There are several triggers for episodes of Bipolar Disorder. In 'Triggers for Bipolar Episodes – Part One,' we discussed the first four triggers. In Part Two of the series, we will discuss the next four episode triggers:

Trigger #5—Inconsistency in Taking Your Medication: Taking your medication inconsistently (forgetting to take your medication) can be a trigger to a bipolar episode. Stabilization of your Bipolar Disorder depends largely on medication dosages reaching a certain level in your system, which means taking your medication every time you’re supposed to. If you forget doses, or don’t take them on a consistent basis, you will not reach this level, or the level will rise and fall, which may trigger a bipolar episode. There are tools to help you remember to take your medication consistently—such as medication calendars or checklists placed where you normally keep your prescription bottles, medication planners, or plastic medication holders into which you separate your doses. Plastic medication holders come in several kinds—from as simple as just AM/PM separated doses to some with up to six separated dose compartments—so there should be one that will meet your needs, and you won’t be triggered into a bipolar episode because you forget to take your medication.

Trigger #6—Going off Medication: Going off your bipolar medication can be life-threatening. Medications for the disorder are directly involved with neurotransmitters in the brain, and if you stop taking these medications, it can not only trigger a bipolar episode, but may even have fatal results. Sometimes people with Bipolar Disorder can get frustrated having to take their medication and decide to stop taking it; however, you need to know that going off your medication is a very dangerous thing to do. You may feel no affects at first, but then the lack of medication can trigger a bipolar episode.

Trigger #7—Lack of Proper Treatment: Untreated bipolar can become as disabling and even affect daily functioning itself. Lack of proper treatment is not much better, and can trigger a bipolar episode. There are several treatment modalities, including regular visits to a psychiatrist, therapist, and doctor. Most importantly, you must take the medication prescribed for your Bipolar Disorder, which will help most in regulating the mood swings, and prevent triggering of bipolar episodes. If you do not get proper treatment, you will continue to suffer from recurrent episodes.

Trigger #8—Problems at Work: Problems at work can also trigger bipolar episodes. Medication taken for Bipolar Disorder can help physically to regulate your mood swings, but there are pressures that come in a work environment that medication cannot control, and problems from work pressures can trigger an episode. You may or may not want the people you work with to know that you have Bipolar Disorder, for example, so you may feel pressure from having to hide the fact that you have the disorder. Personality conflicts are another example of work pressures, in addition to the work itself. All these pressures can build up and may trigger an episode.