One of the most common bipolar triggers is stress. In a study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, negative or stressful life events were associated with subsequent mood episodes.
The literature suggests that life stress has an important role in triggering and sustaining episodes in bipolar disorder (for a review see Johnson & Roberts, 1995). Most of this research focuses on acute stressors, such as negative life events.
In many cases, a major life change or stressful event, such as losing a loved one or having severe financial troubles, can trigger a bipolar episode. How an individual copes with stress can also affect how bipolar disorder progresses.
Insomnia, a common anxiety disorder symptom, is a significant trigger for manic episodes. Many children with bipolar disorder also suffer from at least one co-occurring anxiety disorder. The age of onset for an anxiety disorder often precedes the age of onset for bipolar disorder.
The known maladaptive types of coping mechanisms, or negative coping skills, evident in BD patients are “… rumination, catastrophism, self-blame, substance use, risk-taking, behavioral disengagement, problem-direct coping, venting of emotions, or mental disengagement” (Apaydin & Atagun, 2018).
People with bipolar disorder are more prone to stress than the average person; they have more difficulty adjusting to and recovering from stressors. Stress can trigger symptoms and relapses, as I mentioned in a previous post on relapse prevention.
The phrase “bipolar meltdown” could refer to a bipolar person having a manic episode or being in a depressed state. These conditions could cause them to lose control of their emotions and have trouble managing them.
The fear of never being stable.
Thus this leads to a feeling of being unfit for this world — that you weren't meant for it because you can't cope with life due to something you didn't choose and can't change; that you're stuck having to explain yourself to others and even yourself.
In addition to other genetic, environmental, and physical factors, trauma is believed to contribute to bipolar disorder by causing emotional distress. Childhood trauma is an especially common risk factor of bipolar disorder, which includes experiences like sexual or physical abuse, neglect, and the loss of a loved one.
While most bipolar disorder triggers revolve around a negative event, meeting goals and positive events can also be triggers of bipolar disorder. Winning an event, getting a promotion, or starting a new relationship can all trigger a manic episode.
These are some possible causes of hypomania or mania: High levels of stress. Changes in sleep patterns or lack of sleep. Using recreational drugs or alcohol.
If you are both highly sensitive and have depression or bipolar disorder, the world can feel like an overwhelming, overstimulating place from which there is no escape. But that doesn't mean you have to feel bad about who you are.
Mood shift frequency varies from person to person. A small number of patients may have many episodes within one day, shifting from mania (an episode where a person is very high-spirited or irritable) to depression. This has been described as “ultra-rapid cycling.”
For people who deal with bipolar disorder, emotions can be far more intense than they might otherwise be, or else you might even feel a complete lack of emotion, at all, in instances when you would usually feel resonance.
Anger is not a symptom that everyone with bipolar experiences, but it is not uncommon either. Mania in particular tends to trigger aggressive emotions and anger. The racing thoughts and high energy levels you experience can leave you feeling angry, irritable, and frustrated.
Living with bipolar disorder does not mean that a person will experience difficulty making and maintaining friendships. However, without suitable treatment and a support network, symptoms of the condition may put a strain on relationships.
Anger and irritability are common symptoms of bipolar disorder. While anger is a normal response that many people feel at moments in their life, a person with bipolar disorder will be more vulnerable to impulsive and often irrational outbursts.
Some people who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder will experience episodes of psychosis during mania or depression. These episodes cause hallucinations, delusions, disordered thinking, and a lack of awareness of reality.
Bipolar disorder can cause your mood to swing from an extreme high to an extreme low. Manic symptoms can include increased energy, excitement, impulsive behaviour, and agitation. Depressive symptoms can include lack of energy, feeling worthless, low self-esteem and suicidal thoughts.
Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, and guided imagery can be very effective at reducing stress and keeping you on an even keel. A daily relaxation practice can improve your mood and keep depression at bay. Make leisure time a priority.
People with bipolar disorder can work, but they may face challenges. Many mental health conditions can make it difficult for a person to carry out day-to-day responsibilities, especially in the workplace.