Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder that can be managed if a diagnosis is made and the patient follows the treatment recommendations. With the increase of the internet and technology, managing bipolar symptoms has become easier than ever. Patients with a bipolar disorder can use technology to their advantage in the following ways.
To assist with diagnosis
It can be difficult to get a bipolar diagnosis. Many patients struggle with the symptoms and numerous professionals before they ever receive a diagnosis. The internet has not only increased the availability of bipolar information, but it has offered free bipolar assessments to people that are experiencing similar symptoms. Although these free bipolar depression quizzes and self diagnosing assessments do not provide an entirely accurate or final diagnosis, it is a good starting point. Patients can take this information to their medical professionals and use it as a communication point in receiving additional information.
To organize multiple medical professionals
A person dealing with bipolar disorder is likely to see multiple medical professionals. They probably first will bring their concerns up with their primary physician. From here, they might see a psychologist or licensed counselor. If medication management is needed and it usually is with bipolar disorder, a psychiatrist is also brought onto the team. It is important that each medical professional is on the same page with the rest of the team. The internet and ease of communication over technology has made this more efficient than ever.
To connect with others
Dealing with bipolar symptoms can often make a person feel like they are alone. However, there are currently nearly 6 million Americans affected by bipolar disorder. Sometimes, it can be very therapeutic to be connected to someone with similar concerns and symptoms. The internet has made it possible for people to connect with someone they can be open and comfortable with. More than two thirds of people with bipolar disorder have at least one close relative with the illness or with unipolar major depression. Yet, it is not always as easy to talk to someone in the family as it is to a stranger.
To monitor bipolar symptoms
Medication is often used to balance out the hormones, which are a cause of the bipolar disorder. The difficult part is that hormones are constantly changing and a dosage that works well could stop being effective any moment. For this reason, it is important to track bipolar symptoms so the psychiatrist can make changes to the medication, as needed. A bipolar depression journal is often recommended. With a bipolar app, patients can have their bipolar depression journal on them at all times. Sharing this bipolar depression journal with medical professionals can also assist in the treatment and managing of the symptoms.
To track causes of mood changes
Some daily stressors can cause severe mood changes in someone with bipolar disorder. These triggering events can be managed, if they are identified. When a patient with bipolar disorder tracks their moods with a bipolar depression journal, it is easier to notice these triggering events. A depressive episode, for example, is diagnosed if five or more primary depressive symptoms last most of the day, nearly every day, for a period of two weeks or longer. While it is important to track the length and type of symptoms, it is also important to track what happened to set this depressive period. Finding out what causes the bipolar behavior shifts can develop awareness, which can be helpful in prevention.
The internet is constantly changing the way the world works. It has also become advantageous for dealing with mental health symptoms. An important part of bipolar disorder treatment is careful tracking of symptoms and triggering events, usually with a bipolar depression journal. The internet makes it easier to keep track of this monitoring and allows patients to share this information with those involved in their treatment.