Do’s and Don’ts

Bipolar Disorder is a mood disorder that is considered a serious mental illness.
However, it is a manageable condition and people can be functional, stable and have successful careers and relationships,  A determined and disciplined approach paves the path to freedom.
So, here are important Do’s and Don’ts~


  • Treatment, first and foremost!
    Getting oneself diagnosed when symptoms surface, regular visits to a Psychiatrist and taking the medication as prescribed is key to the recovery process.
  • Psychotherapy
    What medication does for the brain, Psychotherapy does for one’s troubled mind. Regular therapy sessions with a good Psychotherapist help us deal with our emotions better and helps correct faulty thought patterns which affect moods. CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) is especially helpful in the depressive phase.
  • Psychoeducation:
    Understanding what are the symptoms, the mood cycles, the red flags to watch our for and how to cope helps us deal with the unpredictable nature of the disorder.
  • Family Carers
    In the Indian context, family plays a critical role in the recovery process.  During severe episodes, your carer might have to step in the the decision making process and also keep a tab on our finances (especially during manic episodes). Family focused therapy is a particularly effective Psychotherapy tool.
  • Know Your Rights
    The Mental Health Care Act 2017 (MHCA2017) & The Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2016 (RPDA2016): be well versed with the provisions of these Acts which are Rights Based and empower persons with Disabilities, including those living with Bipolar Disorder or other Mental Health Conditions.
    Bipolarindia had hosted a full day Workhsop on the MHCA2017 and keeps educating the community about the various important aspects such as Advance Directives, Informed Consent, Disability Certificates, etc, are discussed regularly.

    Many Psychologists say that healthy relationships form the core of our stability and degree of contentment. I must admit this: struggling with the challenges of Bipolar Disorder had made me self obsessed. One must realise that there is a world outside ourselves, people who look up to us. Are we acknowledging them and being appreciative of when they stand by us in our rough times? Do we empathise enough with their feelings and emotions?

  • Regular Diagnostic Tests
    Our medication makes it necessary to undergo blood tests on a regular basis, typically six monthly or yearly.  Usually, your Psychiatrist would advise you to get these done.
  • Exercise
    Can we afford to ignore our overall well being? Regular exercise not only helps us remain physically healthy but has a direct beneficial effect on mental health.

  • Yoga
    Yoga, especially, has fine healing abilities

    Simple pranayam exercises such as Anulom Vilom, Bhramari and mindful breathing help in calming the mind and mitigating stress and anxiety.
  • Nutrition
    We are what we eat, it is said. ‘Foods and Moods’ was a fascinating session facilitated by Shilpa Mittal, our Panel Nutritionist. Moreover, healthy eating nurtures both the mind and body. Nutrition is one of the most undervalued contributor to mental wellness.
  • Breathing techniques
    During moments of stress and high Anxiety, breathing tends to be rapid and shallow. By controlling your breathing you can calm down your mind and cope reduce the hold that anxiety or panic attacks have over you.
  • Sleep hygiene
    Our moods and our sleep hours plus regularity of sleep timings have a connection. Ideally, seven to eight hours of sleep is recommended, that too at fairly fixed timings. Many people report that night time jobs disturb their moods big time. Following the Circadian rhythm (waking hours coinciding with daylight and sleep with night time) for our sleep schedule might not be possible for everyone, given our work schedules. However, adhering to night
    time sleep schedules helps in mood regulation.
  • Music
    It is known to have therapeutic qualities. The sheer joy of enjoying a favourite oldie or some relaxing lounge music, or whatever might be one’s kind of music.
  • Support Groups~ if you have a Peer Support Group in your town or city, do consider joining it. Discover how other are coping with their challenges, learn from their experiences. Share your story, opening up to somebody who has walked the path can be a big release. (We at Bipolarindia hold offline Peer Support Meets in Mumbai currently. For the pan India community we have regular virtual engagements in the form of  Workshops and Meets.
    Do join our Telegram Group by filling up the Contact Us form!)
  • Staying active
    The structure that a job or career provides is so important in many ways: psychologically, emotionally and of course to help us towards financial independence.
  • Engage yourself in hobbies and creative arts
    Expressing yourself through any form of the arts is said to be therapeutic. So, whether you like singing, dancing, writing, painting or acting, express yourself.
  • Mindfulness
    Much has been said and written about it. Mindfulness in simple terms, is being fully in the moment. It could be watching raindrops fall on leaves, listening to the musical chirping of birds or writing with the mind fully engrossed in the activity.
    What helps you effortlessly connect with the present moment? 
    Is it walking on wet sand or going on a drive?
  • Reading
    articles, blogs…anything that inspires you, empowers you to deal with the inner struggle. Also, while it is good to do a bit of diligent research about our illness, medication, etc, one should remember that the internet does not make us overnight experts at what is a very complex science!
  • Self time
    Nothing in the world is ever so important that it can’t wait! Stress builds up when we are overwhelmed with the pressure of pending tasks and having fallen behind schedule. Make space for breaks in between. Put yourself and your health first when it comes to self care.
  • Spirituality
    Whatever your faith (unless you are an atheist) prayer has healing powers for those who have implicit faith in a higher being.
    Note of Caution: We tend to overdo things at times and being guarded in our spiritual pursuits might prevent us from imprudent choices and actions.
  • Trusting One’s Journey
    Even your darkest phase will pass. At such times, it is so difficult to look beyond our immediate, miserable state. It engulfs us from all sides.
    This too shall pass. It is a matter of time.


  • Stopping medication
    Whatever the reason, be it side effects, ‘friendly advice’ or frustration at lack of immediate results, it is critical to continue the treatment. Abruptly stopping or reducing medicine dosages on or own can mean a relapse and sets back recovery.
    It is being a chronic, serious condition and desired stability can take time. Frustrated, some are attracted towards alternate healing methods, magic cures, faith healing, etc. We advocate treatment with Evidence Backed Medicine. 
  • Important Decisions
    Are best made when our moods are stable. When in the throes of serious depression or mania, our judgment tends to be impaired. Decisions taken at such times can be irrational and not in our best interests.  Especially if it is a life altering decision such as marriage, change in career or major financial involvement. Deferring these until we are better placed or sounding out someone who understands us well can help in sound decision making.
  • Comparisons
    Why compare today with pre-Bipolar days? Or our lives with the lives of so called ‘normal, healthy’ people? Does us no good, only erodes our sense of self worth.
  • Substance Addiction
    Be it alcohol, tobacco or narcotics:
    What can start off as a harmless night out with buddies can throw your recovery off balance. Alcohol and our medication do not go well together. Use of recreational drugs can trigger severe mood episodes, including psychosis and mania.