Prevention

There is no known way to prevent bipolar disorder. However, there are ways to reduce the frequency and severity of symptoms and prevent the condition from worsening.

Address Symptoms Immediately

An individual and his or her family are usually aware of a pattern to that person's bipolar episodes and know what triggers them. If you notice you are entering a manic or a depressed phase, you should call a healthcare provider right away. It helps to involve family members or friends in watching for warning signs so they can call a healthcare provider at the onset of symptoms even if you are not able to.

Learn to recognize the symptoms of bipolar disorder.

Avoid Alcohol and Other Substances

Using or abusing alcohol, street drugs, or prescription medications can increase the prevalence and severity of bipolar symptoms.

Take Medications as Directed

During periods when you feel better, it may be tempting to stop taking medications that have been prescribed to stabilize mood. Some people stop taking their medications because they want to experience the productivity and creativity that often occurs with mania. Stopping treatment medication can have fast, negative consequences, including feeling suicidal. If you think you need to make a change to the medications you have been prescribed, talk to your doctor.

If you are ever prescribed a medication for another health concern, check with the doctor who is treating you for bipolar disorder. He or she will be able to check if the new medication might trigger bipolar episodes or interfere with the one you're already taking to treat bipolar disorder.

Learn about how bipolar disorder is treated.