10 Habits of Highly Successful People with Bipolar Disorder

Last Updated: 21 May 2019

People who are successfully treating and living with their bipolar realize there’s no one-size-fits-all plan when it comes to behavioral, emotional, and psychological protocols. Here are ten habits of what has worked for them:

Person Lining Up 5 Star Pieces - 10 Habits of Highly Successful People with Bipolar Disorder

#1 They’ve created their own treatment plan

Through trial and error, these folks have created a personalized treatment plan that works for them. For one person, focusing on therapy for the mind may work, while someone else is better treated with a certain medication. All treatment—pharmacological, therapy, and lifestyle—needs to be designed specifically for you.

#2 They rally a supportive team

First off, they are not afraid to ask for help and understand they need the assistance of others when they can’t help themselves. They know that support comes in many forms; perhaps they’ll join a support group, either online or in person. Successful people living with bipolar also nurture their support team—staying in contact, communicating, and expressing deep appreciation for their help.

#3 They practice mindfulness

A meditation practice improves your ability to manage work, organize tasks and focus in stressful situations. Over the past decade, mindfulness meditation has been shown to improve a whole host of health and disease outcomes; new studies demonstrate what’s happening to the brain in order to produce these beneficial health effects. It shows that meditation reduces Interleukin-6, an inflammatory health biomarker, in high-stress adults. Other people may practice a movement-based form of mediation, such as yoga, swimming, or walking.

#4 They know their triggers and have a plan

As with mania, knowing what stressors leave you vulnerable to depression can help prevent recurrences. Work-related stress, sleep disturbances, and traumatic life events can all be triggers, and having a plan to help prevent minor symptoms from turning into a full-blown episode is vital. Successful individuals have put together a comprehensive plan, usually with the help of their spouse and/or family. They understand how to recognize the beginnings of either depression or mania and what they will do in such cases.

#5 They have a healthy diet and exercise regularly

Whether they find it challenging or not, they know that having a healthy lifestyle—eating well and moving more—is a crucial complement to a treatment plan of medication to maintain mood stability. Studies now prove that people with bipolar disorder are more likely to have certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies, making a nutrient-dense diet all the more important.

#6 They have good sleep habits

For people living with bipolar, sleep is found to be a significant cause of stress. We know that sleep problems don’t just affect mood, they can also be the cause. People who are successful with their bipolar treatment plans know to keep a steady rhythm throughout their day . . . going to bed and rising the same time each day and following the same bedtime routine.

#7 They stick to a schedule/routine

The schedule itself is personalized to each individual, but the point is they stick to their set routines—especially for the important aspects like their medication protocol, exercise, diet, and sleep. They know that by doing something regularly, like brushing one’s teeth, it soon becomes second nature and doesn’t take willpower to stick to it.

#8 They pay attention to their thoughts

They are aware of the loop that links bipolar depression, anxiety, and negative thinking and work hard at breaking free of this; they learn to shift out of negative modes such as catastrophic escalation, pessimism, and destructive self-talk and instead choose a more positive and practical outlook to almost every situation.

#9 They are grateful

They understand that gratitude has a strong association with well-being and that practicing this state of being has a positive influence on their mood, relationships, outlook, and overall happiness—all of which can protect against anxiety and depression. Some people have found it helpful to keep a daily journal and write what they are grateful for every day.

#10 They keep a journal

Whether it’s charting their moods, diets, exercise, or even what they’re grateful for, the simple act of writing it down somewhere (or typing for that matter) does something to further instill the subject matter to memory. Besides its validating and therapeutic benefits, writing one’s thoughts down in a journal can be meditative as it forces one to think only of certain thoughts and not about everything at once.

  1. Hi Lola
    I totally understand you.
    My 16 y old was diagnosed 9
    Months ago .. devastating in every possible way.
    Because after 3 emergency hospitalizations not covered by insurance. Im late on every loan because mu priority is always to pay her therapies , exams and medications.
    Im a physician myself and a single mom ( dad and boyfriend ran away from all these problems..) so had to work less but now no money :/

    I havent found any monetary support anywhere and people are afraid of this diagnostic..
    So for now keeping strong and doing whats has to be done.
    I do suggest getting profesional help ( psychiatric) because you might have a burnout ( i had one)
    And meds keeps be going for now..
    Im taking wellbutrin 3 days a weeks( every day made me manic myself) and Rize sos
    That way I can work
    Good luck!

  2. Hi Lola!

    I have the solution for HIM.
    Skip ALL medication, Force him to get better coping strategis.
    Every morning. Before he really wakes up. He should alreaady be going away to the gym.
    Heavy explosive weight training in the mornings. And on days with high energy , one more training session on the evening. ALOT OF SEX.

    Keep his diet in check!
    One nap after the morning training. Boxing bag. Maybe a new goal? FIRE!

    Hope everything works out for you both!

    No more excuse.

  3. As the wife of someone with bipolar disorder, I find it difficult to cope with the constant emotional needs of my spouse. I am understanding and patient. I’m very supportive but it never seems to be “my turn.”

    We’ve been married 27 years and he wasn’t diagnosed until he 9 months ago when he was 52. It took a psychotic break and a 2 week stay at an inpatient mental health facility to get the diagnosis. Since then it’s been a roller coaster ride of medications that don’t work and 3 more inpatient mental health hospitalizations. All this is financially and emotionally devestating. Top that off with the negative sexual side effects of 2nd generation anti-psychotics and anti-depressants (yes…still happens even with wellbutrin & aripripazol), and you have a wife who is also on the verge of a breakdown. The problem is that I can’t afford one. We have 4 children, and bills to pay. I’m the one with the job that supports us. His illness has exhausted every penny we had and we can’t even afford the $60 copay our insurance requires for his doctor and therapist visits.

    It’s all very overwhelming. I feel financially, emotionally, and physically abondoned by him. Ive tried NAMI support groups but they’re not regular enough and it doesn’t help pay the bills. We tried to get SSI but his past alcoholism shut that door.

    Can anyone offer advice or support? I feel lost and helpless. I know he’s ill but eventually it’s gotta be my turn. I need a realistic emotional and financial support system for myself and our 4 children. Help!

  4. God is good choices & treatment!! Our relationship is our deep relationship with Christ!! ????

  5. I have a strong relationship with Christ. Couldn’t make it without God in my life. He’s in control. He helps me with Bipolar too.

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