What you Should Know about Mood Swings

bipolar mood swings therapy

You're humming along doing things like a "normal" person, and you think finally the bipolar symptoms have slithered away. You're feeling more competent and capable, and even volunteer to do extra things just because you can. As a result of feeling good and doing so well, you begin to expect more of yourself. Your family, friends, and co-workers come to anticipate more too. The praise and encouragement helps to fuel your confidence.

I'm awesome today...and now I suck, again!

When suddenly, it seems, your motivation dims and you're taking more naps. The energy that fueled you to attend those social events has dwindled and you start isolating. Your appetite is diminished and you're struggling to concentrate, wishing you didn't have all these responsibilities anymore. Depression is creeping back into your life.

Maybe you're excelling in your job duties and feeling fearless about taking care of your increasing load of responsibilities. Fantastic ideas flood your mind while you're reorganizing your office and cleaning out the closet, when you realize you haven't slept more than three or four hours a night the past week. Mania has landed. 

Adjusting to mood swings in a healthy way is one of the most difficult skills for people who are living with bipolar or any mood disorder to master. During a stable period when you're able to make it to class, go back to work, and take care of your house, having the ability to meet your own and others expectations feels awesome. When another mood episode interrupts those abilities, it can be difficult to recognize and acknowledge, and devastating to your self-esteem.

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Aim for moderation

Life is not all or nothing; there is a lot of ground between perfection and failure. Life happens, as the saying goes, whether you have a mood disorder or not. Everyone has to adjust in some way when there are more life demands, and less time and energy. For people with bipolar disorder, depression, or anxiety, it's even more crucial to accept the need to shift priorities. When symptoms are diminished or ceased, then functioning goes up, and when anxiety, depression or insomnia visit, it may decrease your what and how much you can do.

Having mood swings doesn't mean you're a failure 

It means you need to reduce stressors and increase self-care. You may have to adjust your expectations of yourself and communicate your limits to others around you. Figure out what your specific boundaries and needs are, and then express them to your loved ones. Ask for support to follow your self-care plan.

How to build confidence

Know the signs of when depression, mania, anxiety, or a mixed state are beginning to form and how it affects you. Pay attention to what these symptoms look like for you and note them using a mood charting app, a journal, or creating a list to help you recognize them in the future. 

Learn mindfulness techniques to become self-aware of ways in which the different mood states affect your thinking, emotions and physical well-being.

For example, mood swing symptoms may include: sleeping more, forgetting to eat, becoming irritable, isolating, talking non-stop, body aches, restlessness, brain fog, increased fears and anxiety, racing thoughts, or impulsive behaviors. Provide your list of "red flag" symptoms to your support network with a plan of action. Let your support people know they can express concern to you and/or your treatment team if they notice those things occurring.

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Once you gather all that information, you are equipped to make positive changes to help manage the symptoms and reduce stress. With this plan in place, you and the trusted people around you will be alert to the signs, and you can be confident that you know what and how to respond to get the support you need.

you deserve to feel good about yourself!

I specialize in helping people increase self-awareness, create a mood swing response plan, and gain understanding of how to move forward using healthy coping skills with self-confidence.

I'm passionate about helping people with bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety learn to love themselves no matter what symptoms they're experiencing. Development of positive self-worth is equally important to the concrete self-care plan. Call me 916-295-1819 for your free 20 minute phone consultation to see how I may help you or your loved one. You can also send me an email or click the green button that says schedule a phone consultation to get to my calendar and reserve your free phone consult. 

Photos by Eye for Ebony and Jonathan Pendleton on Unsplash