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Fort Collins Psychiatrist Offers Tips On Bipolar Treatment!


By harrisjensen - Posted on 02 February 2012

A Stable Routine Helps Stabilize Mood!

But What Does A Stable Routine Involve?

I Made A Social Routine Chart With The Answers!

by Harris Jensen, MD

Editor, Good Day Journal

Sometimes medications alone are not enough to stabilize one's mood, when one is dealing with bipolar affective disorder.  A stable routine can ramp up the impact of medications and help in designing that routine for you may involve using my chart, available free on the freestuff page, at this link: http://www.gooddayjournal.com/system/files/Jensen+Social+Rhythm+Chart.pd...

Actually, in my experience, medication alone is rarely a winning approach to settle down stormy moods.

Medication doesn't teach you how to think, and our thoughts can upset our mood quite easily.

Elsewhere in the Journal I've reviewed other strategies for stabilizing bipolar moods (Google search: bipolar and Good Day Journal).

A simple strategy to "boost" the impacf of medications is to look at your stable daily routine like it is a medication itself!

Then figure out what in your daily routine really matters, and stay with it.

That means, for most, don't vary by any more than 30 minutes, your time for your: getting up, going to sleep, meals, socializing times in morning and afternoon and evening, and times for a sip on a comforting beverage.

But do they really work?  If you skip one of these, is there really an impact?  Is this just some dogma to impose on yourself, or does the routine really "work" for your mood like a medication.

That's where my social rhythm mood chart comes in.

Chart your mood and your social routine every day, and then see when you skip one thing--if your mood is affected that day or the next day.

So every other day, vary one thing in your routine, make a check mark in the box for that item (say you stayed up 2 hours later and got up 2 hours later the next day), then rate your mood for the next day.

Systematically, you can then go through all the items in your routine, and see what really, really makes a difference in your mood.

I've been forced to using the power of social rhythms because quite often in bipolar, medications are not enough, and a patient needs more help to stabilize their mood.  They either can't afford or don't want to use more medications, or more brand name medications.  And quite often they want to use as many natural things as possible to settle their mood, and as many inexpensive things as possible.

Hard to get more natural and inexpensive than to use your routine to settle down your mood!

HJ