Working Through the Challenges of Relocating With Bipolar Disorder

Author: Sam Bowman


Bipolar disorder can make relocating a unique challenge to overcome. Moving is a stressful time for almost everyone due to its unpredictability. A perceived loss of control is anxiety-inducing for anyone — but particularly for those living with bipolar disorder. People with the disorder thrive in predictable environments, but life can be inevitably unpredictable at times. Learn how to cope with relocating as someone with bipolar, and move into new horizons with the confidence that you can overcome anything.

Things To Consider Before Moving

You may be moving for various reasons, including those you can and can’t control. What you can control is how you prepare. Consult relocation guides for tips that you can incorporate with personal preparations that will help you feel better during the process. Some examples of considerations that can help when moving with bipolar include:

● Familiarizing yourself with the area;

● Hiring professionals to help with rentals, home purchases, or moving;

● Mapping out driving routes;

● Planning activities based on climate and culture;

● Setting up health resources to continue similar care plans;

● Understanding and coming to terms with the reasons for relocation.

Most importantly, you should consider your finances before moving. Moving is often accompanied by unexpected costs such as cleaning costs from your previous place of residence, handling fees if you plan to hire anyone to move your items, storage fees, and any fees you may run into if you run into trouble with your car. These are all things you should estimate to incorporate into your budget before deciding if you’re ready to move.

To ease your mind, be clear about the benefits this move can make for you personally or professionally. Acknowledge any challenges and build a support system that can help you if times get rocky.

Practical Tips for Managing Moving Stress

Aside from the mental, physical, and financial preparation to move, you can also streamline the process entirely. Consider some of the following practical tips to make the move less stressful:

● Use a checklist;

● Ask for help from family and friends;

● Declutter;

● Use a labeling system;

● Start early;

● Look for free or low-cost boxes;

● Choose a reputable moving or shipping company.

● Master the art of packing.

Packing smart can ensure your items arrive undamaged, preventing unnecessary anger or stress triggers. Doing this legwork upfront can help you manage stress with bipolar. You can also use coping methods like using humor if things go awry. It can help to lighten the mood and lift some of the stress off of your shoulders.

Unique Hurdles Bipolar May Bring When Relocating

Bipolar disorder often comes with intense emotions, positive or negative. This can lead to rash decisions or relocation regret. Keeping in touch with your emotions and seeing them for what they are can help you navigate moving anxiety more easily. It can feel disheartening to have to “start over” in a new place, but there are ways to pull hope out of a challenging situation like this.

Moreover, multiple moves may put a significant strain on your mental health. A sense of normalcy is difficult to achieve when you are changing locations, careers, and social groups frequently. The depression that sometimes comes with moving can be amplified for those living with bipolar because your depressive state can be longer-lasting and more intense. You may feel withdrawn and hopeless that you will make new friends and adjust to this new environment. Luckily, there are ways to cope and make the most of your move in the face of adversity. You may even enjoy the change and experience positive results from embracing your relocation.

Continuity of Care and Support in Your New Location

As mentioned above, it’s important to set up care and support systems in your new environment. Even if you don’t currently have them or are moving far away, you can find online spaces and local resources to help. Try to remain open to new possibilities and acknowledge that it will take some time to put together the right care team for your unique situation. Keeping hope during challenging times like relocation is the key to successful integration into a new environment and lifestyle.

Embrace Change

Of course, you should have grace for yourself during the moving process. It’s stressful, and you are human. If you slip up or feel out of control, remind yourself that it’s normal. Embrace the change you’re going through, and you’ll be able to reap the benefits of relocating — all while supporting yourself and your journey with bipolar disorder.


The content of the International Bipolar Foundation blogs is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician and never disregard professional medical advice because of something you have read in any IBPF content.
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