Does Your Loved One Have Borderline Personality Disorder
In your relationship:
Be Active In Their Recovery
Its easy to say, Ive got your back, and then never actively contribute to their recovery. Mental health treatment usually consists of many therapy sessions and doctor visits. While you shouldnt always attend these appointments, offering to pick them up and drive them to their visit or calling them after theyve finished their session to see how it went will mean a lot. You can even visit them after their appointment or take them out for a bite to eat. These appointments can sometimes be complicated and stressful for people with bipolar disorder. Having someone there for them who shows up consistently can give them something to look forward to and encourage them to continue.
How To Love Someone With Bipolar Disorder: A Helpful Guide
Can a bipolar person love someone? Absolutely. Can someone with bipolar disorder have a normal relationship? With work from both you and your partner, yes. When someone you love has bipolar disorder, their symptoms can be overwhelming at times. But it is possible to work past this mental health condition in your relationship. Although we provide drug and alcohol detox in Boca, we also work with those people who struggle with mental illness and are sharing some tips on dealing with a loved one who has bipolar disorder.
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Suggest They Get Involved With Organizations That Can Connect Them To Other People With Bipolar Disorder
For instance, The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance is a peer-run organization that can help people with bipolar disorder get to know others who have the condition, says Bolton. Danyelle is currently cochair of the organizations Young Adult Council, which recently released DBSAs Social Wellness handout to help people with mental health conditions navigate interpersonal relationships.
This group has helped me learn more about myself and promote my own recovery, as well as provide support, hope, and encouragement for others that are experiencing the same challenges, Danyelle says.
Depression And Bipolar Disorder
Downs and ups are two extremes of bipolar disorder. A phase of mania or hypomania is required to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder. During this stage of the disease, people generally feel up. You may feel invigorated and easily excited while youre experiencing an up swing in the mood.
A major depressive episode, commonly known as a down mood, is experienced by some people with bipolar disorder. You may feel tired, unmotivated, and depressed if youre going through a downmood change. However, not all patients with bipolar disorder who have this symptom are considered depressed. For example, some people may experience depression after their mania has been treated because they loved the high created by the manic episode.
The bipolar disorder might make you feel low, but it isnt the same as depression. The bipolar disease can cause highs and lows, but depression results in constant down moods and emotions. Learn how to distinguish between bipolar illness and depression.
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Helping Them Find Treatment
Be supportive, but avoid being pushy. There are many reasons why a person might hesitate to seek treatment. Focus on being encouraging and positive about your attitude toward getting help.
Offer to help them by driving them to appointments. You might also assist them in locating qualified a doctor or therapist who has experience treating bipolar disorder.
Beyond Treatment: Things You Can Do
Regular Exercise: Regular aerobic exercise, such as jogging, brisk walking, swimming, or bicycling, helps with depression and anxiety, promotes better sleep, and is healthy for your heart and brain. There is also some evidence that anaerobic exercise such as weightlifting, yoga, and Pilates can be helpful. Check with your health care provider before you start a new exercise regimen.
Keeping a Life Chart: Even with proper treatment, mood changes can occur. Treatment is more effective when a patient and health care provider work together and talk openly about concerns and choices. Keeping a life chart that records daily mood symptoms, treatments, sleep patterns, and life events can help patients and health care providers track and treat bipolar disorder over time. Patients can easily share data collected via smartphone apps including self-reports, self- ratings, and activity data with their health care providers and therapists.
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Learn Healthy Coping Strategies
There are plenty of coping strategies that can help you process your emotions in a healthy way. Try activities like:
- Keeping a journal. Use a journal to write down your thoughts and feelings, both the negative and positive.
- Exercising. Exercise releases chemicals that make you feel good. Find a way of moving your body thats fun for you without judging your fitness level.
- Trying a new hobby. Creative hobbies like painting, drawing, writing, or singing can help you express your feelings in a new way.
To Help Someone With Bpd First Take Care Of Yourself
When a family member or partner has borderline personality disorder, its all too easy to get caught up in heroic efforts to please and appease him or her. You may find yourself putting most of your energy into the person with BPD at the expense of your own emotional needs. But this is a recipe for resentment, depression, burnout, and even physical illness.
You cant help someone else or enjoy sustainable, satisfying relationships when youre run down and overwhelmed by stress. As in the event of an in-flight emergency, you must put on your own oxygen mask first.
Avoid the temptation to isolate. Make it a priority to stay in touch with family and friends who make you feel good. You need the support of people who will listen to you, make you feel cared for, and offer reality checks when needed.
Youre allowed to have a life! Give yourself permission to have a life outside of your relationship with the person with BPD. Its not selfish to carve out time for yourself to relax and have fun. In fact, when you return to your BPD relationship, youll both benefit from your improved perspective.
Join a support group for BPD family members. Meeting with others who understand what youre going through can go a long way. If you cant find an in-person support group in your area, you may want to consider joining an online BPD community.
Remember the 3 Cs rule
The 3 Cs are:
Source: Out of the Fog
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Living With And Loving Someone Who Has Bipolar Disorder
To ever truly love someone you must understand and accept all of who they are. That is easier said than done when you are trying live with someone who has bipolar disorder. This disorder is associated with episodes of mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs that go on and off for weeks or even months at a time. There is no cure for this disorder and it affects 3 million people in the United States alone, from as young as 3 years of age, all the way to 60+.
So how do you live with and love someone whose emotions are constantly unstable?
Types Of Bipolar Disorder
There are three basic types of bipolar disorder all of them involve clear changes in mood, energy, and activity levels. These moods range from periods of extremely up, elated, and energized behavior or increased activity levels to very sad, down, hopeless, or low activity-level periods . People with bipolar disorder also may have a normal mood alternating with depression. Four or more episodes of mania or depression in a year are termed rapid cycling.
- Bipolar I Disorder is defined by manic episodes that last at least seven days or when manic symptoms are so severe that hospital care is needed. Usually, separate depressive episodes occur as well, typically lasting at least two weeks. Episodes of mood disturbance with mixed features are also possible.
- Bipolar II Disorder is defined by a pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes, but not the full-blown manic episodes described above.
- Cyclothymic Disorder is defined by persistent hypomanic and depressive symptoms that are not intense enough or do not last long enough to qualify as hypomanic or depressive episodes. The symptoms usually occur for at least two years in adults and for one year in children and teenagers.
- Other Specified and Unspecified Bipolar and Related Disorders is a category that refers to bipolar disorder symptoms that do not match any of the recognized categories.
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Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder In Men
The bipolar disorder attacks both men and women in the same way. Men, on the other hand, may have diverse symptoms than women. Men with bipolar disorder may:
- be diagnosed quicker in life
- have more severe occurrences, particularly manic episodes
- be diagnosed earlier in life
During manic periods, people with substance addiction disorders may act out.
Bipolar men are less likely than bipolar women to seek medical help on their own. Theyre also more prone to take their own lives.
Bipolar disorder reveals itself in a variety of ways.
Eleven Ways You Can Help A Friend Diagnosed With Bipolar Disorder
Those diagnosed with bipolar disorder may be at the mercy of extreme mood swings, but they are not powerless. Medication, therapy and a healthy lifestyle can help them enjoy full and productive lives, especially when supplemented by the support of those closest to them.
And thats where you come in. If a friend has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, here are 11 ways you can help:
1. Educate yourself.
The term bipolar is thrown around a lot these days, yet it remains widely misunderstood. Spend some time learning about the disorder, and youll be much better able to understand what your friend is going through. Good sources include the National Institute of Mental Health, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, and the International Bipolar Foundation.
2. Channel your compassion, but ditch the pity.
No one wants to hear, I feel so sorry for you. What they do want is recognition that life holds challenges for them and that youll be there to help them meet them.
3. Accept the lows with the highs.
When manic, the person with bipolar disorder can come across as the life of the party. When depressed, however, they may feel as though they have lost their value in their social circle because they are no longer fun. Dont add to that pressure. Let your friend know you are there for them whether they are in the heights or the doldrums, and help them aim for that middle ground.
4. Dont say calm down or cheer up.
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Let Them Know Youre On Their Side
For someone with bipolar disorder, it can be easy to develop a me against the world mentality. They may feel misunderstood and no one is on their side or everyone is judging them.
Let your friend with bipolar disorder know that you are on their side. Being on someones side and being a champion for them doesnt mean you agree with everything they do or say and it doesnt mean you enable them. What it means is that you care about them no matter what.
When your friend or someone you care about is feeling down or having negative thoughts, challenge those negative thoughts. Provide them with positive affirmations and point out the good in them and their life.
How To Support Treatment
If your loved one wont acknowledge that they have a problem with BPD, you may want to consider couples therapy. Here, the focus is on the relationship and promoting better communication, rather than on your loved ones disorder. Your partner may more readily agree to this and eventually consider pursuing BPD therapy in the future.
Encourage your loved one to explore healthy ways of handling stress and emotions by practicing mindfulness and employing relaxation techniques such as yoga, deep breathing, or meditation. Sensory-based stimulation can also help them to relieve stress in the moment. Again, you can participate in any of these therapies with your loved one, which can strengthen your bond and may encourage them to pursue other avenues of treatment as well.
By developing an ability to tolerate distress, your loved one can learn how to press pause when the urge to act out or behave impulsively strikes. HelpGuides free Emotional Intelligence Toolkit offers a step-by-step, self-guided program to teach your loved one how to ride the wild horse of overwhelming feelings while staying calm and focused.
Setting goals for BPD recovery: Go slowly
When supporting your loved ones recovery, its important to be patient and set realistic goals. Change can and does happen but, as with reversing any kind of behavior pattern, it takes time.
Monthly mental health & wellness tips
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Go To Couples Counseling
Couples counseling is essential for working through upset over a bipolar partners actions. Its common for someone with bipolar disorder to hurt and offend their partner. When someone is first diagnosed, there are often relationship issues that need to be addressed. Couples counseling can help you:
- Understand that theres an illness involved in the hurtful behavior.
- Forgive the behavior that happened during an altered mood state.
- Set boundaries with a partner about maintaining treatment.
Lean On A Support Team
In addition to seeking professional help, it can help to put together a group of friends, family members, and other trusted adults who can support treatment. Its not uncommon for someone with bipolar disorder to feel like a burden to others. When they do, it is common to self-isolate. It can help to remember that there are people who have a common goal: to help you cope with the ups and downs of bipolar disorder.
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Recognize When Its Too Much
Unfortunately, helping someone with bipolar disorder sometimes gets to the point where it becomes too much, and thats okay. No one knows how to treat this condition other than the specialists trained to treat it. If youre dating someone with bipolar disorder and it feels like things are becoming too difficult to manage, get them professional help. Call 9-1-1 if the person becomes abusive or threatens to hurt themselves or someone else.
Learning how to help someone with bipolar disorder can be a challenge. The persons moods and behaviors may be unpredictable, making it difficult to know how to react. But if you make an effort to be there for that person, this can make a world of a difference. Knowing they can rely on you for your help and support can further encourage them to get help and stick with treatment.
If youre searching for mental health services for yourself or a loved one, call us today at to learn how our inpatient mental health rehab in Florida can help.
Listen To Your Loved One
Another way you can support a loved one with bipolar disorder is to listen. Your loved one’s needs to know that they can talk about the challenges they are dealing with. You don’t need to have all the answersyou just need to be willing to listen openly and express support for what your loved one is feeling.
As you listen, remember that your words and your attitude are also important. Even if you cannot fully understand what they are experiencing, you should avoid doing things like blaming or getting angry.
Try not to take the individual’s behaviors personally, even if you do get frustrated. During a manic or depressive episode, your loved one may behave in ways that are unexpected or even hurtful. They may be irritable, aggressive, moody, hostile, or reckless.
Try to remember that these actions are symptoms of the condition and not a reflection on you. As a source of support, your attitude can play a role in shaping how your loved one feels about their ability to cope and successfully manage their symptoms.
Mental health stigma can be shaming, isolating, and detrimental to treatment. Focus on staying positive and helping your loved one feel empowered.
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