Listen Without Judgement And Give Them Space To Talk
In the context of a therapist, this means providing a safe space for discussion and being non-judgemental. It means being receptive to what the client is trying to say.
It takes time for people to open up about their trauma or other issues that they are dealing with. The first session itself might not yield much progress unless the person has either come prepared with some notes or has done some research on you beforehand.
The following tips can help therapists maintain good rapport with their clients:
Maintain eye contact, posture, and respect
Use active listening techniques like paraphrasing and reflecting back on what you heard them say
Remember that this form of communication relies on both parties understanding what the other is trying to communicate. If you are not sure what the person is trying to say. Then try to ask questions or offer your thoughts.
How To Help During A Depressive Episode
Just as with a manic episode, doctors may suggest a change in medication, an increase in medication, or a hospital stay for a person having a depressive episode with suicidal thoughts. Again, youll want to develop a coping plan for depressive episodes with your loved one when theyre not showing any symptoms. During an episode they may lack the motivation to come up with such plans.
You can also help a loved one during a depressive episode. Listen attentively, offer helpful coping advice, and try to boost them up by focusing on their positive attributes. Always talk to them in a nonjudgmental way and offer to help them with little day-to-day things they may be struggling with.
Some signs of an emergency include:
- violent behavior or speech
- threatening behavior or speech
- suicidal speech or actions, or talk about death
In general, feel free to help the person as long as they dont appear to be posing a risk to their life or the lives of others. Be patient, attentive to their speech and behavior, and supportive in their care.
But in some cases, its not always possible to help a person through a manic or depressive episode and youll need to get expert help. Call the persons doctor right away if youre concerned about how the episode is escalating.
If you think your loved one is considering suicide, you can get help from a crisis or suicide prevention hotline. One good option is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
But Rememberyou Are Not Their Doctor Or Therapist
You dont have to do a diagnostic interview or psychologically size up a friendthats not your role, says Dr. Singh. Your role is to express concern, especially if there might be a serious risk of harm, and help them find help as quickly as possible.
Outside of that, dont assume that you need to monitor your friends moods or behaviors for any changes unless youve specifically talked about that. Having a conversation with your friend about what symptoms or triggers theyd specifically like you to take note ofor notis a great place to start.
For instance, if you know your friend is in a lot of debt and theyve asked you to help them monitor their spending when theyre experiencing a manic or hypomanic episode, then it would make sense to speak up when theyre suddenly talking about making an unnecessary financial purchase with money they dont appear to have. But if you havent discussed your role in helping them manage their symptoms, you dont want to just assume that every splurge they make is due to a manic episode.
And remember: Unless your friend is experiencing a mental health emergency with symptoms like suicidal ideation, all you can do is be there for them and encourage them to talk to their doctor if youre concernedyou cant force them to get treatment.
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What Does It Mean If Your Partner Is Bipolar
Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition marked by intense mood changes. People with the illness switch back and forth from mania or hypomania to having episodes of depression.
The lifelong condition tends to run in families, although the cause of bipolar disease is unknown. However, it can often be successfully managed through treatment. There are two primary types of bipolar disorder:
Make The Best Decision And Dont Fret Mistakes
When do you go with your head? When do you go with your heart? How do you justify a decision to your partner? Our only guide is a lifetime of experience, which inevitably involves a history of wrong choices. Mistakes are inevitable, but they may also give us the wisdom to move forward. Says the Dalai Lama: When you lose, dont lose the lesson.
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What Impact Has Bipolar Had On Your Life
For me this is important because my experience is very unusual. I took antidepressants in my last year of school which, when I arrived at University and took the control of living away from home, helped to induce hypomania.
I was already aware of my mood swings, and studying biomedical sciences. I went to the doctor and said I thought I had bipolar, and he agreed. I had met a superb psychiatrist via student health and because in my extended Irish family there were a few people who were unusual, and at least two with probable bipolar a working diagnosis was quick.
My school and university experiences were coloured by mood swings. I cycled rapidly between deep depression and hypomania. I ate too much and drank too much, in part because of the medication and in part because of anxiety, and became very obese.
I had some embarrassing moments of drunkenness, self-harm, obnoxiousness, and accrued debt. By the time I felt properly back on an even keel seven years later I had accrued nearly £50,000 of unsecured debt, which has taken a decade to pay back.
I dont have a house or a postgraduate degree, which Id have liked and which would help now. But. I had my life.
I avoided hospital, thanks to my psychiatrist, brilliant GP, online peer support, and carefully nurtured insight. And because I found a sense of purpose through volunteering.
The impact has been massive. It disrupted education, disadvantaged my career, and decimated my relationships
Treatments For Bipolar Disorder
The high and low phases of bipolar disorder are often so extreme that they interfere with everyday life.
But there are several options for treating bipolar disorder that can make a difference.
They aim to control the effects of an episode and help someone with bipolar disorder live life as normally as possible.
The following treatment options are available:
- medicine to prevent episodes of mania and depression these are known as mood stabilisers, and you take them every day on a long-term basis
- medicine to treat the main symptoms of depression and mania when they happen
- learning to recognise the triggers and signs of an episode of depression or mania
- psychological treatment such as talking therapy, which can help you deal with depression, and provides advice about how to improve your relationships
- lifestyle advice such as doing regular exercise, planning activities you enjoy that give you a sense of achievement, as well as advice on improving your diet and getting more sleep
It’s thought using a combination of different treatment methods is the best way to control bipolar disorder.
Help and advice for people with a long-term condition or their carers is also available from charities, support groups and associations.
This includes self-help and learning to deal with the practical aspects of a long-term condition.
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Understanding What Someone With Bipolar Disorder Experiences
One thing to understand about bipolar disorder is that it is a lifelong condition, so getting professional help is critical for the person who has it. Therapy and medication are used to treat the disorder, and these methods have helped many people live healthy lives.
People who want to support a person with bipolar disorder can educate themselves about the disorders symptoms, which fall into three main categories: mania, hypomania, and depression. Here are a few symptoms for each category that can give you an idea of what each phase looks like.
Living With Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a condition of extremes. A person with bipolar disorder may be unaware they’re in the manic phase.
After the episode is over, they may be shocked at their behaviour. But at the time, they may believe other people are being negative or unhelpful.
Some people with bipolar disorder have more frequent and severe episodes than others.
The extreme nature of the condition means staying in a job may be difficult and relationships may become strained. There’s also an increased risk of suicide.
During episodes of mania and depression, someone with bipolar disorder may experience strange sensations, such as seeing, hearing or smelling things that are not there .
They may also believe things that seem irrational to other people . These types of symptoms are known as psychosis or a psychotic episode.
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Ways To Show Up For A Friend With Bipolar Disorder
If you have a friend with bipolar disorder, you may already know that this health condition can cause extreme fluctuations in mood and energy levels. But there are also a lot of myths and misconceptions about bipolar disorder. Because of that, showing up for your friend with bipolar disorder will likely require some greater understanding of the condition on your part.
Judgment about mental health can be pervasive and harmful, and friends play an important role in providing support and kindness. A friend doesnt judge a friend in a way that triggers them to be their worst selves, Manpreet Singh, M.D., director of the Pediatric Mood Disorders Program at Stanford, tells SELF. A friend helps a friend be their best self.Here, mental health experts and a person with bipolar disorder share how you can be an excellent source of support to people with this mental health condition.
Ways You Can Support Someone With Bipolar Disorder
Lifestyle Writer at The Huffington Post UK
The support from family and friends, as well as mental health services, is hugely important for people with bipolar disorder, says Stephen Buckley, from UK-based mental health charity, Mind. But knowing how to show support can be hard.
Kim Kardashian Wests statement in response to media speculation about Kanye Wests mental health was a candid reflection on what its like to watch someone you love struggle from the sidelines. People who are unaware or far removed from this experience can be judgmental and not understand that the individual themselves have to engage in the process of getting help no matter how hard family and friends try, she wrote.
The rapper has previously spoken about life with bipolar disorder, saying if he didnt keep on top of his medication, there was potential to ramp up and end up in hospital. He explained that for him, ramping up or experiencing an episode of psychosis can mean he is hyper-paranoid about everything.
Bipolar disorder affects a persons mood, meaning they will often fluctuate from one extreme to another. They will experience periods of mania, feeling very high and overactive, which are then followed by periods of depression. Some people might also experience hallucinations or delusions, known as psychosis.
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Put Safeguards In Place
Its also important to safeguard your physical and financial safety. For example, if your loved ones driving grows risky during a manic episode, then insist on driving or decline to be a passenger in her car. Money can also be a major problem. If you are dependent upon your loved one in order to pay rent or bills, then secure your payment ahead of time. Set up automatic deposits from an account that isnt easily accessed, or if finances are coming from a third party, arrange to get the money from them directly. If you have access to joint accounts, consider placing limits on credit cards purchases or cash withdrawals.
Surveys report that people with bipolar disorder are almost twice as likely to get fired or laid off from their job, so having a plan in place for financial stability is important.
Come Up With A Contract
Dont wait until your loved one becomes symptomatic to talk to them. Mania can reduce his self-awareness, and depression can impair their ability to take action as well as make him more likely to feel that he is being criticized. Instead, approach them during one of the in-between states, when they are most stable.
Remind your loved one that you support him, and while you may not understand what they are going through, youre here and want to help.
Essentially, you want to create a contract with your loved one. You will agree together that if a certain warning sign appears, its time to take a certain action. It may be symptom-specific, such as locking away firearms if suicidal feelings appear, or agreeing to hand over car keys if impulsivity worsens. Or, you may work out a colored light system, with each color corresponding to a level of concern. For example:
- Green light: All is well.
- Yellow light: Im seeing a few small signs of mania or depression. Try to keep this in mind and be particularly careful.
- Amber light: Im seeing worrisome warning signs. Its time for you to go in and see your doctor.
- Red light: Im extremely worried that something bad will happen, right now. Youre coming with me to the emergency room and/or Im calling 911. Dont hesitate. Studies report that 25-50 percent of people with bipolar disorder attempt suicide at least once.
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What Causes Bipolar Disorder
The cause of bipolar disorder isnt clear. Research suggests that a combination of different things can make it more likely that you will develop bipolar disorder.
There is a 13% chance you will develop bipolar disorder if someone in your immediate family, like a parent, brother or sister has bipolar disorder.
This risk is higher if both of your parents have the condition or if your twin has the condition.
Researchers havent found the exact genes that cause bipolar disorder. But different genes have been linked to the development of bipolar disorder.
Brain chemical imbalance
Different chemicals in your brain affect your mood and behaviour. Too much or too little of these chemicals could lead to you developing mania or depression.
Stressful life events can trigger symptoms of bipolar disorder. Such as childhood abuse or the loss of a loved one. They can increase your chances of developing depressive episodes.
You can find more information about Does mental illness run in families? by clicking here.
Friendship With A Person Who Has Bipolar Disorder
It can be challenging to be a friend of a person with bipolar disorder. I freely admit this. I know that my life is difficult for me to deal with and, certainly, it can be difficult for anyone else. Nevertheless, friendship with a person who has bipolar disorder can be just as rewarding as any other friendship.
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Coping With Bipolar Disorder
Living with bipolar disorder can be challenging, but there are ways to help make it easier for yourself, a friend, or a loved one.
- Get treatment and stick with itrecovery takes time and its not easy. But treatment is the best way to start feeling better.
- Keep medical and therapy appointments, and talk with the provider about treatment options.
- Take all medicines as directed.
- Structure activities: keep a routine for eating and sleeping, and make sure to get enough sleep and exercise.
- Learn to recognize your mood swings.
- Ask for help when trying to stick with your treatment.
- Be patient improvement takes time. Social support helps.
Remember, bipolar disorder is a lifelong illness, but long-term, ongoing treatment can help control symptoms and enable you to live a healthy life.
In Sickness And Health
Mortgage loan officer assistant Alyson Gregory, from Salt Lake City, UT, received a bipolar disorder diagnosis during the COVID-19 pandemic. Shed been living with major depression and anxiety for years.
just told me right after her diagnosis, since we were already together 5 years, Jess, Alysons fiancé, says.
I try my best to figure out when to help be the stability she needs.
She was unable to work for 4 months, so I supported her throughout that time. I try to hype her up when shes down and calm her when shes upset.
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Living With Someone Who Has Bipolar Disorder What To Know
Nearly six million Americans have bipolar disorder and more than half of them are not receiving treatment for this serious mental illness. Many people with BPD are misdiagnosed with major depression, schizophrenia, or borderline personality disorder because signs of BPD
While in a manic phase, people with BPD may engage in delusional or irrational thinking and extreme behaviors leading to criminal activity or involvement in dangerous situations. Alternately, the down stage of a bipolar episode can make a person feel extremely depressed and suicidal.
Can Just Anyone Be A Friend To A Person 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:
It really pays for us to remember both.
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