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Bipolar Disorder: Handling the Holidays

With a little planning you can avoid holiday depression, anxiety, and mania -- and enjoy the season.

Caring for Yourself

The holidays are a time when we're encouraged to think about other people instead of ourselves. That's fine, to a point.

But if you focus so much on other people that you neglect yourself, you're at higher risk of descending into mania or depression. That's not good for anyone.

"Your first order of business during the holidays has to be taking care of yourself," says Thase. "If you don't, all sorts of bad things can happen."

Thase compares living with bipolar disorder to diabetes. "Just as diabetics can't eat all of the sweets during the holidays, people with bipolar disorder have to take extra precautions," he tells WebMD. "But if you take those precautions, the holidays really can go well."

So this holiday season, plan ahead, keep to your schedule, and scale back your expectations. If you do, you can beat holiday depression, mania, anxiety, and hassles -- and enjoy the season. That's good for you as a person living with bipolar disorder -- and for your loved ones too.

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Reviewed on November 30, 2007

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