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Challenging Lifestyle Changes

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A presentation showing the necessity to have radical change in a person's life to better manage their bipolar illness.

A presentation showing the necessity to have radical change in a person's life to better manage their bipolar illness.


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  • 1. Bipolar Self-Management Course
  • 2. The choices we make to remain healthy will affect the rest ofour lives. If you don’t take the opportunity to changeunhealthy habits right now it could mean that you are lesslikely to manage your moods.
  • 3. IntroductionBipolar disorders cause instability in Moods Intellect Energy levels Behaviour and the Activities that result from thesechanges One of the best ways to counter this is by developinga more stable lifestyle with a flexible daily routine. This routine should include various schedules toencourage regularity and to avoid extremesin all things.05/05/2013 3Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus
  • 4. In order for medication to work properly you need to takeyour medications according to your consultant’s instructions.Most often, this means taking the proper dose of yourmedication at the same time every day.05/05/2013 Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus 4
  • 5. Non-adherence to medication Firstly there are several reasons why a personsuffering from bipolar disorder might resistmedications to begin with due to many factors,including: Sometimes people do not seek treatment becausethey dont believe they are suffering from a problem. Experiencing one or more symptoms of bipolardisorder (denial, delusional thinking, poor judgment,etc.). Social stigma of a mental illness. Fear losing the ability to lead a "normal" life.05/05/2013 5Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus
  • 6. Acceptance but not adherence They dont want to be controlled by an outside forceand are seeking to gain control in their lives. They dont want to deal with the medications sideeffects. They miss living in a high-energy state. They see a reduction in symptoms and believe theydont need the medication anymore.05/05/2013 6Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus
  • 7. For medication to work properly Take your medications according to your consultant’sinstructions. Take the proper dose of your medication at the sametime every day. Consider incorporating it into one of your dailyroutines, such as after a meal, brushing your teethor going to bed. Even with people around you, And when you are not in your home.05/05/2013 7Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus
  • 8. The cornerstone of self-management. Yet so difficult toachieve whilst living in the “Real World”.Many people with bipolar disorder find that sticking to a dailyschedule can help control their mood.05/05/2013 Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus 8
  • 9. The Challenge To change from a life of irregularity and impulsivityto one with a structured routine.Try incorporating all of these things into a patternthat you more or less stick to every day: Sleep. Personal Hygiene. Healthy meals. Plus medication & Supplements. A good balance between work, socialactivities, exercise and relaxation. Mood Tracking.05/05/2013 9Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus
  • 10.  Set times for sleeping, eating, exercising, relaxing,working, socializing and (at the end of the day)Mood Tracking, and try to maintain your schedule,even through emotional ups and downs. Break your day down into manageable sections. Be flexible NOT rigid – something you can live NOTsomething that will stress you out trying tocomplete. Use anything that will help such as theDaily Routine App for iPhone:05/05/2013 10Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus
  • 11. 05/05/2013 Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus 11
  • 12. First on the list of challenging but essential lifestyle changes.It is crucial that you change from a life of going to bed at irregulartimes, to one where you go to bed and get out of bed at the sametime everyday for the rest of your life so as to get adequate sleep.05/05/2013 Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus 12
  • 13.  This is such a difficult life choice because it interfereswith so many things that many of you are used toand loathe to give up. Sleeping enough is an important part of managingyour mood. You need to be disciplined. If you don’t change anything else change yoursleeping patterns. Make your bedroom a place to sleep.05/05/2013 13Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus
  • 14.  However tempting it may be, try not to break thisroutine on weekends when you may want to stay upmuch later or sleep in. Your overall sleep will be better if you stick to yourroutine seven days per week. Getting adequate sleep on a regular schedule is veryeffective in preventing mood cycling. To help you monitor your sleep patterns andthe quality of your sleep use theSleep Cycle App for iPhone:05/05/2013 14Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus
  • 15. 05/05/2013 Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus 15
  • 16. The next most important lifestyle change you can put intopractice is to adopt a healthy diet and a healthier way ofeating your food, at the same time of the day, each day, forthe rest of your life.05/05/2013 Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus 16
  • 17. Unhealthy to Healthy Changing from an unhealthy diet that you may havebeen brought up on, thinking it was “normal” andtherefore healthy, not knowing any better, to onewhere you choose healthy options is a very difficultthing to accomplish. Lack of knowledge of what is good for you and whatis not for a start. What about all those favourite foods that you “can’t”give up. Going out to eat or eating on the run. Cost.05/05/2013 17Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus
  • 18. Food and Mood Cravings. Digestive problems. Unable to keep to a regular time to eat. Lunch at work often missed or only snack foodsavailable.Not Easy – but necessary! Eat a healthful diet on a regular basis, one that islow in saturated fat and rich in whole grainsand fresh fruits and vegetables. It will help stabilise your moods.05/05/2013 18Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus
  • 19. Changing to a person who exercises regularly is particularlychallenging for people who dislike exercise intensely andhaven’t done any exercise for years, perhaps since schoolwhen they hated sport.05/05/2013 Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus 19
  • 20. Research indicates that Exercise has a beneficial impact on mood. Exercise may reduce the number of bipolar episodesthat a person experiences. Exercise can also help you sleep better. Exercising on a regular basis can help you tomanage stress. Exercise can control weight gain that may resultfrom medications. Exercise can help increase feelingsof well-being.05/05/2013 20Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus
  • 21. That’s the good news But let’s face it, who likes to exercise? But it is essential – difficult but necessary. You need to find some way of exercising that fits inwith your lifestyle and personality. It doesn’t necessarily mean going to a gym threetimes a week for a workout. Incorporate your exercise into your everyday life likewalking, gardening or socialising (e.g. dancing). And make it easier by using something thathelps like the Runkeeper App for iPhone:05/05/2013 21Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus
  • 22. 05/05/2013 Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus 22
  • 23. Essential to track your moods but who wants to change theirlifestyle to incorporate such a simple task.05/05/2013 Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus 23
  • 24.  Wherever you are, Whatever you are doing, Incorporate a way of tracking your moods. It is essential if a little boring and inconvenient. Make it easy, so it doesn’t get in the way andinterferes with the things you want to be doing. There is no easier way thanOptimism app for iPhone:05/05/2013 24Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus
  • 25. 05/05/2013 Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus 25
  • 26. Choosing your life partner will be challenging to your “newfound” lifestyle because the person you fall for may not bethe person who is the best for your health.05/05/2013 Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus 26
  • 27.  Surround yourself with people who love and supportyou in a positive way as you have to realise that theissues of others could actually make you ill. Try to avoid: Contentious Troublesome Worrisome and/or Negative relationships05/05/2013 27Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus
  • 28. Sex and Depression You may have to accept your limitations when itcomes to sex. The lack of desire for intimacy. Impotence. or the inability to have an orgasm.These may all be side-effects of your medication orbipolar depression causing embarrassment, stress,anxiety and relationship problems.05/05/2013 28Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus
  • 29. Sex and Hypomania Hypersexuality Sexual addiction Inappropriate sexual expression Putting yourself in risky sexual situationsKnowing this before hand you might be able tochallenge these disordered desires even though theyseem very appealing at the time.05/05/2013 29Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus
  • 30. Your core support network should include your family.However, your relationships with your family may be strained and/orthey just have too much to do to be part of your bipolarexperiences. It maybe that the effort to be “there” as much as youwant them to be is not a priority for them.05/05/2013 Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus 30
  • 31.  The challenge maybe to work out or identify who itis in your family that you can rely on to be part ofyour self-management. You need someone who is prepared to learn aboutbipolar and how you experience it. You need someone to give you the appropriatefeedback – someone you can trust. And you will need to keep yourself to yourselfwith the others or all of them if you can’tfind someone to fill this role for you.05/05/2013 31Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus
  • 32. Often a radical change of lifestyle results in giving up yourclosest friends because their lifestyle is incompatible with yourillness and a healthy way of life.05/05/2013 Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus 32
  • 33.  Surround yourself with people who are a positiveinfluence and wont encourage unhealthy behaviouror attitudes that can worsen your bipolar disorder. Also it is not uncommon that friends will disappearbecause of times when you have actedinappropriately. Accepting this may be difficult. True friends will stick by you no matter what.05/05/2013 33Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus
  • 34. How you go about setting goals and the choices you makeare very important and challenging, even for those withoutbipolar.05/05/2013 Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus 34
  • 35. Lifestyle choices can affect yourhealth in a positive or negative way Relationships – as above Deciding where to live Which Job to take Asking for reasonable adjustments The threat of losing your job or college place Coping with unemployment and a life on benefits and feelingunemployable, Where to take your holiday Which sports or recreational club to joinThese are just a few examples.05/05/2013 35Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus
  • 36. A challenging lifestyle change that we can overlook is how wego about making decisions that affect our lives.05/05/2013 Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus 36
  • 37. In times of elevated or depressedmood it is advisable to: Avoid making major life decisions and/or changes. Avoid impulsive decisions. Avoid reacting to something but respond appropriately inyour own time and with due reflection. Avoid being pushed or manipulated into decisions byothers. When you are relatively stable make sure the choice youmake is in your own best interest.The golden rule: if you are agitated and loseyour peace it is often the wrong thing for you.05/05/2013 37Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus
  • 38. It is challenging to become a person who can manage theirresponse to pressure and develop the ability to cope with ahigher level of stress.05/05/2013 Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus 38
  • 39. Stress can mess with your sleep, yourbody chemistry, and your ability to cope. Stress is incompatible with mood stability. You have two choices: Adopt a lifestyle that doesn’t include too much stresswhich may limit your options for work etc. Develop ways of coping with the amount of stress youwill come across in your chosen lifestyle. Or a bit of both. Stress will have a major impact on your lifestylechoices. It will come from all areas of your life.05/05/2013 39Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus
  • 40. Anxiety can aggravate mood symptoms in many people withbipolar disorder.05/05/2013 Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus 40
  • 41.  You may not think this is a challenging lifestylechange but it takes a real effort to relax. You will need to be firm with yourself and assertive with others You will need to recognise that periods of relaxationare necessary for your mental wellbeing This might mean taking yourself away from otherswhen this might seem unsociable to them. Find what is relaxing for you and make itpart of your schedule.05/05/2013 41Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus
  • 42. The use of alcohol and recreational drugs is incompatible withbipolar self-management.05/05/2013 Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus 42
  • 43. It’s easy – I’ll sum it up for you: Do NOT use illegal drugs. Remove yourself from those people who do usethem – avoid peer pressure. You will have to choose to stop heavy drinking. Do NOT drink on a daily basis and/or binge drink atweekends – it will affect your social life. Alcohol and drugs can affect how your medicationswork. They worsen bipolar disorder symptoms They may trigger a mood episode.05/05/2013 43Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus
  • 44. You may have to curb your desire to be great at everything.05/05/2013 Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus 44
  • 45. The following will destabilise yourmoods: Striving for perfection. Failing to reach the unrealistic goals you have setyourself. Trying to immerse yourself in too many activities. Trying to keep up with others. Not recognising your limitations imposed on you byyour mental illness. This will be in all areas –reasonable adjustments to everything in life.05/05/2013 45Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus
  • 46. “This is my kingdom, you do what I say”.05/05/2013 Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus 46
  • 47.  You will probably have to recognise at some pointthat you are not the master of your own universebut a bit player in something greater than you. It is generally about control and requires: Letting go Acceptance Humility. Seeing the larger Picture. And may require developing a spiritual life.05/05/2013 47Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus
  • 48. Life throws up unexpected events that can throw us intoinstability if we allow it to.05/05/2013 Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus 48
  • 49.  Develop coping skills for what life throws at you. Don’t be a person whose moods are connected tolife events. Don’t overreact to circumstances that are beyondyour control. Try to remain calm at all times. Recognise when you are becoming irritable. Manage your anger. Manage your tolerance to frustrations.05/05/2013 49Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus
  • 50. What are you willing to do to help yourself?05/05/2013 Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus 50
  • 51. Managing Bipolar Disorder requires: Exploring your current habits. Adapting them to maintain optimal moodstability. Cut away, add missing elements and radicallychange things for the best if this is not thecase.05/05/2013 51Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus
  • 52. It’s not always easy tochange behaviours: Needs practice. Patience. Motivation. Encouragement from oneself. Encouragement and Support from partners, family and truefriends. Self monitoring of your progress. Rewarding yourself when you make positive changes.05/05/2013 52Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus
  • 53. GOOD LUCK April’s Self-Management Course will beon Thursday 28th April:An interview with Christine and LaurafromMaldon Bipolar Services05/05/2013 53Challenging Lifestyle Changes by David Lazarus