Bipolar Symptoms

Articles and blog posts relating to the various symptoms of bipolar disorder- including mania, depression, impulsivity, and anger.

Blogs and Articles
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3 Factors for Recognizing Cognitive Changes & Mood Shifts with Bipolar

Brooke Baron
December 24, 2020

I love a good mood-tracking checklist, but to recognize and address my symptoms, I look to specific factors that provide the context of impending episodes. One thing I am currently trying to sear into my memory (and others’, too!) is that bipolar is a cognitive disorder—so the symptoms are incredibly sneaky…. And, unfortunately, undetected shifts...

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When Panic Attacks: Managing the Anxiety of Bipolar

Melvin G. McInnis, MD, FRCPsych
December 22, 2020

With bipolar, anxiety and panic attacks seem prevalent. Relief is within reach, with the effective coping strategies of medication, talk therapy, behavioral therapy, and more. Experiencing a panic attack for the first time is one of the most terrifying experiences of one’s life. It feels like you’re going to die. It’s all but impossible to...

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Anger Antidotes

Robin L. Flanigan
December 21, 2020

Anger can feel overwhelming when it suddenly “erupts.” Here are some expert tips to tame your rage, get rid of regret, and prevent ruined relationships. #1 Set Boundaries. This is a nuanced skill, according to Brock Schludecker, PsyD, of Columbus, Ohio. But it’s important for “protecting one’s time and space and autonomy in a way...

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5 Reasons to Reconsider Your Relationship with Your Smartphone

Jennifer Nelson
December 21, 2020

With bipolar disorder, we’re more likely to become overdependent on our digital devices. Here’s how personal tech can affect our moods—plus tips for self-protection. Are we too attached to our digital devices? That question has been debated for almost as long as the iPhone has been around, giving rise to the first National Day of...

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All the Rage: What to Do When Anger Attacks

Robin L. Flanigan
December 18, 2020

When intense irritability and “anger attacks” disrupt your life and damage your relationships, you may question how to move forward. To regain control over this sometimes-bewildering symptom of bipolar, look to the source—could it be a mood swing, increased stress, or an unrecognized trigger? If Terry had to give herself a diagnosis, it would be...

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Ringing in the New Year Alone

Julie A. Fast
December 15, 2020

It won’t be hard to say goodbye to 2020, given all the challenges it brought. But New Year’s Eve itself might be difficult, especially if—like me—you are single and anticipating an emotionally charged time with potential mood swings. That’s why I am planning ahead for what to do—I want to ring in the new year...

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What 2020 Has Taught Me about Life & Bipolar

Elizabeth Drucker
December 14, 2020

Living with bipolar and working toward a graduate degree in public health has given me a unique perspective on this past year. My anxiety was amplified to the extreme, and learning to live through these challenging times required me to reprioritize self-care and close relationships. From Dubious to Facing Sudden Danger As a graduate student...

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A woman looks out the window into the sunlight. Represents managing bipolar symptoms during isolation.

Clutter-free—The Bipolar Way

Carrie Cantwell
December 8, 2020

If I’m depressed, a messy house adds to my overwhelming sense of dread. Depression already makes me self-critical. If I see unfolded laundry, dirty dishes, and full to-do lists, my self-esteem suffers all the more. Because I have bipolar II disorder, I struggle with a tumultuous mind. I need my surroundings to be peaceful and clutter-free....

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7 Ways to Avoid the Negative Consequences of “Doom Scrolling”

Anja Burcak
December 8, 2020

Are you consuming too much negative news and social media at night? Your lack of restorative sleep, mood triggers, and ramped up anxiety are good reasons to take back control! This year, I feel as if, collectively, we are glued to our screens even more than usual. From Zoom calls to social media scrolling, many of...

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6 Strategies for Simplifying an Uncertain Holiday Season

Sasha Kildare
December 4, 2020

We are living through a stressful, complicated, and emotionally taxing time of year—all in the midst of a world health crisis. To reduce my anxiety, I streamline and simplify. Here’s how I’ve addressed the stressors of past holidays, plus what I am doing now to reduce my tension in this particular season of uncertainty. I’m...

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Mania & Financial Stress During the Holidays

Jessica Taylor
December 3, 2020

This time of year, I actively resist the urge to overspend. I love giving gifts, going to holiday parties, and dressing up to celebrate. In the past, mania “managed” my wallet and festivities for me. It just forgot about, well, everything else. Thankfully, I’ve learned some lessons to manage my money, my moods, and the...

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Giving Myself Credit for Overcoming the Odds

Carrie Cantwell
December 1, 2020

Prior to my diagnosis of bipolar, my life was marked by constant change that elated and destroyed me over and over again. With treatment and hard work, I’ve learned how to manage my moods and find stability. It’s about time, I think, to recognize how far I’ve come. I love a good whodunit. The second...

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10 Strategies for Getting Through the Holiday Season

Carrie Cantwell
November 30, 2020

Times have been tough. But so are we. The end-of-year holidays can be difficult any year, and, this time around, they pose new challenges to our mood and well-being. Let’s not forget: Living with bipolar has taught us how to navigate through uncertainty. Here are the coping skills I’ve been relying on to remain stable...

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5 Strategies for Handling Holiday Triggers

Tiffany Romito
November 26, 2020

For me, the holidays usually bring not only traditions and gatherings but also stress and strong triggers. Difficult memories arise as the season changes and the holidays are upon us. In the years since my bipolar diagnosis and sobriety, I’ve learned how to navigate these months and maintain a stable mood. Holidays & Memories—for Better...

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The Power of Gratitude for Finding Joy & Managing Bipolar

Sasha Kildare
November 25, 2020

With the current challenges of daily living, I’ve grown to appreciate my gratitude practice even more. Every small joy makes a difference, and creating my daily list helps me to be mindful, stay present, and monitor my anxiety. Gratitude Brings Me Back to the Moment Eighteen years ago, my first Overeater’s Anonymous sponsor suggested that...

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Coping with Loneliness During the Holidays

Debbie Jacobs
November 24, 2020

This past year has been challenging, and the upcoming holiday season is likely to be no different—especially when we’re feeling isolated. To stay out of the holiday blues or bipolar depression, I am approaching this season proactively, tackling loneliness directly and finding ways to be festive and joyful. Feeling Lonely & Isolated During the Holidays...

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Thanksgiving & the Holiday Season—An Opportunity for Growth

Debbie Jacobs
November 20, 2020

My anxiety at the family dinner table often made me “check out” during gatherings like Thanksgiving. I got lost in my head, where I felt safer. But I also missed out on all the fun. Here is how I set an intention to stay in a healthy mindset, escape the holiday blues, and learned to...

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Bipolar & Managing Procrastination

Melody Moezzi
November 18, 2020

The art of under-promising and over-performing: Planning big projects should include breaking down goals into their smallest and most manageable parts … along with a healthy dose of mercy. Standing in line at the hardware store, knees and elbows splattered in shades of gold and green acrylic, arms cradling six cans of Satin Magenta, a...

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Mania and My $10,000 Christmas Tree

Dave Mowry
November 16, 2020

It can be easy to forget that our actions during a mood episode are the symptoms of bipolar—they’re not true representations of our personality and decision-making when stable. Especially after the more “outrageous” behaviors associated with mania, the guilt and shame we feel can keep us from taking stock of what we’ve done and even...

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5 Strategies for When Bipolar Depression Returns

Tanya Hvilivitzky
November 13, 2020

To prepare for the possibility of a relapse of bipolar depression, it is important to consider a few ideas about mindset, control, and support. While bipolar is often equated with mania, it’s bipolar depression that predominates for most people and can be a destructive force in our lives. When the despair finally lifts, it can...

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