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Be wary of triggers

Stress, social isolation, sleep deprivation, and deviation from your normal routine can trigger episodes of depression or mania. Be cautious during life changes like starting a new job, going to college, or getting a divorce.

Also be aware that you can encounter problems even when it’s not a major event. “It doesn’t have to be a fight or a major disruption in your day,” Hoepner says. “Anytime you are out of balance, it can be a trigger.”

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Find support

Let your family and friends know what you are going through. They might be able to understand your triggers and help you avoid them, or may be able to realize before you do that you’re entering a manic or depressive episode.

On the other hand, family stress is also one of the biggest factors for relapse, Bearden says.

If you need more support, look to organizations like the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance and the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

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