ZocdocAnswersWhat can I do to fight bipolar depression?

Question

What can I do to fight bipolar depression?

I try to exercise and eat right, but nothing seems to work. I am a 29 year old woman. I've been bipolar for some time.

Answer

You should definitely talk to your psychiatrist as soon as possible, because your symptoms are not well controlled. Bipolar disorder is characterized by swings in mood from high to low. However, although popular culture has tended to focus on the upswings in mood that people suffering from bipolar disorder experience, in reality most people with the disorder actually spend most of their time depressed. The depression component of bipolar disorder can be controlled. However this almost always requires medications prescribed by your psychiatrist. Since the disorder is chronic and usually life long, often these medications need to be taken for long periods of time. It can actually be extremely dangerous for a person with bipolar disorder not to take medications. This is because the swings in mood may provoke dangerous behavior, such as substance abuse or self harming behavior. Very few cases of bipolar disorder can be controlled just with lifestyle changes such as healthy eating and exercise. Therefore, I strongly recommend that you go to see your psychiatrist and discuss the symptoms that you are having. They will be able to assess the severity of those symptoms and make recommendations regarding which medication therapies would be best for your particular set of symptoms.

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