Holiday Season and Mental Health
Put your mental health first during the holidays
(ARA) - The holiday season is a chance to reconnect with friends, spend time with loved ones, and enjoy the hustle and bustle of gift shopping. For the millions of Americans living with bipolar disorder, a manic (high) or depressive (low) episode may occur at any time and the holidays can be a time to focus on themselves and managing the condition going into the New Year.
People living with bipolar disorder, a lifelong condition, may experience extreme changes in mood, thought, and behavior. Their mood may alternate between episodes of mania and depression. What's important to know, particularly given that nearly half of U.S. adults will develop a mental illness during their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is that talking with a health care professional can help a person living with the condition find appropriate medication, therapy, and support groups.
The hustle and bustle of the season may make it difficult to stay on track and follow through with refilling necessary prescriptions, making appointments, and taking time out to relax. During busy times like the holiday season, people with bipolar disorder should be sure to take time to focus on themselves and the importance of managing their condition.
"I've seen firsthand how dealing with the holidays can have a negative impact on mental health, and it doesn't have to be that way for those suffering from bipolar disorder," says Dr Lisa Perdue, director of the Intensive Behavioral Service at Terrell State Hospital in Terrell, Texas. "There is a lot of pressure to make every holiday season the biggest or the best. People with bipolar disorder need to make their health a priority. That can mean saying "no" in order to stay on track with doctor's appointments, or skipping a party to relax and enjoy 'me' time."
People living with bipolar disorder should talk to their doctor to get an accurate diagnosis and develop an appropriate treatment plan. TakeonDepression.com, a site sponsored by AstraZeneca, contains helpful resources to support, educate, and inspire those affected by bipolar disorder, and to encourage them to have an open, honest conversation with their doctor.
In addition to information, the site offers tools such as a mood-tracking diary to help recognize symptoms, manage a treatment plan, and have more productive conversations with a doctor. It also features inspiring true stories from people on how they successfully manage their symptoms.