Bipolar disorder is a serious mental health issue, which affects 5 million people in the United States alone! It is characterized by alternating episodes of depression and mania, and it can play a negative role on overall quality of life.
Due to the constant mood changes, one might find it difficult to progress with everyday activities. Even though there is no cure for bipolar disorder, the condition can be kept under control through a combination of medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes.
It is essential for the person who suffers from a bipolar disorder to build healthy habits and manage his/her mood in an effective manner. Stress reduction is also important, as chronic stress is a major contributive factor to the episodes of depression (R). This is why we advise you consider using CareClinic as your bipolar app as it helps manage all aspects of your health to safely manage bipolar disorder using check-ins, mood tracking logs, and reports.
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Using a bipolar app to look after your mental health
Modern technology has allowed us to become empowered whereas our health is concerned. Smartphone applications, such as the CareClinic health app, can now be used to track mood changes and additional symptoms of a bipolar disorder so that we can lead a life that is healthier and more balanced.
It is difficult to live with a bipolar disorder, especially when it comes to establishing connections with other people and maintaining an adequate quality of life. With the help of bipolar apps, one can develop emotional intelligence and build self-awareness. Goals can be easily set up and followed through for improvement.
Mood tracking & triggers
One can trust the app as a bipolar log, using it to track the daily mood and identify potential triggers or events (leading to a new episode or relapse). The entries can be later reviewed, either on your own or with the help of a therapist. The application will generate monthly reports, which can also be shared with healthcare professionals – these will certainly provide useful information on the progress you have made. This report can be used to discuss specific triggers and improve your overall care.
The entries recorded within the application can be displayed in your monthly calendar so that you can always refer to a particular entry. You can view charts and graphics regarding your mood, identifying patterns of negative behavior that can lead to depression or mania.
Using such bipolar apps, you can track your highs and lows on a daily basis. You can notice when you are most depressed or elated if you have experienced psychotic symptoms or felt irritable throughout the entire day. You might also want to mention how severe and frequent your symptoms were, as such information can reflect your general well-being.
One can track additional symptoms, which influence the mood, such as the presence of headaches and nausea. Many women find it useful to record details about co-existent conditions, such as anxiety or panic disorder. The menstrual cycle can influence the manifestations of bipolar disorder, so it is useful to record information on it as well.
A comprehensive treatment plan & medication reminders
Another advantage of the application is that you can use it to create a comprehensive treatment plan. You can rely on the app to add all of the therapies you have undertaken, as well the different types of medication and other treatment solutions. You can review the treatment plan at any moment you might desire and make changes when necessary. For each medication, you can add the dosage, frequency and potential side-effects. The application can even generate information on potential interactions between different drugs.
When you suffer from a condition such as bipolar disorder, it can be difficult to keep track of every treatment. Applications such as CareClinic offer a simple and effective method of keeping track of one’s treatment. They will ensure that you stay safe while taking medication, managing your mood in an appropriate manner.
If you have difficulties keeping track of all your medication, you might want to consider setting up a reminder. This is easy to do, even when you do not have too much experience with smartphone apps. Upon setting a reminder, the application will send you a push notification. The snooze feature is useful in the situation that you fail to take your medication at the reminded date.
It is also useful to know that you can set up reminders for doctor or therapy appointments so that you never forget when the next visit will take place. Reminders can be used for prescription refills or any other things you need to remember as part of a busy schedule.
A self-care plan for Mental Health
Aside from using the CareClinic health tracker as a bipolar tracker, it is convenient to use it to create a self-care plan. What kind of things should this plan include? Well, for instance, you might add techniques that you have found to be useful in dealing with the symptoms of your illness.
You can add the deep breathing technique, as this has been found appropriate for dealing with chronic stress or sadness. It is based on diaphragmatic breathing and, believe it or not, it can actually improve your mood. Research has confirmed that it actually has a calming effect, deactivating the fight-or-flight response. The more often it is practiced, the easier you will find it to calm yourself in times of stress.
A built-in journal to deal with emotions
A huge part of living with a bipolar disorder involves dealing with a whirlwind of emotions, either positive or negative. The CareClinic app offers a built-in journal, in which one can write about the emotions experienced and detail coping strategies.
It can be therapeutic to share how you are feeling, not to mention you can always go back to what you have written and see what made you feel in that particular way. You will find it easier to manage your mood, identifying the things that can make you relapse.
Use the journal to document daily events and do not hesitate to be honest, as you stand a lot to gain from speaking from the heart. Mention if you have made progress and appreciate yourself for the effort you are making. The journal will help you discover negative behavioral patterns and, at the same time, establishing healthy ones.
As you will document your day and analyze your mood swings, you will be able to discover the connection between daily activities and your depression/mania. The journal entries can be shared, when desired, with healthcare professionals, guiding the treatment in the right direction.
Using Care teams to Keep You on Track
The CareClinic health app allows you to create a care team, in which you can add family members, friends and healthcare professionals. You can connect with them and receive the necessary support, thus ensuring the desired relapse prevention. You can inform your care team about mood changes and early warning signs, as well as about the treatment progress you have made.
Everything you need to know on the bipolar disorder
As it was mentioned in the beginning of the article, bipolar disorder is a mental health issue, which is defined by the alternating episodes of mania and depression. The condition can disrupt daily life, affecting academic or work performance, as well as personal relationships.
Once known as manic depression, it is characterized by serious mood changes, which can affect energy levels, thinking and behavior. The mood swings can be so severe that they will prevent one from functioning.
Despite extensive research, there is no known cause that can lead to bipolar disorder. A number of risk factors, however, have been identified. A family history of bipolar disorder or other mental health issues, chronic high levels of stress, brain chemical imbalances and physical illness are among the most common risk factors. Those who have suffered from trauma, relationship difficulties, abuse or loss, are also at risk of developing such a condition. (R)
Are there any warning signs?
- Person experiences intense feelings of happiness or elation for an extended period
- High energy levels, one does not feel the need to sleep
- Impulsive, risky or reckless behavior (gambling for example)
- Fast-talking & racing thoughts
- Exhibiting excess confidence
- Goes from one activity to the other, without finishing
- Gets easily distracted.
- Experiencing feelings of sadness for an extended period
- Social isolation – avoids interacting with friends, family members, co-workers
- No longer interested in otherwise pleasurable activities
- Loss of appetite
- Low energy levels
- Memory impairment & concentration difficulties
- Poor-decision making abilities
- Self-harm or suicidal thoughts; might become preoccupied with death. (R)
How to manage the bipolar disorder
Given the severe consequences this condition can have on the general well-being, it is essential to find the best management solutions. As a rule, most people who suffer from this condition are advised to take both medication and go to therapy. The earlier the intervention is started, the better the prognosis is going to be.
These are the most common intervention solutions for bipolar disorder:
- Medication and hospitalization in case of acute mania
- Lithium and valproic acid to stabilize the bipolar disorder (manic episodes)
- Neuroleptic medication for psychosis
- Benzodiazepines in case of agitation (risk of addiction)
- Antidepressants for depressive episodes (SSRIs)
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Talking therapy.
Patients are taught how to manage their condition, learning how to recognize their triggers and identify episodes of mania/depression. Lifestyle changes, such as becoming more physically active, eating healthy and sleeping for at least 7-8 hours, are also beneficial.
Meditation can be useful for those who suffer from such mental health issues, helping them achieve a state of peace and inner calm. It can be used to slow down and reduce racing thoughts, improving overall functioning. One can opt for guided meditation, especially in the beginning. Acupressure and yoga have also been found to be useful for bipolar patients. (R)
CareClinic, the perfect app for you
If you have been diagnosed with a bipolar disorder or if you suspect that you are suffering from this condition, you can benefit from using the CareClinic health app. The free mobile app is available on both iOS and Android, and there is also a web version that you can try.
As you have seen, the application comes with a number of features, which are highly beneficial for those who suffer from bipolar disorder. You can use it to keep track of your mood changes and other symptoms, to identify potential triggers and establish treatment & self-care plans. Last, but not least, you can use its built-in journal for emotional release and share all your entries with the concerned healthcare professionals.