.

Andy.

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Guest Vapourware

A good, free moodtracker - moodtracker.com

I use an iphone app called Moody Me to track my moods. I'm not the best at it and I've skipped a few days here and there, but generally I've found it useful to see how my moods have been over time.

Medication is one of the keys to getting a handle on moods, my moods have stabilised on my current combination and it feels good. Therapy is equally as important as well, in that the therapist can help you with insights into what are the early signs of an episode. I've found my therapist invaluable in that regard, and also in noting my moods. It really helps to have a third-party perspective.

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thanks to everyone- I'm trying to keep up with regular exercise and all that. My horse stayed at school so I drive up four times a week to ride and play frisbee or something to get out of the house. Everyone's suggestions have been great- I'm working with a therapist who corresponds regularly with my psychiatrist and it's helped at least a little to get everything under control, or uh... at least getting there!

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