Ways Stress Can Affect Bipolar Disorder

Stressed person

Exposure to life stress is known to impact the course of bipolar disorder adversely.

It can be a challenging illness to manage, but with proper support for bipolar disorder, people can lead fulfilling lives.

One of the significant triggers for bipolar episodes is stress.

Stress plays a significant impact in the onset and progression of the condition; this makes it important for individuals with the condition to develop coping strategies.

Thus, understanding stress and its relationship to bipolar disorder might help you learn to manage stress and avoid relapses.

One of these is the increased potential of manic episodes.

Research shows that high-stress levels can trigger manic episodes in bipolar people.

Also, just as it can lead to an increased potential of manic episodes, the same thing relates to depressive episodes.

Additionally, overall, stress can gradually worsen the symptoms of bipolar disorder in a person, impacting the quality of life of a bipolar person.

Learn more ways stress can affect bipolar disorder below. 

Bipolar Disorder Therapists in Colorado

Katherine Miller, LPCC

Katherine Miller, LPCC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Leigh Harlan, LPC

Leigh Harlan, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Amber Chambless, LPC

Amber Chambless, LPC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Jenifer Seas, LCSW

Jenifer Seas, LCSW

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Shannon Hamm, LPC, CCTP

Shannon Hamm, LPC, CCTP

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Seth Boughton, SWC

Seth Boughton, SWC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Shannon Matlock, LPC, NCC

Shannon Matlock, LPC, NCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 203-7021
Sarah Munk, LPC

Sarah Munk, LPC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Heather Comensky, LPC

Heather Comensky, LPC

Aurora, Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Bonna Machlan, Ph.D., LPC, CAS

Bonna Machlan, Ph.D., LPC, CAS

Colorado
(719) 452-4374

Difficulty Managing Symptoms

Managing the symptoms of bipolar disorder is one of the difficult aspects of living with it.

Unfortunately, stress can make this already difficult task even more daunting.

When people with bipolar disorder are stressed, it can be all-consuming, making it difficult to focus on anything else.

For example, someone who takes their prescription at the same time every day may forget to do so during a particularly stressful period.

Furthermore, stress can make it difficult for people with bipolar disorder to maintain healthy behaviors like eating healthily, exercising, and sleeping enough.

As a result, sticking to a treatment plan might be difficult, which can lead to a relapse or worsening of symptoms.

In order to handle the stress that comes with bipolar disorder, it's critical to have a support system in place.

This may entail getting professional help, developing healthy coping techniques, and establishing a self-care regimen that works for you.

Stress may be managed, and the risk of a bipolar episode is reduced with the correct tools and support.

Increased Potential Of Manic Episodes

For those with bipolar disorder, stress can be a trigger for manic episodes.

Extreme highs, including euphoria, increased energy levels, and impulsive behavior, characterize these episodes.

As a result, stress can aggravate these symptoms, increasing the frequency and severity of manic episodes.

The impact of stress on manic episodes can be seen in a range of situations.

For example, stress at work or in relationships might cause heightened anxiety, which can precipitate a manic episode.

Stress induced by a big life event, such as the death or loss of someone or something, or financial difficulties, can potentially trigger an episode.

While stress management is useful for reducing the likelihood of a manic episode, it is not always possible to avoid them totally.

As a result, it's necessary to have a strategy in place for dealing with manic episodes when they occur.

This may include modifying medication levels, seeking professional assistance, or reaching out to a support system of loved ones and mental health specialists.

Risk of Addiction

One of the significant ways that stress can affect bipolar disorder is by increasing the risk of addiction.

According to research, people with bipolar disorder are more prone to battle addiction than the general population, and stress can play a key role.

When stressed, people may resort to harmful coping techniques like consuming alcohol, using drugs, or indulging in other addictive activities.

These behaviors can develop into an addiction, making managing bipolar disorder even more difficult.

Addiction can also increase the symptoms of bipolar disorder, making it more difficult to control.

Bipolar people must understand the risk of addiction and take efforts to manage stress healthily.

Seeking professional treatment, participating in support groups, or adopting a self-care routine that works for you are all options. 

Bipolar Disorder Therapists in Colorado

Bipolar Disorder Therapists in Colorado

Katherine Miller, LPCC

Katherine Miller, LPCC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Leigh Harlan, LPC

Leigh Harlan, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Amber Chambless, LPC

Amber Chambless, LPC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Jenifer Seas, LCSW

Jenifer Seas, LCSW

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Shannon Hamm, LPC, CCTP

Shannon Hamm, LPC, CCTP

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Seth Boughton, SWC

Seth Boughton, SWC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Shannon Matlock, LPC, NCC

Shannon Matlock, LPC, NCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 203-7021
Sarah Munk, LPC

Sarah Munk, LPC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Heather Comensky, LPC

Heather Comensky, LPC

Aurora, Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Bonna Machlan, Ph.D., LPC, CAS

Bonna Machlan, Ph.D., LPC, CAS

Colorado
(719) 452-4374

Increased Potential of Depressive Episodes

Another way that stress can affect bipolar disorder is by increasing the potential for depressive episodes.

People experiencing a depressive episode, in most cases, experience feelings of melancholy, hopelessness, and a loss of energy.

Stress, according to studies, can cause depressive episodes in persons with bipolar disorder, making it more difficult to manage the condition efficiently.

Everyday stressors, such as traffic, work deadlines, or financial concerns, can, for example, can compound over time and induce depressive symptoms.

Furthermore, stress might make engaging in healthy behaviors like exercising or interacting with friends more difficult, which can increase depressive symptoms.

Bipolar people need to recognize the potential effects of stress on depressive episodes and employ effective stress management measures.

People with bipolar disorder can lower their risk of depressive episodes and enhance their general quality of life by practicing healthy stress management. 

Worsening Symptoms

Stress can affect bipolar disorder, leading to a worsening of symptoms.

For example, stress can affect sleep habits, resulting in exhaustion and irritability, which might precipitate a manic or depressive episode.

Furthermore, stress can raise anxiety levels, making it difficult for those with bipolar disorder to manage their symptoms properly.

Anxiety can also create physical symptoms like rapid heartbeat or sweating, which might be misinterpreted as manic or depressive episodes.

In addition, stress can make it more difficult for persons with bipolar disorder to stick to their treatment plan, such as taking medications or going to therapy appointments.

Bipolar people can handle stress more effectively if they recognize the potential effects of stress on bipolar signs and symptoms and adopt techniques and lifestyle routines that can improve their quality of life. 

Conclusion

Stress can significantly affect bipolar disorder, making it more challenging to manage the condition effectively.

However, seeking support for bipolar disorder, such as from a professional or support group, can also be helpful in managing stress and improving overall mental health.

It's crucial to prioritize self-care and manage stress proactively to effectively manage bipolar disorder and live a fulfilling life.

Some ways stress can affect bipolar disorder include difficulty managing symptoms, increased potential of manic episodes, risk of addiction, increased potential of depressive episodes, and worsening symptoms.

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July 13th, 2024

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