Recognizing Early Signs of Mania & Depression
Depression / Mental Health

Recognizing Early Signs of Mania & Depression

By Susan Finley, Ed.D., NCC

 “To heal illness, begin by restoring balance.” –Carolone Myss

Individuals who struggle with the ups and downs of bipolar disorder (along with their loved ones) can tell you that there are definite changes in mood and behavior preceding the onset of mania or depression. Some individuals know themselves well and can identify when to ask for and receive extra help with managing the disorder. Others are not as keen to their own mood fluctuations and may need assistance from family, co-workers, therapists, and friends to recognize the symptoms early on. The quicker one can pinpoint breaks in mood and behavior, the greater the chances of intercepting the onset of full-blown mania or depression.

The medical symptoms of bipolar disorder are outlined in the DSM-V. Every person is unique, therefore specific warning signs are easier to identify early on when there is an awareness of which symptoms that person experiences most frequently. When the early signs of mania and depression arise, it is helpful to have an arsenal of tools one can use. For example, it is essential to address apparent triggers by introducing healthy coping skills and grounding techniques to the individual’s self-care routine. The implementation of new methods is a good way to continue building confidence.

In order to effectively learn and recognize the signs of mania and depression, it is useful to keep a mood chart– a calendar that keeps a record of one’s daily/nightly life. Factors to keep track of include sleep patterns, drug or alcohol use, medication, diet, and any changes in weight or exercise. When a significant life event or stressor occurs, these things should be recorded on the calendar as well. For women, keeping track of their menstrual cycle is also helpful due to the effect hormones have on overall mood and brain chemistry. Having those closest to the individual also keep track of typical changes in routine is useful when treating and managing bipolar disorder. After recording for a few months, the individual, their family, friends, and therapist have a physical representation of events and begin to see recurring patterns allowing them to more readily identify and address triggers early on.

A simple way to explain managing bipolar disorder is to give the example of eczema. The earlier it is treated, the less severe the outbreak and quicker the healing time. In addition, staying calm and knowing that the outbreak is temporary and not permanent, that it will pass, and avoiding unnecessary stress will all make the healing process faster.

Remember, every body and every mind experiences the changes that occur leading up to a bipolar episode differently. Keeping track of these changes does not guarantee that an individual will cease to have the exhilarating highs and excruciating lows that characterize bipolar disorder. More realistically, it will help with managing severe mood fluctuations if and when they do occur. Recognizing the early signs and practicing self-awareness is empowering for the individual to have an understanding of the active part they play in managing the disorder.

 

Susan Finley, Ed.D., NCC is an educator, published researcher, and social media consultant for therapists. She is a National Certified Counselor (NCC), Board Certified-TeleMental Health Provider (BC-TMH), and Suicide Prevention Instructor (QPR) under the National Board for Certified Counselors.

 

How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest! We love connecting with our audience.

Contact Passages Malibu

Click here to load this Caspio Online Database.

Author

mark.bailey@passagesmalibu.com
Passages is the industry leader in holistic non-12 Step addiction treatment. We have been treating people for more than 17 years. Our team of professionals are highly trained in their prospective fields and constantly strive to offer the most innovative and effective therapy possible. We offer detox, residential treatment, and outpatient services. We accept most insurance plans. For a free quote and more information on how to enroll in our treatment programs, please call us today at (888) 397-0112.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *