Collaborating with your psychiatrist to prevent or diminish the impact of your manic episodes is more complicated than it sounds. Most psychiatrists will tell you that you should call them for an emergency medical appointment when you think your illness is getting worse. This sounds like a "no brainer." But the reality is that you may not believe you are really ill or that your illness is bad enough to warrant a phone call. Alternatively, you may not feel comfortable calling your doctor, especially if he or she is new to you or if you have had bad experiences with calling him or her in the past.
Even if you see the need for emergency care, you may have doubts about how much your doctor will really help you. You may fear that he or she will introduce medication changes that have worse side effects than the ones you already experience. You may fear that he or she will immediately hospitalize you, which would cause you social embarrassment at work or at home. Of course, you are more likely to avoid hospitalization if you cail your physician early than if you wait until the point of "no return." But calling during an emergency requires a certain amount of trust that the physician will approach you compassionately and take steps that will alleviate, not worsen, your symptoms. This section deals with strategies for collaborating with your physician during times of emergency.
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Bipolar is a condition that wreaks havoc on those that it affects. If you suffer from Bipolar, chances are that your family suffers right with you. No matter if you are that family member trying to learn to cope or you are the person that has been diagnosed, there is hope out there.