Stressors around the COVID-19 pandemic can lead to a higher chance of triggering an episode for individuals living with bipolar disorder. As the uncertainty and restrictions may prompt mood instability. Moreover, people in a manic or hypomanic episode may find it difficult to comply with social restrictions and safety measures, which also heightens chances of infection.
Take your medication regularly. If you are running out of medications, please contact your clinic to see if a drug refill is available. Discuss with your doctor If you want to adjust the dosage.
Stick to a daily routine. The uncertain nature of the pandemic can make you feel unstable and stressful. Following a routine helps to ground yourself and gives you senses of stability and control.
Take breaks and stay away from social media and the news. Get updates from trustable sources, and minimise exposure to sensational information on the internet and social media.
Get enough sleep. Insufficient sleep can be a major trigger for people experiencing bipolar disorder. Getting enough sleep can stabilise your mood and shorten an episode. Here are some tips on improving your sleep.
Managing a crisis situation
Set a crisis plan. Create a crisis plan with people around you, including what kind of help you want, so they know how to handle an emergency.
If you are in distress or having suicidal feelings, here is a list of hotlines or online counselling services that are available:
24-hour hotline counselling services:
Samaritan Befrienders Hong Kong 24-hour hotline (Cantonese only): 2389 2222
The Samaritans (Multilingual): 2896 0000
Caritas Family Crisis Support Centre 24-hour (Cantonese only): 18288
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