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Connect with others

Try to strike a balance in your social life. Overstimulation can be stressful and trigger problems, but so can isolation.

“People who are bipolar tend to have trouble maintaining relationships; they wear friendships out,” Hoepner says.

Aim for things that make you feel good: a hobby or sport, or volunteer for a cause that’s important to you. “You’re getting your mind off of yourself and focusing it on something else, which can be really therapeutic,” Hoepner explains.

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Know the side effects

Depending on the type, bipolar medications can have side effects like pancreatitis or kidney problems, or more commonly metabolic syndrome (characterized by weight gain, high cholesterol, and insulin resistance).

The best way to combat side effects is to know as much as you can about the drug you are taking and watch for potential problems, Bearden says.

Some medications can’t be taken with certain foods, drugs, or alcohol. Ask your doctor about potential side effects and read about the medication to stay informed.

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