Thursday, May 16, 2024

How To Be With Someone With Bipolar Disorder

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Diagnosis Of Bipolar Disorder

The Untold Story of LIVING WITH Someone With Bipolar Disorder

If you love someone with bipolar disorder, there are a few things that you should consider about its diagnosis. These are-

Professional diagnosis of bipolar disorder can take months because the mania phase of the illness mimics other mental health conditions, such as attention deficit disorder , obsessive-compulsive disorder , and others.

If your partner is in the manic or hypomanic phase, he or she may not be able to see any problems. In fact, your loved one may insist that everything is fine and refuse to get help.

Instead of getting involved, try to be a supportive listener. You could also try talking to them about how much you care about them and want to support them.

It can be hard to love someone with bipolar disorder. If you have a loved one who suffers from bipolar. Its important that they know how much of an impact their diagnosis has on your life and theirs. The most loving thing you can do is encourage them. Especially when theyre in the low moments and remind them that this too shall pass. When things are going well for your loved ones, dont forget to praise them like crazy. Loving somebody with bipolar isnt easy but we hope these tips will help make it easier on both parties involved.

Youre Acting Like A Psycho

Not only is this an inaccurate description of bipolar symptoms, but it reinforces the stigma associated with bipolar disorder, which is harmful and hurtful to those with the condition.

Whats more, experiencing that stigma can heighten a persons symptoms and reduce their overall quality of life, according to research published in the Journal of Affective Disorders.

In reality, most people with bipolar disorder are kind and loving people who just happen to have a mental health condition that makes it difficult for them to regulate their moods, Hafeez says.

They Enjoy Parts Of Mania But Ultimately Feel Exhausted By Them

There are parts of mania which are exciting and fun. Colors are more vibrant and individuals often feel incredibly empowered however, every episode of mania comes with a deep slide into depression. The obsession and highs of mania take incredible amounts of energy and ultimately wear the individual out.

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Acknowledge The Gifts Of The Illness

The bipolar diagnosis should never cut us off from humanity. Our illness imbues us with an insight and wisdom that tends to leave the rest of the world for dead. We think and feel more deeply and widely. We light up those around us. We have empathy in abundance. It goes without saying that we are a gift to the right person. Remember to acknowledge the gifts of the illness.

What Does It Mean For Our Marriage If My Spouse Has Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder and depression: Differences, causes, and symptoms

There are two answers to this question. If you spouse fully accepts the diagnosis and resolves to get treatment, you could begin working together and make the marriage stronger than ever. Many people with bipolar disorder have happy, successful marriages.

If, on the other hand, your spouse refuses treatment, you must learn to protect yourself from abuse. Abuse can take the form of

  • Verbal abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Physical abuse

Read our article on Encouraging a Loved One to Get Help for tips on discussing bipolar with your spouse. And see our article on Finding a Good Therapist for when they are ready to take that step.

We offer a variety of resources to help those with bipolar disorder and their loved ones. One of these is our free e-book, Healthy Living with Bipolar Disorder, which covers all of the basic information you need to know about bipolar. View a list of the rest of our programs here.

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I Have Bipolar Disorder

There is a myth people with bipolar disorder use and abuse their friends. While I have no doubt that there are people out there who fall into that group, certainly, that isn’t all of us and I know it isn’t me. I love and appreciate my friends and I am cognizant of the fact that dealing with my bipolar has challenges for them, too.

And I work as hard at being a good friend to them as I hope they will be to me. I don’t believe in one-way friendships.

Always Be Open And Honest

You might think you need to speak and behave in a way that spares your loved one from feeling guilt or shame over their bipolar symptoms. Yet honesty is the best policy, so it is important that you remain open and honest with this individual. Express your concerns in a calm and loving manner.

You can phrase your observations in a way that leaves room for them to choose how or when to respond. For example, you might want to say something like, I noticed that you have been withdrawn recently. Would you like to talk about how youve been feeling? This does not apply much pressure on them but allows you to honestly voice your concerns and observations.

Even if you disagree with something your loved one says or does, you can approach them in an honest fashion without escalating the situation. Should things begin to escalate, you can de-escalate the situation. Try repeating back the things that your loved one is saying to you to ensure that you understand them correctly. Be an active listener so that you can get back the honesty and openness that you give.

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Figure Out Your Level Of Involvement

How involved are you in your loved ones life? Dealing with a bipolar spouse with whom you have already built a life is a very different situation than dealing with a bipolar housemate. Evaluate both how much support is needed and how much you are realistically able to offer.

Minimal involvement might start with offering to get in touch with someone who is better able to help when things get bad. Increased levels of involvement could include helping the person spot when he is beginning to enter into a manic or depressed state, helping him remember to take his medication, or driving them to the doctor. If you have permission, you might even speak with his therapist yourself the outside perspective you can offer can be invaluable for a treatment provider to more fully understand whats going on.

Can Just Anyone Be A Friend To A Person With Bipolar Disorder

My Life Living with Bipolar Disorder

In recognizing there is both good and bad in a friendship that includes bipolar disorder, and knowing there is good and bad in every relationship, can anyway enjoy a friendship with a person who has bipolar disorder?

Watch this video where I discuss how different friends deal with bipolar disorder differently.

My answer is, unfortunately, no, not everyone can handle a friendship with a person who has bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is tough, emotional stuff and not everyone can handle that.

But in the end, that’s okay. No matter who we are, not all friendships would fit. So sometimes bipolar stands in the way of a friendship — that could happen to anyone for a myriad of reasons.

So this means two things:

  • Friendships may not always work and it isn’t necessarily our fault. Sometimes bipolar disorder is a roadblock that people can’t overcome.
  • The friends we do have are absolute gems.
  • It really pays for us to remember both.

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    Getting Help For Bipolar Disorder

    Whether you have bipolar disorder or youre in a relationship with someone who does, finding help doesnt have to be difficult. The first step is learning more about what bipolar disorder looks like. Then, you can find a therapist you both trust and make a commitment to sticking to treatment.

    A few other resources available include finding a local or online support group, getting a referral from your primary care physician, reaching out to a mental health clinic in your area, or considering in-person or online therapy.

    With the right support and guidance, your bipolar disorder relationships can thrive. You can live the life youve always wanted in a successful, loving, mutually supportive relationship.

    In a relationship and wondering how to know if you are bipolar? Take our free bipolar disorder test to get started.

    What Should You Not Say To Someone With Bipolar Disorder

    Making judgmental statements about your loved ones condition or behaviors may worsen conflicts with them.

    Instead, consider focusing on I statements that express how you feel. For example, instead of saying youre not listening, consider saying, I dont feel like youre hearing me. Instead of you never help out around the house, try Im struggling to manage the housework and need more help from you.

    If your loved one gets upset during a conversation or begins escalating a conflict, the National Alliance on Mental Illness recommends:

  • Stay calm and rational.
  • Try to listen to them and help them feel understood.
  • Work toward a positive solution.
  • In some cases, you might be able to talk through a conflict as it arises. In other cases, you might need to wait until you and your loved one have calmed down before problem-solving together.

    Clearly communicating what you feel, want, and need is important. Giving your loved one the opportunity to share their feelings, perspective, and problem-solving suggestions is also critical to effective communication.

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    Remain Calm And Provide Comfort

    If someone you love is seeing or hearing things you arent, it can be scary and confusing for them. Do you disagree and say its not happening, potentially causing more upset, or do you agree and fuel the belief further?

    Its helpful to stay calm, and let them know you understand that it feels real for them, says Buckley. It might be helpful to focus on supporting them with how they are feeling, rather than confirming or challenging their perception of reality, which will feel incredibly real for them in those moments.

    Providing comfort can help the person feel seen and heard. If you disagree or argue, it may make them feel more alienated.

    Information For Family Carers And Friends

    How you can help someone with bipolar disorder?

    How can I get support?

    You can speak to your GP. You should be given your own assessment through NHS mental health services to work out what effect your caring role is having on your health. And what support you need. Such as practical support and emergency support.

    These are some other options for you:

    • Join a carers service
    • Join a carers support group
    • Ask your local authority for a carers assessment
    • Read about the condition
    • Apply for welfare benefits for carers

    Rethink Mental Illness run carers support groups in some areas. You can also search for groups on the Carers Trust website:

    How can I support the person I care for?

    You might find it easier to support someone with bipolar disorder if you understand their symptoms, treatment and self-management skills.

    You should be aware of what you can do if you are worried about their mental state. It can be helpful to know contact information for their mental health team or GP.

    You could find out from your relative if they have a crisis plan. You could help your relative to make a crisis plan if they dont have one.

    As a carer you should be involved in decisions about care planning. But you dont have a legal right to this. The medical team should encourage the person that you care for to allow information to be shared with you.

    You can find out more information about:

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    Tip : Reach Out For Face

    Having a strong support system is essential to staying happy and healthy. Often, simply having someone to talk to face-to-face can be an enormous help in relieving bipolar depression and boosting your outlook and motivation. The people you turn to dont have to be able to fix you they just have to be good listeners. The more people that you can turn to who will be available and good listeners, the more likely you are to manage your moods.

    Dont isolate! Support for bipolar disorder starts close to home. Its important to have people you can count on to help you through rough times. Isolation and loneliness can cause depression, so regular contact with supportive friends and family members is therapeutic in itself. Reaching out to others is not a sign of weakness and it wont make you a burden. Support for bipolar disorder starts close to home. Your loved ones care about you and want to help. In order to manage bipolar disorder, its essential that you have people you can count on to help you through rough times.

    Join a bipolar disorder support group. Spending time with people who know what youre going through and can honestly say theyve been there can be very therapeutic. You can also benefit from the shared experiences and advice of the group members.

    10 tips for reaching out and building relationships

  • Talk to one person about your feelings.
  • Help someone else by volunteering.
  • Have lunch or coffee with a friend.
  • Ask a loved one to check in with you regularly.
  • After Diagnosis: Identify Their Triggers And Symptoms And Accept Their Own Limits

    Along with getting treatment, it is really important to track the symptoms, triggers, and manic episodes in order to self-help them for a speedy recovery. Additionally, during episodes or triggers accept their feelings and emotions. The fact is that you cannot control their moods therefore, dont snap out on them and keep your self-control, reasoning, and willpower high. Here are a few things that you can do to manage their treatment:

    • Track their symptoms and triggers
    • Accept their feelings and emotions
    • Offer help without any judgment
    • Always wait for the bright days
    • Offer help with medication management
    • Control your stress levels and accept your limits

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    Recognize When You Need To Back Away And Gently Verbalize It

    Sometimes, you will need to back away from a situation with someone who has bipolar disorder. But how do you do so without offending them and making the situation worse?

    First of all, remember your own need for self-care. If your involvement with this person is causing you to throw your own needs to the wind, pause. Take a breath and back up. If this person is someone you work with, remember to keep your work and home lives as separate as possible. If this person is a friend or family member, you might need to consider letting go of the reigns and giving control over their situation to a licensed professional.

    Your loved one has their limits so do you. Focus on your own life while still lending your support. Get support for yourself if you start feeling overwhelmed. Caregivers, in particular, get overwhelmed quickly, and that is when it can be truly helpful to talk to your own counselor.

    Set your boundaries and stick to them. Let your loved one know if you need some time to yourself. You can tell them, Hey, Im feeling worn out right now. Is it okay if we talk about things later? Never set an absolute date, but use words like later to let them know you still want to support them and talk with them about their issues. You just cannot do it at the moment when you are feeling inundated and stressed out.

    How To Be There For Someone With Bipolar Disorder

    Living with Bipolar Disorder

    The National Alliance on Mental Illness suggests the following tips for helping a friend with bipolar disorder:

    • Communication: While confronting problems may be difficult, knowing when and how to have these discussions is important. Communicating in a suitable manner and time can help prevent situations from escalating.
    • Recognizing symptoms: A friend may identify the early symptoms of an episode in a person with bipolar, which can help them seek treatment before it gets serious. Often, mood episodes may have warning signs. For example, generally, a lack of sleep or difficulty sleeping precedes an episode.
    • Reacting calmly and rationally: Even in situations when a person with bipolar disorder is exhibiting extreme behaviors, it is important to remain calm. A friend can try to listen and help them feel understood to help them work toward a positive outcome.

    Additionally, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration suggests the following advice:

    • learn more about bipolar disorder
    • be patient and attentive, particularly during mood episodes
    • listen to them without judgment
    • work with the friend to create a support plan, such as a Psychiatric Advance Directive and a Suicide Safety Plan
    • support the friend during treatment

    A Psychiatric Advance Directive refers to a legal tool that allows a person with bipolar disorder to state their preferences for treatment in case of a crisis.

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    Caring For Someone With Bipolar Disorder

    Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition. A person may feel depressed, sad, and have extreme mood swings. Caring for someone with bipolar disorder may be challenging, and let us look at ways to manage bipolar disorder.


  • Takeaway
  • Caring for your loved ones with any injury or illness is a difficult task. Caring for someone with bipolar disorder is extremely challenging. Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition. A person suffering from this may feel sad, depressed, and have extreme mood swings.

    Around 2.8% of the population in the US has bipolar disorder. People can experience bipolar disorder at any age, and it usually begins in the late teens or adulthood. Every one of us may experience mood swings at times. But people who have bipolar disorder may experience extreme mood swings. It may affect their ability to think properly, thus affecting their daily routine.

    However, this is a lifelong condition, and there is no cure for it. But with proper treatment and medication, you can manage the symptoms and mood swings. Let us look at the ways to care for someone with bipolar disorder in which we will cover:

    • Mood Episodes
    • Types and causes of bipolar disorder.
    • Ways to help your loved ones with bipolar disorder.
    • How can this be treated?

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