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Is There a Cure for Bipolar Depression?

There is no cure for bipolar depression. That’s the bad news, and now it’s out of the way. Now we can explore the fact that you aren’t at the mercy of this illness. You don’t need a bipolar depression cure to take charge and live a life of mental health and wellbeing.

Either way, you can have both bipolar depression and mental health. They’re not either-or conditions. It’s a matter of reshaping your thoughts about what these terms mean to you.

Depression creates a slew of automatic negative thoughts that distort the way we think. One example is black-and-white or all-or-nothing thinking. It might seem that either you have bipolar depression, or you have mental health. There’s nothing in-between. By extension, it can seem that because there’s no cure for bipolar depression, you are doomed to a life of suffering and misery. Both statements are faulty logic caused by bipolar depression (it needs to stay relevant, so it creates thoughts like this to keep you close).

The truth is that mental health is in reach of everyone. It’s unconditional. You can live with a lifetime illness like bipolar depression and have mental health, too.

No Cure for Bipolar Depression? No Problem!

Consider an important question: What do mental health, wellbeing, and a quality life mean to you? Exploring this helps you begin to think of yourself and your life as meaningful. Bipolar depression symptoms will come and go, sometimes in remission and other times creeping back, but you have a meaningful life of your own regardless of your symptoms.  

Part of a mentally healthy life means knowing what is important to you. The other part is living intentionally, in ways that move you toward your values. It’s a combination of being and doing that doesn’t depend on the absence of bipolar depression.

When you’re in the throes of bipolar depression, thinking of mentally healthy actions despite the illness can be daunting. That’s because depression clouds thinking makes concentration difficult, and makes the idea of doing anything seem too exhausting to try. Therefore, use the following ideas as a guide and starting point for ideas of your own.

How to Create Mental Health, Wellbeing When There’s No Cure for Bipolar Depression

Even though there’s no bipolar depression cure, this collection of actions and attitudes can help you manage your symptoms of bipolar depression when they strike and keep depression at bay for long stretches at a time.

  • Take your medication as prescribed, even when you feel better
  • Engage in mental health therapy to build skills and change automatic negative thoughts
  • Create and follow daily routines because routines help you keep doing what you need to do even when depression tries to keep you down
  • Make rituals, such as sitting mindfully with a cup of tea every morning or evening, because rituals are comforting
  • Exercise even when the only thing you can do is walk slowly from one room to the next in your house; every little bit brings benefits, but do stretch yourself just a little bit more each day
  • Feed your brain well, avoiding processed, unhealthy foods and eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins, and other healthy foods
  • Identify interests and passions, and do them regardless of what your depression is up to
  • Find and appreciate beauty; when nothing seems beautiful, look anyway, and when you do notice beauty in your world, love it fully
  • Create goals
  • Practice mindfulness, using your senses to pay attention to the present moment

Another powerful mindset for a life with bipolar depression is acceptance. It’s tempting to want to fight your symptoms, but when you struggle with something, your focus and energy are on the very thing you want to go. When you practice acceptance, a key component of acceptance and commitment therapy, you aren’t giving in and resigning yourself to a lifetime of bipolar depression. Instead, you are letting go of the fight to focus on better things.

There is no bipolar depression cure. There will be, however, long periods of remission. With the above tips to guide you, whether your symptoms are present or absent, you’ll be mentally healthy and live a life well-lived.

article references

APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2019, June 14). Is There a Cure for Bipolar Depression?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 21 from https://www.healthyplace.com/bipolar-disorder/bipolar-depression/is-there-a-cure-for-bipolar-depression

Last Updated: June 15, 2019

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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