Did you know that, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), approximately 20% of people with bipolar disorder will kill themselves?  That means that 1 in 5 people will die by their own hand!  I know that if you have bipolar disorder, or have a loved one who does, this might seem like a high (and frightening) statistic to you.  However, do not be alarmed, as I am going to tell you how to avoid death from bipolar disorder.


First of all, if you have bipolar disorder and you take your bipolar medication every day as prescribed, you automatically beat the odds.  That's one way how to avoid death from bipolar disorder.  However, if you go off your medication, you substantially increase the odds of dying from the disorder.


Let me tell you why taking your medication is so important that it is a matter of life and death.  Bipolar disorder is a chemical imbalance of the brain, involving the neurotransmitters.  Your bipolar medication goes directly to your brain to correct this chemical imbalance.  Without it, you can go into a bipolar episode, which can affect your thoughts, causing these thoughts to become distorted, and possibly leading to thoughts of death and suicide.  Therefore, one of the greatest ways to avoid death is to be sure to take your bipolar medication so that your thoughts remain clear and rational.


Another way to avoid death from bipolar disorder is very simple – keep seeing your therapist or counselor on a regular basis.  Therapy is just as crucial to treating the emotional symptoms of your bipolar disorder as medication is to treating the physical symptoms of your disorder.  It helps to discuss the issues surrounding your bipolar disorder, and could keep you from becoming depressed, which could lead to a bipolar depressive episode, which could lead to thoughts of death and suicide.  This is also how to avoid death when you have bipolar disorder.


Another way that therapy can help you is that a therapist can notice signs and symptoms of a bipolar episode possibly before you can, thus avoiding the episode (and possibly even a chance of suicidal thoughts or attempts).  Too many people think that bipolar mania is simply extreme happiness; however, a therapist knows that mania can also mean extreme anger, irritability, agitation, and possible delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, and even violence.  Violence can be directed at yourself or others and, when directed at yourself, could be fatal.


 How do you beat the odds?  Here's how to avoid death if you have bipolar disorder:  take your medications as prescribed and see your therapist.  It kind of sounds like a prescription, doesn't it?  It is.  It is a prescription for life.