How To Help Yourself When You Have A Mean And Nasty Episode
Write down what you think, say, and do during one of these episodes . Documenting what you think, say, and do can help you determine if its agitated depression or dysphoric mania. You can also use this list in the future to prevent the mood swing from going too far. I call this being a bipolar detective.
Here is an example of my think, says, does list from my last agitated depression:
What I said to others and wrote in my journal:
- The government where I live is so fing stupid. They are incompetent and I HATE them. They should all be fired! They lied to the press and caused enormous distress for all of us!
- I cant believe how dumb everyone is! People are sheep and they are stupid! They are blind and I cant figure out how they can be so dumb!
- This life is too hard. Its ridiculous that my life is so hard. I cant find peace anywhere.
I do NOT think like this at all when Im stable. Im not a mean or unkind person. This is a downswing.
How I Ended the Agitated Depression
Writing my thoughts and behaviors down in my journal really helped me recognize that I was sick and I needed to help myself so that I wouldnt ruin any relationships:
- I stopped talking about politics and world events.
- I tried to be nice to myself and remind myself that I have bipolar and this is simply a symptom. What matters is that I caught itand that is a positive.
- I apologized.
Tips For Coping With Bipolar Disorder In The Family
Accept your loved ones limits. Your loved one with bipolar disorder cant control their moods. They cant just snap out of a depression or get a hold of themselves during a manic episode. Neither depression nor mania can be overcome through self-control, willpower, or reasoning. So telling your loved one to Stop acting crazy or to Look on the bright side wont help.
Accept your own limits. You cant rescue your loved one with bipolar disorder, nor can you force them to take responsibility for getting better. You can offer support, but ultimately, recovery is in the hands of the person with the illness.
Reduce stress. Stress makes bipolar disorder worse, so try to find ways to reduce stress in your loved ones life. Ask how you can help and volunteer to take over some of the persons responsibilities if needed. Establishing and enforcing a daily routinewith regular times for getting up, having meals, and going to bedcan also reduce family stress.
Communicate openly. Open and honest communication is essential to coping with bipolar disorder in the family. Share your concerns in a loving way, ask your loved one how theyre feeling, and make an effort to truly listeneven if you disagree with your loved one or dont relate to whats being said.
Supporting a person with bipolar disorder
What you can say that helps:
Helping Someone With Bipolar Disorder
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Pay Attention To Symptoms
Talk to your loved one about what might be helpful if you notice that their symptoms have grown more serious. This might involve taking over some duties for them while they are experiencing an episode of mania or depression.
It might also involve helping them manage the effects of their symptoms by holding on to things that they may not want to have access to while they are experiencing mania.
Loss of interest and pleasure
Feelings of hopelessness
Learn More About Bipolar Disorder
If you are working on supporting a friend through bipolar disorder, the first step to take is learning as much as you can about bipolar disorder.
You can dispel the myths you may believe about the disorder. You can learn more about how its treated and what to expect if your friend or loved one is in a period of mania or depression.
There are risks associated with bipolar disorder, including the potential for dangerous behaviors during periods of mania or suicidal thoughts or behaviors during a depressive period. The more you know about the disorder in general, the more prepared you will be to spot potential warning signs and seek the appropriate help for your friend or loved one.
What Families Can Do
Educate yourself about the illness
Support your family member to manage their illness
Believe in them, especially in times when they may not believe in themselves
Continue to love them even when you want to give up
“When my wife is in a manic state, I worry constantly about what might happen. I can cope as long as I know she’s getting better. I cant give up hope.”
Education and support can greatly aid families who have a relative with bipolar disorder.
More information on how you can help your family member effectively manage their illness can be found in the Family Toolkit, available at: www.heretohelp.bc.ca.
About the author
The Mood Disorders Association of BC is dedicated to providing support, education, and hope for recovery for those living with a mood disorder or other mental illness. For more, visit www.mdabc.net or call 1-604-873-0103.
Learn Their Warning Signs And Triggers
Most people have some warning signs that they’re about to experience a mood episode.
Many people will also have triggers, such as stress, which can bring on an episode. Try to:
- Talk to your friend, partner or family member about their warning signs, exploring what they may be.
- Gently let them knowif you’ve noticed certain behaviours that normally happen before an episode.
- Understand what their triggers are and how you can help avoid or manage them.
“Having a father with bipolar is definitely a worry you ride the highs and lows with them. Looking out for patterns, talking, remaining calm and supportive is essential.”
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Take Care Of Yourself And Set Boundaries
Loving someone with bipolar disorder is trying, but you canât rescue your loved one with bipolar disorder. You cannot control them or make them take responsibility for getting better. You can offer support, but ultimately recovery is in the hands of the person with the illness. Because you too are coping with the effects of this disorder and are focused on your loved one, it is easy to forget about your own health. Take time for yourself and take care of your health. Join a support group or dedicate an hour each week to doing something you enjoy. If not, you could become depressed and even turn to drugs or alcohol to cope. Before you know it, you will require our addiction treatment in Boca as well.
How To Work With A Bipolar Coworker 10 Tips
Nowadays there has been raised awareness about mental illness. However, there is still a lot of miseducation on the subject of bipolar disorder. Being informed about this mental illness can help you learn how to work with a bipolar coworker and deal with issues that you might face at work.
People with bipolar disorder experience extreme mood shifts combined with erratic behavior which can create challenges in the workplace.
Employees working with a bipolar coworker might have to deal with the following issues:
- Disrespected boundaries
- Lack of motivation
- Erratic behavior
Getting informed about bipolar disorder can help you find ways to make your work life more bearable and less overwhelming. By learning about this mental health issue, you will also be in a position to help your coworker who is struggling with bipolar disorder.
This article focus on how to work with a bipolar person if you are a manager or part of the HR team you might want to know how to deal with a bipolar employee.
Here are 10 tips to help you out when it comes to learning how to work with a bipolar person.
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Be Patient And Stay Optimistic
Bipolar disorder is a long-term condition, so the symptoms will come and go throughout a persons life. The disorder is unpredictable, with symptom-free periods alternating with extreme mood episodes. For the sake of the person with bipolar disorder, try to stay patient and optimistic. This can help them stay on track to living a full, healthy life.
Dealing With Suicidal Feelings
Having suicidal thoughts is a common depressive symptom of bipolar disorder. Without treatment, these thoughts may get stronger.
Some research has shown the risk of suicide for people with bipolar disorder is 15 to 20 times greater than the general population.
Studies have also shown that as many as half of all people with bipolar disorder attempt suicide at least once.
The risk of suicide seems to be higher earlier in the illness, so early recognition and help may prevent it.
If you’re feeling suicidal, go to your nearest A& E department as soon as possible.
If you’re feeling very depressed, contact your GP, care co-ordinator or local mental health crisis team as soon as possible.
You could also call NHS 111 for an immediate assessment.
If you cannot or do not want to contact these people, contact the Samaritans on 116 123. You can call them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Alternatively, visit the Samaritans website or email .
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Concerned About Bipolar Disorder
#2, Educate Yourself Education starts with learning the symptoms of manic and depressive episodes and getting up-to-date on research-driven treatment options for bipolar disorder. Share your questions and concerns with your doctor or psychiatrist, and ask them what resources they recommend for you to read or gather. Understanding the illness can help it feel more manageable and assist you in identifying symptoms before they get worse.
#3. Track Symptoms Many people with bipolar disorder find it useful to keep a daily log of their mood, thinking, and behaviors. If you are able to catch small changes in these arenas, then you may be able to stop or decrease the intensity of a mood episode before it worsens. You should can also track stressors or behaviors which may trigger a mood episode, such as lack of sleep, relationship conflict, school or work stress, substance use, or seasonal changes. The more accurately you can report these changes to yourself and your doctor, the greater chance of stabilizing your mood.
Create An Emergency Action Plan
Despite your best efforts, there may be times when you experience a relapse into full-blown mania or severe depression. In crisis situations where your safety is at stake, your loved ones or doctor may have to take charge of your care. Such times can leave you feeling helpless and out of control, but having a crisis plan in place allows you to maintain some degree of responsibility for your own treatment.
A plan of action typically includes:
A list of emergency contacts for your doctor, therapist, and close family members.
A list of all medications you are taking, including dosage information.
Symptoms that indicate you need others to take responsibility for your care, and information about any other health problems you have.
Treatment preferences such as who you want to care for you, what treatments and medications do and do not work, and who is authorized to make decisions on your behalf.
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Supporting A Loved One During Bipolar Disorder Treatment
Once your friend or family member agrees to see a doctor, you can help by being a partner in treatment. Your support can make a big difference in their treatment success, so offer to be involved in any way your loved one wants or needs.
Things you can do to support a loved ones bipolar disorder treatment:
- Find qualified doctors and therapists.
- Set up appointments and go along.
- Offer your insights to the doctor.
- Monitor your loved ones moods.
- Learn about their medications.
- Watch for signs of relapse.
- Alert the doctor to problems.
Supporting Someone With Bipolar Disorder
This page is for friends, partners and family who want to help someone with bipolar disorder.
Seeing someone you care about going through the moods and symptoms of bipolar disorder can feel distressing. But you can offer support in lots of ways, while also looking after your own wellbeing.
This page covers how you can:
Never Engage In Dialogue With The Other Persons Amygdala
We all have a fear center in our brain called the amygdala, responsible for activating flight-or-flight reactions. Our clear messages get lost and we become irrational and unreasonable. For persons living with bipolar, the amygdala may be overactivated or very easily triggered. Dont engage in an argument or debate with your bipolar partner when he or she is in a fear state. Wait until there is calm again.
Bipolar Disorder: Effects On The Family
Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder characterized by extreme changes in moods. It is an illness that not only affects the individual but their family and friends as well. Living with a person who has bipolar disorder involves learning how to cope with the difficulties that symptoms can create, supporting the person who is ill, and finding effective ways to cope.
Depending on the nature of an individuals illness and how well the illness is managed, the family can be affected in a variety of ways. When mood swings are mild, the family may experience some distress but, over time and with education about mental illness, they can learn to live with the demands of the illness. Caring for someone with more severe symptoms can be very stressful for the family, especially if they are not given the opportunity to develop the skills needed to cope with mental illness. It can be exhausting, especially for families with young children.
Bipolar disorder can impact families in the following ways:
Emotional distress such as guilt, grief, and worry
Disruption in regular routines
Difficulty in maintaining relationships outside the family
Health problems as a result of stress
Family members may experience a variety of emotions as they learn to come to terms with having someone who has bipolar disorder. There is no right or wrong way to feel. What is important is how you handle these emotions.
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Patients: Don’t Hide Symptoms From Your Doctor
Did you know that it takes an average of nine to 10 years for people to be properly diagnosed with bipolar disorder? There are two big reasons for this. One is that doctors miss the diagnosis all too frequently, even when hypomanic symptoms are brought to their attention. The other is the failure of patients to report symptoms.
More often than not, it is depression symptoms that send people to see a psychiatrist or other therapist. You may have viewed past hypomanic symptoms as just “not depressed,””feeling like a normal person” or “feeling good.”
If you respond to antidepressant therapy, you may think, “Wow, it’s working” and not recognize that you’ve gone into a hypomanic state . But if you don’t relate your behaviors to your doctor when you’re “feeling good,” he or she may not realize you’ve gone too far in the opposite direction from depression until the symptoms escalate into serious problems.
Consider Collaborating With A Therapist
Psychotherapy is commonly used as a bipolar disorder treatment. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a common therapy for bipolar disorder, but family-focused therapy can also be quite helpful.
Therapy helps you and your loved one understand bipolar disorder better so you can begin to develop effective coping strategies for long-term symptom management.
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Try Not To Make Assumptions
You might find yourself always looking out for signs that your friend, partner or family member is starting a bipolar episode. This is completely understandable. But this might not be the most helpful way to support them. You can:
- Remember that it’s possible for anyone to display a range of emotions and behaviour, while still feeling stable overall.
- Try not to assume that any change in mood is a sign that someone is unwell. If you’re not sure, talking to your friend or family member is the best way to check.
“If those around me are concerned about whether changes are symptomatic of relapse, I encourage them to ask, not assume.”
How Is Bipolar Disorder Diagnosed
To diagnose bipolar disorder, your healthcare provider may use many tools, including:
- A physical exam.
- A thorough medical history, which will include asking about your symptoms, lifetime history, experiences and family history.
- Medical tests, such as blood tests, to rule out other conditions that could be causing your symptoms, such as hyperthyroidism.
- A mental health evaluation. Your healthcare provider may perform the evaluation, or they may refer you to a mental health specialist, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist.
To be diagnosed with bipolar disorder, you must have experienced at least one episode of mania or hypomania. Mental health providers use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to diagnose the type of bipolar disorder a person may be experiencing.
To determine what type of bipolar disorder you may have, your mental health provider assesses the pattern of symptoms and how much they affect your life during the most severe episodes.
People with bipolar disorder are more likely to also have the following mental health conditions:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder .
- Substance use disorders/dual diagnosis.
Because of this, as well as the fact that memory is often impaired during mania so people cant remember experiencing it, it can be difficult for healthcare providers to properly diagnose people with bipolar disorder.
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