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How can you recognize and prevent depression in bipolar disorder?

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The manic and depressive phases of bipolar disorder don’t necessarily follow a pattern. You can have a few bouts of depression before you have a manic phase. But over time, you’ll notice things that cause changes in your mood and warning signs that depression could be setting in. When you catch those symptoms early, you can often avoid major depression. Keep a mood chart to track how you feel, your treatments, sleep, and other activities. Take note of times when you feel stressed -- maybe when you’re with certain people or in a specific place. The first signs of depression could be that you feel tired and can’t sleep. Short periods of depression can be a sign that a severe phase is coming. The people around you can help you recognize patterns, too. Ask your family and mental health professional to watch for changes in your behavior that signal an oncoming issue. They may be able to notice things that you don’t. Even when you feel great, make sure to keep up with your treatment -- it can prevent a relapse of depression. Eat a healthy diet, exercise, and try new ways to ease stress and manage your moods: Join a support group, take up a hobby, or practice relaxation methods like meditation, yoga, or massage.

Cleveland Clinic: “Bipolar Disorder.”

National Alliance on Mental Illness: “Bipolar Disorder.”

National Institute of Mental Health: “Bipolar Disorder.”

Mayo Clinic: “Bipolar Disorder.”

American Psychiatric Association: “Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients With Bipolar Disorder.”

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on April 6, 2018

Cleveland Clinic: “Bipolar Disorder.”

National Alliance on Mental Illness: “Bipolar Disorder.”

National Institute of Mental Health: “Bipolar Disorder.”

Mayo Clinic: “Bipolar Disorder.”

American Psychiatric Association: “Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients With Bipolar Disorder.”

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on April 6, 2018

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How does bipolar disorder differ between women and men?

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