If you’re going through a divorce, it’s important to take care of your mental health. This is especially true if you have mental health concerns such as bipolar disorder. Having bipolar disorder can make the divorce process more difficult since those with bipolar disorder may be more likely to experience depressive episodes. If you have bipolar disorder, and you’re going through a divorce, make sure you’re taking care of your mental health.
What Is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar Disorder is a mood disorder that causes mood swings. The highs are often very high and the lows are often very low. It’s normal to feel really excited one day but really down in the dumps another day. In fact, it may even be normal for these mood swings to happen within the same day. Those suffering from bipolar disorder may have intense mood swings that last for days on end. And the emotions they’re experiencing during these mood swings can be intense. Since these mood swings are so long, they’re called episodes. When the emotions are high, a person is in a manic episode. When the emotions are low, the person suffering from bipolar disorder is going through a depressive episode.
If you’ve got bipolar disorder, and you’re going through a divorce, it may be a good time to consider working with a qualified mental health professional. Compared to those without bipolar disorder, those with bipolar disorder are more likely to go through a depressive episode. And a lot of people become depressed during divorce. This can be a bad combination if you do not have the necessary support structure to cope with divorce and bipolar disorder. Therapy can help you build up your support structure and it can also teach you good coping skills to work through some of the more intense feelings of divorce.
Talk with a Doctor or Psychiatrist
There’s a lot of people out there who don’t like the idea of taking medication for a mental illness. While medication may not work for some, others find that medication gives them the extra edge they need to have a brighter future. If you think medication may help treat bipolar disorder, discussing it with your primary care physician or psychiatrist is a good idea. Many people with bipolar choose to take medication on their treatment journey because it makes managing the symptoms a much easier task. Some people who have bipolar disorder are prescribed medications with serious side effects. Ask your doctor about any potential side effects before taking the medication.
Join a Support Group
Joining a support group is a great idea for anyone who’s going through a divorce, not just those who have bipolar disorder. Support groups allow you to connect with people who are going through the same process as you. A lot of people who suffer from bipolar disorder also struggle with depressive symptoms, especially during a depressive episode. Some of these symptoms may include excessive guilt, feelings of worthlessness, and hopelessness. When a person feels this way for extended periods of time, there is a very real risk of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. Attending a support group can help you cope with some of these more difficult emotions.
Take Care of Yourself
It’s not uncommon for those struggling with bipolar disorder to have a more difficult time with self-care during episodes, especially depressive episodes. Those going through a depressive episode may struggle to get out of bed on time. They may want to sleep all day, have a hard time eating, and feel lethargic. Self-care is especially important during times such as the aforementioned. During the divorce process it’s important to set aside time during your day to do something to improve your mental health. A lot of people find that journaling is an effective way to process complicated thoughts and feelings surrounding divorce.
Spend Time With Friends and Family
Make sure you don’t spend too much time alone—especially if you’re going through a depressive episode. Having friends and family around during a dark time like this may help boost your levels of happiness. When you’re going through a divorce, it’s important that you have positive influences in your life who can help you find support and comfort when times are especially difficult. During the divorce process, it’s not uncommon for people to lose the motivation for doing things they used to love. If you’re struggling with this, you are not alone. Engaging in former pastimes with friends or family may help you get back into those hobbies that you enjoyed before the divorce.