Dr Tim Driscoll from the Royal Flying Doctor Service gave his expert advice regarding bipolar disorder.
Dr Tim Driscoll from the Royal Flying Doctor Service gave his expert advice regarding bipolar disorder.

EXPLAINED: Helpful tips on bipolar disorder

AT the workshop in Proston this week, Dr Tim Driscoll covered bipolar disorder and gave locals some tips on how to cope.

Here is a brief breakdown of some of what was covered.

Dr Driscoll said to get through bipolar it was important to:

• Identify early warning signs

• Take medication

• Reach out for social support

• Go to psychological treatment - family therapy can also be helpful

• Maintain your general wellbeing

• Reduce stress.

Dr Driscoll said maintaining your general wellbeing was especially important in the prevention of manic episodes - or at least to make them more manageable.

"That and medication," he said.

"Anyone with bipolar should be medicated, otherwise it will be very hard to manage the condition."

The four pillars of wellbeing to stay on top of are:

• Healthy diet

• Regular exercise

• Quality sleep

• Social connectiveness.

"It's hard because these are the first things to go out the window as soon as there is a flare-up of any kind," Dr Driscoll said.

"Not just with bipolar either. If you're having a depressive episode, chances are you don't want to exercise or go see your friends and family face-to-face.

"But if you can just do your best every day to push through and try to maintain my four pillars of general wellbeing, then you are giving yourself more of a chance.

"But also don't be too hard on yourselves, because there will be some days when you just can't and that's OK too," Dr Driscoll said.

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