Bipolar disorder is a condition where a person's mood severely fluctuates between mania (highs) and depression (lows). Environmental conditions can either exacerbate or lessen the symptoms to this disorder. That is why some places to live are better than others. Choosing the best place to live is a complex endeavor. Five considerations when deciding where a bipolar person should live are climate, medical care, stress, sleep and medical coverage.
Some bipolar people live where the days are not sunny especially during long cold winters . This causes those diagnosed with bipolar to stay indoors more. They then become depressed. This condition is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder. Choosing a climate that is sunny most of the year is helpful to bipolar people. The absence of SAD symptoms helps those with bipolar to stay depression-free, thus stabilizing their moods.
Those diagnosed with bipolar need expert medical care (a psychiatrist versed in bipolar) and expert psychological care (a psychologist experienced with prior bipolar patients). Availability of this medical care can be daunting in some places, while in others there is a proliferation of care. For instance, Professor Peter Frumkin in North Bend County, Texas, says it is difficult for low-income patients to get the services they require in his area. He also points out transportation difficulties for seniors to get to the medical care. When choosing the best place to live, make sure medical care is available to you.
According to Dr. Bruce S. McEwen, stress can act as a trigger for depression. With this in mind, it is beneficial to find places to live that are less stressful for the person with bipolar. One source of stress to consider is the daily commute to and from work. Living in the same community as your job is one way of reducing stress. Finding a community with a commuter train or bus to your work is another possibility for reducing stress.
Psychologist Ellen Frank utilizes good sleep hygiene as the basic element to the therapy she uses with bipolar patients. Looking for things that would disturb the bipolar person's sleep is crucial to finding the best place to live. See if there is a military or international airport in the community. Consider if there are busy streets with heavy traffic patterns. The crime level is another factor. Sirens blaring during the night can affect your sleep.
Medical benefits for the elderly and disabled vary by state. For example, Humana Inc. offers the lowest premiums in the states of Montana, Wyoming and Nebraska. California and New York also have inexpensive plans. Also, drug benefits should be compared. The medications for bipolar disorder can be quite costly. Some can cost over $1,000 per month. The senior or disabled bipolar patient should comparison shop when choosing a state in which to live.
The best places for a bipolar person to live would start with a southern, sunny climate. Then consider places where good medical help could be found. Next, work and commute would be deliberated. After this noise patterns that might deter sleep would be taken into account. Finally, consider which state offers the best medical benefits.
- Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of B Balaji
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