Nov 15

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How to Avoid Dangerous Bipolar Triggers During the Holidays

How to Avoid Dangerous Bipolar Triggers During the Holidays

How to Avoid Dangerous Bipolar Triggers During the Holidays

Would you like to Avoid Bipolar Triggers During the Holidays?  The holidays can create multiple triggers for people who suffer from bipolar disorders. Whether your schedule is disrupted because of parties, or you are worried about the extra spending, it is crucial to avoid triggers that can hurt your mental health. The NHS points out that self-care is an important part of surviving the holidays.   

Trigger 1: Letting Stress Affect Your Medication Schedule

The holidays can affect your daily routines, but it is essential that you continue to take your prescription medications. Patients who have bipolar disorder may feel overwhelmed and overstimulated by the extra holiday stress. However, maintaining a consistent medication schedule is important for long-term health. If you are concerned about forgetting to take your pills, then you want to set up multiple systems to help you. In addition to setting alarms and leaving notes, you can put alerts on your phone and computer.

Trigger 2: Using Alcohol and Other Drugs

Alcohol and drugs are common bipolar disorder triggers, and they are more prevalent during the holidays as people gather to celebrate and let go of their inhibitions. A study from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health found that one out of five people with bipolar disorders have an addiction problem. However, you must remain strong to avoid these triggers because they can sabotage your mental health.

Trigger 3: Skipping Sleep to Celebrate

It may be tempting to cut down on your sleep, so you can attend more parties or finish decorating the house. Unfortunately, sacrificing your sleep is another trigger for bipolar disorder episodes, so you want to avoid it. Even a small change in your normal sleep routine can cause mood swings and affect your mental health.

The holidays give you the chance to see relatives you may not visit often and to celebrate with your close friends. However, you want to avoid these common triggers because the holidays are also a popular time for problems that hurt your health.   I hope your holidays are going well!


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  1. 1
    Sandra Watts

    My son is bipolar. It can be so difficult for everyone. Avoiding triggers is for the best.

    1. 1.1

      I’m sure that is difficult for you as well Sandra. As you say, living with someone who is bipolar is hard.

  2. 2

    I have a brother who deals with pretty severe bipolar issues. It is always worse during the holidays. I imagine stress and general influences to the “norm” contribute. Thanks for this post.

    1. 2.1

      Thanks for sharing Kelly. My husband was diagnosed BP 2 years ago and I dread the holidays due to that. I am always on guard because he doesn’t seem to be aware when he escalates.

  3. 3
    Tamra Phelps

    While I’m not bipolar, I know I always get a little depressed this time of year. After years of just ignoring it, I finally faced the fact that it’s probably due to the fact that my parents marriage broke up around thiat time when I was a kid. Amazing that 40 years later I can still be bothered by that!

    1. 3.1

      I’m sorry Tamra. Significant events in our youth can really affect us forever. We have to learn how to react and internalize the emotions.

  4. 4
    jenn stapp

    Those are really important tips. I’m glad I found your blog!!

    1. 4.1

      Thanks Jenn and I’m glad you found us too!

  5. 5
    Terry Poage

    These are great reminders. It is so important to avoid as much stress as possible.

  6. 6
    Lori J Pouncey

    I think the holidays for a lot of people do trigger emotional issues. It isbso important to share mental awareness issues this time of year to remind people they are not alone in their fight. Thank you so much for sharing ☺

  7. 7
    Sue E

    As a kid, my holidays were nothing to brag about! We walked on pins and needles around my father. IF he was in a good mood than the day was alright. I made amends with my dad and invited him to my wedding. Unfortunately,he never made it. Three days before our wedding, my dad’s neighbor found him dead in the snow! We got married the day after Christmas! Then my husband’s mom died on New Years Day. I always have mixed up and down feelings during this time of year. I am on antidepressants, but it seems like they don’t even help then. So I’m NOT good with stress around the holidays. Thanks for these tips & I shared so it might help others.

    1. 7.1

      Sorry about such tragic events for the holidays. That makes it so hard to have any “normal” holiday if there is such a thing. I too as a child had to walk on pins/needles with my alcoholic step-father. He turned mean with old age and it was very hard on me. I remain on antidepressants also….but when I dip too low on dosage..I can notice and HAVE to go back up on dosage or I am a mess.
      I wish you a happy holiday season!

  8. 8
    Judy Thomas

    Thank you.I have family members who are bipolar and it is great to get information like this to keep in the know.

  9. 9
    Dotty J Boucher

    I have a grandson who is bipolar, I know for us we try to understand and be patient with him, its hard on us but I am sure it is harder on him,

  10. 10
    Angela Lombardi

    Thanks for sharing this great information!!!!

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