Importance of the trialogue

Self-care and management

Author: R., an individual experienced with bipolar illnesses

How can we find our own way? How can we make a change from being an "victim" to being a "moderator" of our own way of life? What advice, support and aid can we make use of and employ? How can we actively transform our life situation with regard to manias and depressions actively? A manner of coping with manias and depressions is to record what has occurred.

It is important to learn and to perceive the individual early warning symptoms. Accepting and observing these signs allows one to also carry out these changes in harmony with oneself. That which we are not able to accept at least temporarily, we will not be able to change. Emergency plans, therapeutic arrangements and living wills, with the most important contact persons, are thereby helpful, and should be placed, easily available, near the telephone or in one's billfold.

Self-care, self-management and our responsibility must be developed and intensified. Psychoeducation – professional help for self-help – can provide assistance and serves to initiate this process.

Since it is temporally limited, we want to take this time to develop our own management of our self

  • Early warning symptoms
    In order to weaken or to avoid the development of further times of the illness, we require a review of individual early warning symptoms.
  • Differentiation between personality und disorder
    Patients must learn to distinguish between personality and illness. What belongs with the core of the personality and what represents "being ill"?
  • Restoration of social relationships
    Social relationships must be re-established and developed anew. It is important to find new ways for burdensome situations in life.
  • Coping with stress in day-to-day life
    New strategies for coping with the stress in day-to-day life must be acquired.
  • Handling of medications
    Since the pharmacotherapy is often unavoidable, it is important to be aware of information concerning the possibilities, effects, side effects and lacking effects. How can coping with medications be seen? We should attempt to evaluate the chances and risks with the therapists as "co-pilots".
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