Bipolar Disorder: What It Is, Triggers and How to Curb It

close up of a man and his dark reflection in a glass wall

Publish date

Nov 18, 2021

Post Author

Healthy U Behavioral Health


Episodes of bipolar disorder can be extremely difficult to handle in daily life. You can decrease the intensity of episodes by recognizing signs, symptoms, and triggers that could aggravate the problem. Tried and tested steps to help you control possible triggers can crucial. Your next bipolar episode and its severe side effects on your emotional, mental and physical health can be mitigated with timely action.

To begin with, bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that impacts millions of people across the globe. Somewhat surprisingly, the exact cause of bipolar disorders is unknown. However, there can be several factors at play, including genetics, brain structure, and stress management. Nevertheless, managing its signs and symptoms becomes a necessity, given its wide list of long-term health impacts. These symptoms can be subtle at the beginning and become more visible or noticeable in later stages. Some people experience only minor episodes, while certain others get major setbacks in health due to a bipolar episode. The frequency of these bipolar episodes also varies across individuals.

Let us begin by first understanding what bipolar disorder is and how it affects the person suffering from it.

What Is Bipolar Disorder? 

There are several types of bipolar disorders, but the most common one was formerly called manic depression. It refers to a mental health condition causing extreme shifts in moods such as emotional highs (hypomania) and emotional lows (depression).

The basic side effects seen in an individual when they suffer from a bipolar episode include:

  • Extreme mood swings
  • Energy changes in the body
  • Restless activity levels
  • Unclear thinking or confusion
  • in certain extreme cases, hallucinations or delusions

These effects can be seen in varying frequency, severity, and types across different persons. What is important is identifying the various signs and symptoms which the person is most likely to be showing over some time. Identifying these can be a blessing to avoid major episodes.

Look Out for These Triggers of Your Next Bipolar Episode

There are particular occurrences that frequently trigger bipolar episodes. Some examples are:

#1. Sleep Disturbances 

Lack of a good sleep routine over time, experiencing disturbed sleep, or oversleeping gets in the way of your usual body functioning. This acts as a major trigger (and also one of the first signs) of an episode of bipolar disorder settling in.

#2. Spousal Relation Tension or Family Dispute 

These are critical issues that trigger a bipolar episode in many people. Disputes, familial tensions, fights, and other stressful situations with spouses and relatives can cause mental changes or distress.

#3. Loss of a Closed One or Family Member 

Death, illness, or a breakup with a close one in the family can be a trigger for people. If you are highly attached to a loved one emotionally and mentally, their loss can cause an emotional shock that leads to an episode.

#4. Intoxication or Unusual Substance Intake 

Drinking and/or using high amounts of substances can be harmful to people suffering from bipolar disorders. Consumption of certain substances can worsen the manic symptoms, while others can serve as triggers for depressive symptoms.

#5. Seasonal Changes 

To some people’s surprise, seasonal changes also trigger bipolar episodes in people. Early winters especially are a time when depressive symptoms can worsen.

Reducing the Effects of Your Next Bipolar Disorder Episode

Here are some tips to help you lessen the intensity of your next bipolar episode:

  • Be in constant or regular touch with your healthcare provider.
  • Ensure you take proper advised medications on time, without any misses.
  • Utilize mental relaxation techniques like playing a relaxing game or meditating.
  • Maintain open communication with your doctor, family, spouse, and children.
  • Indicate any minor mood changes or symptoms to your closed ones.
  • Ask questions and express concerns that you may have related to your everyday health.
  • Monitor your symptoms, signs, and mood swings.
  • Manage your finances and do not overspend if you feel financial difficulties trigger your moods.
  • Take up responsibilities or work pressures that you can easily handle without too much additional burden.
  • Do not enter into any type of argument with your peers or family members. Accept others the way they are to help them accept you and your views better.

Bipolar disorders must be understood by the person and their family members in full detail. Their symptoms and signs can be seen well in advance and managed effectively. Knowing the various triggers that can worsen these symptoms is a must, and following certain useful steps can be done to help curb these and avoid a possible bipolar disorder episode.

Bipolar disorder affects a person’s mental, emotional, and physical health in many ways. If not controlled on time and under professional supervision, such episodes can turn dangerous for the person as well as their friends, family members, and partners. Understanding this condition in full detail is essential to help you identify the triggers better and treat them effectively. There are several triggers shown by different persons. These must be detected on time and treated via various recovery paths. If you or your close one is struggling to identify the subtle signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder, seek expert advice as soon as possible. External help from trained healthcare professionals gives you the right guidance for treatment and recovery. HealthyU can serve as your safe place for treating your bipolar disorder symptoms under industry-reputed healthcare professionals. Feel free to call our representatives to inquire about our most trusted mental health outpatient program at (619) 542-9542.