Advertisement

How can I cope with stress if I have bipolar disorder?

John Preston, PsyD
Psychology
Coping with stress has to do with our response to our environments. The degree of stress we have in response to environmental stressors is partly genetic but can be controlled when we learn behaviors that minimize its impact on our psyches, relationships, and bodies. Having bipolar disorder can be very stressful and creates anxiety that reinforces symptoms. But with psychotherapy and medications that reduce anxiety, those of us who have bipolar disorder can learn how to live in the present moment without worrying as much what might happen if we have an episode. When in the midst of an episode, we may feel anxious that it might result in a hospitalization. Though we may feel we have no control over whether or not that happens, learning to cope with our stress in a healthier way helps us focus more effectively on managing our symptoms, which reduces the likelihood of being hospitalized or having a severe episode.
Bipolar 101: A Practical Guide to Identifying Triggers, Managing Medications, Coping with Symptoms, and More

More About this Book

Bipolar 101: A Practical Guide to Identifying Triggers, Managing Medications, Coping with Symptoms, and More

After receiving a bipolar diagnosis, you need clear answers. Bipolar 101 is a straightforward guide to understanding bipolar disorder. It includes all the information you need to control your...
Ellen Frudakis
Health Education
Stress is like lighter fluid for the fire that is bipolar disorder. Stress puts pressure on a system that is prone to ups and downs. That is why people with bipolar disorder have to be careful during periods of high stress and make sure they are getting the support they need, or limiting situations that add to their stress. Sometimes this means that a social life has to take a back seat to treatment, and that's ok… it will be there when you are ready. Hopefully, if you have already started to make friends, they will understand if you aren't available for the time being. 

Knowing yourself and what coping skills work at different times can be especially helpful when you are feeling stressed. There are many stress management techniques out there -- discuss these with your treatment provider or go to the library or bookstore and look through any books available on the subject.

Continue Learning about Stress

Become Immune to Stress with This Mantra
Become Immune to Stress with This Mantra
"I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and, gosh darn it, people like me." Turns out a positive mantra like this is no joke. It might even be key to stayi...
Read More
How can I lower my child's stress level?
RealAgeRealAge
When you plan or oversee your child’s schedule, keep in mind your child’s temperament. Some children...
More Answers
12-Step Stress Management Plan
12-Step Stress Management Plan12-Step Stress Management Plan12-Step Stress Management Plan12-Step Stress Management Plan
Learn how to keep chronic stress from aging your body. Did you know that stress is one of the biggest agers of your body? Most of us have it. The issu...
Start Slideshow
Why You Shouldn't Skip Your Vacation
Why You Shouldn't Skip Your Vacation

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.