Bipolar triggers are behaviors and outside events that lead to bipolar disorder symptoms. As you probably know from experience, these triggers can be positive or negative. You often have control of them, but some are just part of everyday life.

Getting to know your personal triggers helps with bipolar disorder symptoms to prevent relapse and stop symptoms from getting worse. Common triggers you may experience include:

Sleep difficulties A regular sleep routine — going to bed and waking up at the same time every day — is a good way to keep things stable.

Illness that is not treated or managed.

Disruption to sleep patterns decreases in the time the person sleeps can contribute to hypomanic or manic symptoms, and increases in sleep or bedrest may be followed by depressive symptoms.

Disruption to routine. A regular structure and regular bedtime and waking up times, regular activities and social contact can help to maintain the bodies sleep patterns and usual energy level

Conflict and stressful interactions with people

Too much stimulation from within the person Overstimulation from lots of activity and excitement when the person tries to achieve challenging goals or having stimulating substances like caffeine or nicotine

Abusing alcohol or street drugs can cause the person to have ongoing bipolar symptoms, more frequent relapses and hospitalizations.

Stressful negative or positive life events The birth of a baby, a promotion, losing a job, ending a relationship or moving. The trick is to manage it. Try regular exercise, avoid caffeine and alcohol, and watch your diet.

Meditation also can ease depression and anxiety.

Too much stimulation from external sources Clutter, traffic, noise, light, crowds, work deadlines or social activities etc.

Travel – especially travel with time zone changes.

Relationship problems.

Non-supportive family members and friends.

Excessive media exposure to stressful world events.

Helping to reduce bipolar triggers
Positive methods a person may use to reduce stress and maintain stability include:

Taking ongoing medication as prescribed for bipolar disorder.

Having regular sleep patterns.

Maintaining a basic routine.

Exercising regularly (provided this is not done close to bedtime as this can interfere with sleep). Besides enhancing physical health, regular exercise has a positive effect on anxiety, depression, sleep problems and self esteem.

Regulating the stimulation they receive. Support the person’s decision to have quiet times between social engagements or restore sleep habits after celebrations

Setting realistic manageable goals.

Stopping or reducing the use of substances that make bipolar moods worse namely caffeine, alcohol or street drugs

Eating a healthy diet

Finding ways to relax and unwind

Adopting a problem solving approach to difficulties.

Accepting that not all problems can be solved, but people can try to make the most of things the way they are.

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