Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition characterized by extreme mood swings, known as manic and depressive episodes. Manic episodes are characterized by a high level of energy, impulsivity, and a decreased need for sleep. These episodes can be overwhelming and distressing, but there are some ways to manage the symptoms and calm down during a manic episode.
Recognize the Signs of a Manic Episode
The first step in managing a manic episode is recognizing the signs and symptoms so you can respond accordingly. Common symptoms of a manic episode include:
- Increased energy and activity levels
- Racing thoughts and rapid speech
- Impulsivity and reckless behavior
- Increased self-esteem and grandiose ideas
- Decreased need for sleep
- Agitation and irritability
- Inflated self-esteem
Another way of managing manic episodes is to identify triggers. Triggers can include stress, changes in medication, lack of sleep, or substance abuse. Once you have identified potential triggers, you can take steps to avoid or manage them. For instance, if stress is a trigger, you may need to find ways to reduce stress in your life.
Practice Relaxation Techniques
Mindfulness and relaxation techniques can help slow down racing thoughts and reduce feelings of anxiety and agitation during a manic episode. Some relaxation techniques that may be helpful include deep breathing exercises, mindfulness practices, and visualization.
Get Professional Help
Managing a manic episode can be challenging, and there is no shame in seeking professional help if you are struggling to cope. A therapist or counselor will provide support and guidance during a manic episode and help you learn effective coping strategies.
Take Medication as Prescribed
Medications such as mood stabilizers and antipsychotics are important tools in managing the symptoms of bipolar disorder. It’s therefore critical that you take medication as prescribed and communicate with your doctor if you are experiencing any adverse side effects or if the medication is not working as expected.
Get Enough Sleep
During a manic episode, the need for sleep may decrease dramatically, but it is still important to ensure you’re getting enough rest. Lack of sleep can exacerbate symptoms and make it more difficult to manage mood and emotions. Establish a regular sleep schedule and create a comfortable sleeping environment to promote restful sleep.
Keep a Regular Routine
A routine can help provide a sense of control and stability in your life, which can be very beneficial during manic episodes when everything seems to be spiraling out of control.
Caffeine, alcohol, and other stimulants can increase agitation during a manic episode – so it is advisable to limit or avoid these substances. Also, stay away from over-the-counter medications unless otherwise advised by your healthcare provider.
Manic episodes can be overwhelming and distressing, but there are ways to manage the symptoms and calm down. Finding the right balance of medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes is key in reducing the intensity and frequency of manic episodes.
With the right care and support, it is possible to gain control over bipolar disorder symptoms and lead a full life.