Living Well with Bipolar Disorder

5 lifestyle strategies that can make the difference between feeling just okay and feeling great (7 Photos)

Laurie Tarkan on Feb 28, 2011 at 1:35AM

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Living Well with Bipolar Disorder

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Why Drugs Aren't the Only Answer

Bipolar disorder, an illness characterized by wild shifts in mood—from deep depression to out-of-control mania—can be severely disabling, even when treated with medication. But according to a study in the Journal of Affective Disorders, when pharmalogical treatments are combined with certain lifestyle strategies, a person with bipolar disorder can have an excellent quality of life. "We're now seeing that medications by themselves are not sufficient to keep most people well," says the study's lead author, Erin E. Michalak, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Mood Disorders Centre at the University of British Columbia. "To live well with bipolar disorder, we need to also look at psychosocial factors and wellness strategies." Michalak and her colleagues looked at the self-management strategies of high-functioning people with bipolar to determine the most successful ways of coping with and preventing manic or depressive episodes. Here are their recommendations.
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