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Bipolar Disorder & Relapse

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Bipolar Disorder & Relapse

Post  Admin on Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:55 am

Bipolar Disorder & Relapse

“You can never say that someone with bipolar disorder has had their last episode; relapse is part of the illness,” explains Alan C. Swann, MD, professor and vice chair for research in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston and director of research for the University of Texas Harris County Psychiatric Center.

Why relapse occurs is largely unknown. But we do know certain facts based on research findings, according to Joseph R. Calabrese, M.D., director of the Mood Disorders Program at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, in this excellent article in bp Magazine on relapse:

According to a 1999 study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, 73% of those diagnosed with bipolar disorder experienced at least one relapse over a five-year period; of those who relapsed, two-thirds had multiple relapses.

Check out this article on Bipolar Disorder: Tips for Reducing Relapse
1. Even if you aren’t sure why a previously simple task is now a stressor, consider the reasons it was so tough or unnerving for you, Brondolo said.
2. Try to maintain the same sleep schedule every night. Remember the importance of keeping a regular routine for all daily activities.
3. “Don’t abruptly reduce your medication, unless you work out a safe way to do this with your doctor,” [clinical psychologist Monica Ramirez] Basco said.
4. Learn how to problem solve, so when a stressor comes up, those skills are ready, Basco said. It’s also good to learn techniques to relieve tension and calm your thoughts and emotions.
5. Know yourself well enough to identify the early signs and get help quickly; don’t try to tough it out, Basco said. Controlling mild symptoms increases the chance they won’t become major ones.

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