Studies have shown that married people are overall healthier than unmarried people. Improved mental health is one of those benefits. Even for those with bipolar disorder.

Here are three ways marriage can help improve mental health for those with bipolar disorder.

Marriage leads to healthier behaviors. If you have a supportive spouse, he or she can encourage you to take better care of yourself mentally and physically. Married people tend to drink and smoke less than single people. By reducing these potentially harmful behaviors, you can increase your mental wellness and stabilize your bipolar disorder moods.

When you’re feeling down, a spouse can cheer you up and motivate you to get counseling and/or psychiatric help if you’re experiencing depression or bipolar mood swings. Married people have an increased chance of having and sustaining access to health care insurance, which would include mental health care including treatment for bipolar disorder.

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Marriage provides a sense of purpose. Marriage doesn’t define a person, but it can help provide you with a sense of purpose. Having someone to build a common life goal with and to support you in your personal dreams can help you feel good and increase your self esteem. A healthy marriage also fosters social connection, provides emotional stability and an increased quality of life.

Marriage lowers the risk of suicide. Studies have shown that married people have a decreased risk of suicide. People that are single, separated, widowed and divorced are three times more likely to commit suicide. One reason is because marriage buffers depression. A loving, secure relationship goes a long way in boosting your mood. Having someone there for you to laugh with, cry with and share in your struggles helps provide some comfort and shelter from the struggles of everyday life.

Keep in mind that marriage is not the be all and end all solution to one’s mental issues or bipolar mood swings. It can, however, contribute greatly to improving your overall mental wellbeing.

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