Bipolar and Mental Illnesses are written about here.

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Bipolar Triggers

Bipolar Triggers

I have my bipolar quite under control, but I still have triggers that can set me off very easily. My triggers can be words, a song, treating me a certain way,and so forth. If you want to help those with mental illnesses, you should learn about triggers and how to spot them and what to do once a person has been set off by a trigger of theirs. 

“The mood swings of bipolar disorder can be profoundly destructive. Depression can make you isolate yourself from your friends and loved ones. You may find it impossible to get out of bed, let alone keep your job. During manic periods, you may be reckless and volatile.”

“Picking up the pieces after a mood episode can be hard. The people you need most — especially your friends and family — may be angry with you or reluctant to help.”

“The best way to avoid these mood episodes is to get treatment for bipolar disorder. But unfortunately, periods of hypomania, mania, or depression aren’t completely preventable. Even people who always take their medication and are careful with their health can still have mood swings from time to time.”

“That’s why it’s important to catch changes in your mood, energy levels, and sleeping patterns before they develop into something serious.”

Mood Swing Triggers in Bipolar Disorder

“At first, mood swings may take you by surprise if you have bipolar disorder. But over time, you might start to see patterns or signs that you’re entering a period of mania or depression. Aside from a shift in your mood, look for changes in your:”

  • Sleep patterns
  • Energy level
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Sex drive
  • Self-esteem
  • Concentration



How Antidepressants Hurt  Bipolar Disorder Sufferers

Getting rid of antidepressants, for those who suffer from Bipolar Disorder, can be scary at first, but continuing on these rapid-cycling enducing drugs harm you further and can cause your manic episodes to be more frequent and so much more intense. Stopping taking these antidepressants if you’re Bipolar and having rapid cycling. The rapid cycling will disappear slowly, everything takes time. Especially getting all of the medication out of your body. This took me weeks to recognize the difference, and within months I felt a million times better! 

“Discontinuing rather than maintaining antidepressant medications following treatment of depression in patients with rapid-cycling bipolar disorder (BD) appears to improve outcomes, new research shows.”

“Long-term continuation of antidepressants was associated with more mood episodes in patients with rapid-cycling bipolar disorder.”

“Any history of rapid cycling or antidepressant-induced mania is a very good predictor of doing poorly with long-term antidepressant treatment.”

When I was going to a Bipolar Specialist to receive my medications, (this is almost 10 years ago now) I was given antidepressants, but they made my head hurt, made my brain hurt, and gave me the worst rapid cycling in my life! In fact one day it was so bad, I had to go to the hospital due to my manic episodes I was having every 30 minutes! Can you even try to imagine your body having these incredible highs that make you want to scream from all the thoughts that are rushing through your head? It was my own misery. After that, I never saw that whack doctor again and I found myself the best doctor I have ever known to this day, when it comes to dealing with all these issues. I say that he saved me. 

“Antidepressants are the most commonly prescribed class of medication in BD. If they cause or worsen rapid cycling…this represents a major public health problem. Safely and effectively treating rather than exacerbating mood episodes in the most severely ill among this patient population is a priority.”

“Many clinicians have noted that depression is more common in patients on antidepressants. A randomized discontinuation study in a sample that appears to have benefited from an antidepressant was the best way to test the hypothesis.”

I feel that so many people are suffering with their bipolar meds, and I know half of them need to quit taking their antidepressants, and try something specifically designed for bipolar, like Abilify. That is what I take now. I am on a very low dosage because my bipolar is so well managed. I want awareness passed on. I want to help those suffering. Please make an open dialogue about this. You’ll be surprised how open people will be with you if you give them a chance. You’ll also find the amount of people suffering with a mental illness is much more than what you believe. The person you work next to might be bipolar. So let’s all be a little more sensitive and spread awareness!

“Among patients with rapid-cycling BD and those with non-rapid-cycling BD who had discontinued antidepressants, the patients with rapid-cycling BD who continued antidepressants had 268% more total mood episodes per year, 293% more depressive episodes per year, and 28.8% less time in remission compared with the patients with non-rapid-cycling BD who continued antidepressants.”

“Paradoxical as it sounds, antidepressants worsen depression in bipolar illness,” Dr Ghaemi told Medscape Medical News. “This isn’t paradoxical when we realize that bipolar illness is an illness of recurrent mood episodes, mostly depressive, and antidepressants make more and more mood episodes happen, which means that they cause more depressive episodes.”


Bipolar Mood Diary – and why you need to have one

It is so important for those with bipolar disorder, or suffering from depression, and want their stability in life to improve, then you must start charting a mood diary, or mood chart. I have been using a mood diary to check my stability for years now. After charting my mood for a few months, I became so much more insightful about myself. I gained so much self-awareness. This is because when you start tracking your moods, habits, times of day when you eat, get angry, etc., you are able to look at yourself without any transperancy. You see just how little sleep you are getting, or how your circadian-rhythm is different by noticing times you sleep, compared to most average sleepers. Once you have written down, honestly written all of the details you can remember, you have a much better time being able to assess yourself and there is no denying any of that. I have become so self-aware of my habits and times when I become manic, and so forth.

There are so many different styled mood charts, or mood diaries. They all will be different, with different information required for each chart. There are many differently purposed mood-charts also. Take your time deciding which chart would purpose you best. Ask yourself what information is useful for gaining knowledge to know yourself better? Ask yourself what your biggest problems might be, and what areas of your life need the most attention?

Here are some of my favorite, listed by most favorite as first, that I have used, and has helped me achieve the goals I had for them.



Mood Chart 2

Mood Chart 3


Mood Chart 4




Sleep Quality Affects Mood in Bipolar Women

Bipolar Women’s Moods Affected by Sleep
“Sleep problems are common in people with bipolar disorder, and poor sleep quality and bipolar disorder appear to exacerbate each other.”

“Previous research shows that poor sleep quality is a symptom of depressive and manic episodes, and that lack of sleep can trigger mania, explain researchers at Penn State College of Medicine and University of Michigan Medical School.”

“Patients with bipolar disorder often suffer with sleep problems even when many of their other symptoms are well-controlled,” said Dr. Erika Saunders, chair, department of psychiatry at Pennsylvania State College of Medicine.”

“Improving their sleep could not only better their quality of life, but also help them avoid mood episodes.”

“Finding the best treatments for sleep disorders in people with bipolar disorder meant investigating differences between women and men with the condition.”

“Women and men sleep differently,” Saunders explained. “We know from studies of the general population that women have a different type of sleep architecture than men, and they’re at different risks for sleep disorders, particularly during the reproductive years.”
Women and men also experience bipolar disorder differently. Women often have more persistent and more depressive symptoms, as well as a number of other coexisting conditions such as anxiety, eating disorders, and migraine headaches. Men tend to have shorter episodes and more time in between episodes.”

“Because of these factors, we thought the impact that sleep quality might have on mood outcome in bipolar disorder may be different for men and women.”

“The researchers analyzed data from 216 participants in the Prechter Longitudinal Study of Bipolar Disorder at the University of Michigan Medical School. They looked at the effect of sleep quality at the beginning of the study on mood outcome over the next two years. Mood outcome was measured by the severity, frequency, and variability of depressive or manic symptoms.”

“Variability meant how much the individuals went up and down in terms of their symptoms.”

“For women, poor sleep quality predicted increased severity and frequency of depression and increased severity and variability of mania. Among men, baseline depression score and a personality trait called neuroticism were stronger predictors of mood outcome than sleep quality. The research was published in the Journal of Affective Disorders.”

“One unanswered question is why poor sleep affects women with bipolar disorder more than men. There could be a biological mechanism at work.”

“There is some suggestion from animal models that reproductive hormones affect the circadian rhythm system, which is a biological system that affects our need to sleep.”

“It could be that reproductive hormones are biologically affecting sleep in women and therefore also affecting mood outcomes. Or, it could have more to do with the type of sleep that women are getting. We’ll have to do more investigation into the biological underpinnings to understand that better.”

“Even before that question is answered, Saunders says the message is clear: “We feel it’s extremely important for clinicians and patients to recognize that sleep quality is an important factor that needs to be treated in patients with bipolar disorder, particularly in women.”


The Biggest Triggers of Bipolar Mood Swings

“Avoiding Top Bipolar Triggers”

“Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme shifts in mood — from high moments of grandeur to deeply depressed lows. ”

“And when those shifts are severe enough, they can have a profound effect on your life.”It may take months or years to piece your life back together after the damage is done”, says psychiatrist Jeffrey Bennett, MD, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield.”

“But can they be avoided? Perhaps. Understanding what triggers mood swings and planning ahead to deal with them can help you avoid a damaging episode of mania or depression.”
“One of the most common bipolar triggers is stress. In a study published in June 2014 in the Journal of Affective Disorders, negative or stressful life events seemed to trigger mood swings. “People with bipolar disorder are seven to eight times more likely to experience an unwanted, extended period of extreme mood shift — failure of their ususal coping mechanisms — in response to a stressful life event,” says Dr. Bennett. The events that cause serious stress are highly individual, but certain key life events and lifestyle patterns may act as triggers.”

“Skimping on Sleep”
“A change in your sleep pattern is a hallmark symptom of bipolar disorder — but it can also be a trigger.”
“Shift workers, people who work long hours, and students who are short on sleep are all at risk for bipolar mood swings related to a lack of sleep. Social rhythms therapy is the most effective prevention, Bennett says. This treatment approach, available in group as well as individual sessions, helps you develop an orderly life schedule surrounding sleep, diet, and exercise habits to make you more effective at managing bipolar disorder.”

Blow-Out Arguments

“Broken relationahips are too often the result of untreated bipolar disorder.”

“But getting into a spat with a loved one could also be a red flag: Your argument could be due to the irritability that signals an upcoming bipolar mood swing, or it could trigger a bipolar episode. Any type of relationship conflict — whether it’s with your partner, co-worker, family member, or friend — can trigger stress and send you over the edge. In a study published in May 2015 in the Journal of Affective Disorders, people with bipolar disorder said negative social experiences were among the events that triggered suicidal thinking for them.”

A Bad Breakup

“A number of people with bipolar disorder — especially those with a history of manic episodes — have failed marriages.”
“If you’re going through a divorce, working with your therapist through what is often a drawn-out — and extremely stressful — process can help. Bennett also says you might consider a durable power of attorney that allows someone else to make major decisions for you, such as financial ones, when you are going through bipolar mood swings because of a breakup.”

“Boozing and Using Drugs

“Abusing drugs and alcohol doesn’t cause bipolar disorder, but it can set off a serious bipolar episode. What’s more, about one in five people with bipolar disorder have a substance abuse problem, according to an analysis of data on young adults with mental illness published in February 2015 in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology.”
“Drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines may trigger mania, while alcohol is strongly linked to depressive episodes.”

Antidepressants and Other Medications”

“Can antidepressants make you manic? While recent studies have not done much to prove that antidepressants lead to mania in people with bipolar disorder, many psychiatrists say they’ve seen patients enter a manic phase after starting antidepressants — and some feel uncomfortable prescribing them to their bipolar patients.”
“What should you do about bipolar depression? Until more research is available on long-term safety, Keming Gao, MD, PhD, a professor of psychiatry at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, suggests the following: Antidepressants should only be used as a last resort for more serious symptoms of bipolar depression that have not responded to mood stabilizers; they should never be used for bipolar treatment alone; and patients and doctors should consider removing antidepressants once symptoms have responded.”
“Other medications that have been linked to manic episodes include corticosteroids, thyroid medications, and appetite suppressants.”

A brand new season

“About 20 percent of people with bipolar disorder experience fluctuations in mood when the weather changes. Specifically, they’re more likely to undergo seasonal depression during the early winter, and mania or hypomania during the spring or summer, according to a research review published in October 2014 in the Journal of Affective Disorders.”
“Experts chalk this up to sunlight: Your circadian rhythm, the body’s internal response to changes in a 24-hour day, responds to the amount of sunlight. This response is controlled by a complex set of genes commonly referred to as “clock genes.” If some of these genes are abnormal, you could be at risk for seasonal bipolar disorder.”


Job Loss

“One of life’s most unpredictable stressors? Losing your job.”
“And the emotions you may feel about your job loss can be equally unpredictable. People who weren’t satisfied with their work can find it liberating. For others, the financial and emotional strains involved can trigger major stress. Either way, the dramatic shift in emotions could trigger a bipolar episode.”
“It may be a good idea to put away three to six months of savings to help with the transition, should you lose your job.”


“The death of a loved one may the most stressful life event any of us will ever face. Many people continue managing bipolar disorder successfully through their mourning, but others develop “funeral mania,” says Dr. Bennett. This occurs when someone with controlled bipolar disorder attends the funeral of the loved one and almost instantly has a manic episode.”
“Prevention of a bipolar mood swing is possible if you and your therapist prepare in advance.”



A pocket guide to mood swings [trigger warning]

the lone lands

For all your mood swing identification needs.

Possible responses to breaking a glass:

  • Manic:  “Fucking fuck, I do not have time for this, I am TRYING to get things DONE if everything would just stop getting in my WAY for half a goddamn minute.  I am too smart and too important to be cleaning up fucking GLASS.”  Kicks the floor, stubs toe.  Stays up all night researching what kinds of glasses are least breakable, while also doing an intense workout, watching TV, listening to the radio, reading articles, being pissed off with the TV and radio and articles, and hatching plans to hop a freight train going West and subsist on itinerant work for a year.  Buys an expensive set of “unbreakable” glasses.  Walks on the glass and doesn’t notice cut feet until they become infected.
  • Hypomanic:  “There is a reason I broke this plate.  I just need to figure…

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Living Mindfully with Mood Disorders

Living Mindfully


Living Mindfully and Compassionately with Mood Disorders

“Manic depression, post-traumatic stress, and addiction are all complex psychiatric mood disorders that many suffer concurrently. Those of us who have been diagnosed with one or more of these mood disorders, or mental illnesses, (co-occurring) contend with debilitating symptoms, which may include severe anxiety, dramatic mood swings, rage, ruminations, flashbacks, and nightmares. Our manic episodes are often life-changing and can result in death. Although there are no cures for any of these disorders, adopting a Buddhist practice that includes mindfulness and Tonglen meditations can augment our existing treatment protocol.”


“Mindfulness Meditation:

Mindfulness is simply being fully aware and present in the moment. It’s like having an orchestra conductor inside our heads, who also serves as a gatekeeper—intercepting negative thoughts, such as urges, ruminations, flashbacks, and addiction cravings. When we’re free of these triggers and symptoms, we can concentrate, reach a higher consciousness, and embrace insights, which can lead to emotional breakthroughs and healing.

Belly breathing is the core technique for practicing mindfulness meditation. Also referred to as “abdominal” and “diaphragmatic” breathing, this is our inborn way of respiring and it has distinct advantages over breathing from our chest. Belly breathing enables us to take in more oxygen with fewer breaths—with more carbon dioxide being expelled on the out breath. Increased utilization of our diaphragm to breathe lowers our heart rate and helps to stabilize our blood pressure. Belly breathing stimulates the area just below the navel, where our body stores chi energy. This is where our Buddha nature resides.”


Click on the link above, to read the full article


Depression and Diet

Can Food Really Affect Your Mood?

“Trying to find a diet to ease depression? Unfortunately, there’s no specific diet that works for depression. No studies have been done that indicate a particular eating plan can ease symptoms of clinical depression.”


“Still, while certain diets or foods may not ease depression (or put you instantly in a better mood), a healthy diet may help as part of an overall treatment for depression. “


“How Can Diet Affect Depression?”



Do I make you Horny Baby? 5 Cocktails that will get you in the Mood


Meditation Time!

Before You Meditate…


Everyone who is bipolar, & even if you’re not, read this before your next yoga, or meditation session!

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