Tuesday, June 18, 2024

How To Help People With Bipolar Disorder

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Do People With Bipolar Disorder Know They Have The Condition Before Getting Diagnosed

How to Help Someone with Bipolar Disorder

Sometimes. For example, Ayetoro had suspicions for years before officially being diagnosed in 2014.

I experienced what I thought were abnormal swings in mood from very high energy to very low energy for a very long time before. My moods would get so low that I was spending unusual amounts of time in bed depressed, she recalls. It was strange that this depression would follow periods of extremely high spirits.

She experienced two manic episodes before receiving her diagnosis. It was somewhat of a relief to put a name to what was with me, but then began the hard road to stability.

On the other hand, Howard was surprised to receive a diagnosis of bipolar I with psychosis at age 25. As for what made me believe I may have had an illness literally nothing. I was tricked into going to the hospital. Up until the moment I was admitted, I thought everything was normal. It was quite the shock.

Who would I be without bipolar disorder? Id love to find out, he adds. But harnessing my mind and using it to the best of my ability has been my lifes work.

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.

Convincing A Person With Bipolar Disorder To See A Doctor

Aside from offering emotional support, the best way to help your loved one with bipolar disorder is by encouraging and supporting treatment. Often, that can be more of a challenge than it sounds. Since people with bipolar disorder tend to lack insight into their condition, its not always easy to get them to a doctor. When your loved one is manic, they feel great and dont realize theres a problem. When your loved one is depressed, they may recognize somethings wrong, but often lack the energy to seek help.

If your loved one wont acknowledge the possibility of bipolar disorder, dont argue about it. The idea may be frightening to them, so be sensitive. Suggest a routine medical checkup instead, or a doctors visit for a specific symptom, such as insomnia, irritability, or fatiguethen privately call ahead to tell the doctor of your concerns about bipolar disorder.

Things you can say that might help:

  • Bipolar disorder is a real illness, like diabetes. It requires medical treatment.
  • Youre not to blame for bipolar disorder. You didnt cause it. Its not your fault.
  • You can feel better. There are many treatments that can help.
  • When bipolar disorder isnt treated, it usually gets worse.

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How To Deal When The Person During A Manic Episode

The moods and behaviors of a person with bipolar disorder affect everyone around, especially dealing with the two extreme ups and downs can be difficult. When the person has a manic episode they lose it, they behave recklessly, make rash decisions and have explosive outbursts. Once this episode passes the person as well as the dear ones, have to deal with the consequences. But there is hope, with proper treatment medication and support of the loved ones this condition can be completely treated.

Here are a few things you can tell a person with bipolar disorder, that can help them deal with the episode faster. Talking carelessly can shatter self-esteem and stifle a persons motivation to life. Hence try using words like:

I love you, and I care.

Youre not alone in this.

You are important to me.

When all this is over, Ill still be here.

Im always willing to listen.

Ill be your friend no matter what.

This will pass, and we can ride it out together.

Im sorry youre in so much pain.

Apart from the above words, you can also try the following :

Interpersonal And Social Rhythm Therapy

7 Myths And Facts About Bipolar Disorder

In Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy , patients first learn to recognize the relationship between their circadian rhythms and daily routines, as well as their mental health symptoms. IPSRT then focuses on stabilizing sleep/wake cycles, maintaining regular patterns of daily activities , and addressing potential problems that may disrupt these routines.

This often involves resolving current interpersonal problems and developing strategies to prevent such problems from recurring in the future. When combined with medication, IPSRT can help individuals increase their targeted lifestyle routines and reduce both depressive and manic symptoms.

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How Can You Help Someone With Bipolar Disorder

Dealing with the ups and downs of bipolar disorder can be difficultand not just for the person with the illness. The moods and behaviors of a person with bipolar disorder affect everyone aroundespecially family members and close friends. It can put a strain on your relationship and disrupt all aspects of family life.

During a manic episode, you may have to cope with reckless antics, outrageous demands, explosive outbursts, and irresponsible decisions. And once the whirlwind of mania has passed, it often falls on you to deal with the consequences. During episodes of depression, you may have to pick up the slack for a loved one who doesnt have the energy to meet responsibilities at home or work.

The good news is that most people with bipolar disorder can stabilize their moods with proper treatment, medication, and support. Your patience, love, and understanding can play a significant part in your loved ones treatment and recovery. Often, just having someone to talk to can make all the difference to their outlook and motivation.

But caring for a person with bipolar disorder can also take a toll if you neglect your own needs, so its important to find a balance between supporting your loved one and taking care of yourself.

What Should I Know About Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a bio-chemical condition that results in an imbalance of the neurotransmitters in the brain. Genetic make-up is thought to play a role but so too are environmental pressures such as your family, work and social environment, stress, injury, illness and hormone imbalances.

Bipolar disorder is characterized by mood swings that can last for days, weeks or even months. These swings range from mild to severe. The “bi” in bipolar disorder refers to the dual nature of these mood swings – from feelings of great happiness and elation to sadness and despair. In its most severe expression, bipolar disorder can result in mania which is defined as strongly held beliefs that you are a famous person, have special physical abilities or knowledge, or that you are invincible. People can experience mania as a euphoric period. Unfortunately, mania is also accompanied by unwise behaviours tied to the false beliefs. These can include spending sprees, risky sexual activity, excessive drinking or drug use, and other reckless activities or decisions. Bouts of mania are followed by the depths of depression where people feel worthless and hopeless. This phase of bipolar disorder is excruciatingly painful. The mood swings of bipolar disorder deeply affect relationships, social and work functioning and can, in the extreme, bring people into contact with the law.

Symptoms of mania can include the following:

Some symptoms of depression may include:

Some Statistics:

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What Is A Person With Bipolar Disorder Like

Bipolar disorder is a serious, persistent mental illness characterized by changes in mood, energy, and the ability to function. People with bipolar disorder frequently display extreme, intense, and disturbing emotional states known as mood episodes. Extreme happiness or excitement and melancholy are typical symptoms of mood episodes. People with bipolar disorder can also have normal moods occasionally.

Bipolar disorder is classified into:

  • Bipolar I: Characterized by alternating severe depression and intense mania
  • Bipolar II: It involves severe depression but a less intense mania
  • Cyclothymic disorder: A less severe form of mania and depression

An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir Of Moods And Madness By Kay Redfield Jamison

How to Help Someone with Bipolar Disorder

Jamison shares her experience with bipolar disorder both from her own perspective living with the condition, and her perspective as a psychologist treating patients with mental illness.

Its by a psychologist who bipolar disorder. It describes the illness from both the patients and the therapists perspective. It takes the clinical facts and intertwines them the authors personal experiences. Its a must-read for anyone who has or who loves someone with bipolar disorder. Jenny A.

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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.

Medication In Bipolar Disorder Treatment

When diagnosed with bipolar disorder, one of the most effective treatment options is medication, and it is regarded as the cornerstone of bipolar disorder treatment. The significance of bipolar disorder medications comes to play when controlling mania and bipolar depression it helps manage mood disorders and prevents relapse once your mood is steady. The right drug and dosage can determine how effective bipolar disorder medication will stabilize manic episodes and depression, and it is necessary to work hand-in-hand with a doctor or specialist to re-evaluate your bipolar disorder medication regularly. Finding the right bipolar disorder medication happens over time this is because different people diagnosed with bipolar disorder respond differently to various bipolar disorder medications, so you might have to test a couple of bipolar disorder medications before finding the right one. The appropriate dosage will be determined after seeing the bipolar disorder medication that works best for you. Administering the wrong dose may be harmful to the individual, and there is a thin line between an effective treatment and a harmful one. Be patient, take time to get the right bipolar disorder medication it goes a long way in helping you.

Finally, as relevant as it is to take medications to treat bipolar disorder, there are other ways you can manage your symptoms of bipolar disorder and eventually even reduce the amount of bipolar disorder medication needed.

Lifestyle Changes

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Cbt For Bipolar Disorder: How It Works

What causes the highs and lows of bipolar disorder? According to a study published in January 2015 in the journal Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, bipolar mood swings are influenced by your thoughts. The researchers found that having extremely negative thoughts may bring on whats called descent behaviors associated with depression, while overly positive thoughts can lead to ascent behaviors associated with mania.

Practicing CBT may be a way to level out these extremes. Cognitive behavioral therapy capitalizes on the fact that our thoughts, actions, and emotions are all interconnected and can influence one another, says Simon Rego, PsyD, director of the CBT Training Program at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

CBT teaches you how to catch, challenge, and change flawed thoughts as well as identify and correct troublesome behavior patterns. For example, imagine your boss emails you saying she wants to talk to you about your latest project. A negative emotional response, such as jumping to the conclusion that she hates your work and that youre going to get fired, can take you down the path to depression. CBT teaches you to respond to situations with calmer thoughts, such as that your boss may simply want to ask you some questions about your work, which keeps your mood stable. People often feel better emotionally and attain a better quality of life after undergoing CBT, Dr. Rego says.

Tip : Monitor Your Symptoms And Moods

Tips on Living with Someone with Bipolar

In order to stay well, its important to be closely attuned to the way you feel. By the time obvious symptoms of mania or depression appear, it is often too late to intercept the mood swing, so keep a close watch for subtle changes in your mood, sleeping patterns, energy level, and thoughts. If you catch the problem early and act swiftly, you may be able to prevent a minor mood change from turning into a full-blown episode of mania or depression.

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Know When Its Too Much

No one knows how to handle bipolar disorder better than the specialists trained to treat it. If youre helping a person with bipolar disorder and it feels like things are getting too difficult to handle, reach out to a medical or mental health expert right away. Call 911 if the person becomes abusive or threatens to harm themselves or others.

Learn More About Bipolar Disorder

If youre newly diagnosed with bipolar disorder, the first thing you can do is become an expert on your condition.

Learning more about your diagnosis will provide you with the tools to manage your symptoms and advocate for yourself.

Theres a wealth of information out there about bipolar disorder including the basics, the research, and lived experiences.

Not all information you find will be useful, though. Look for trustworthy websites that provide accurate and research-based content, or advocacy groups such as the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance .

While youre digging in, consider taking notes on:

  • Symptoms of bipolar disorder. This will help you recognize your symptoms and understand them better. You wont experience all possible symptoms, but taking note of them may come in handy if you develop new symptoms down the line.
  • Symptom triggers. What types of things can trigger mood episodes or symptoms? You can compare the triggers you find in your research with what youve experienced first hand.
  • Treatment options available. Knowing your options means you can play a more active role in choosing the treatment plan thats right for you. It also means that if your treatment needs to be adjusted at some point, youll have knowledge ready to discuss with your healthcare team.

Information is empowering. Educating yourself on everything related to bipolar disorder will help you recognize what you can and cant control.

This means you can do two important things:

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Helpful Online Bipolar Disorder Support Groups

bphope.com is the award-winning online community started by bp Magazine to increase awareness and provide hope and empowerment for the bipolar community. That also includes those living with the disorder along with their families, caregivers, and health-care professionals.

The site includes the latest news, research, and educational information for building a healthy lifestyle. It encourages stress reduction, exercise, sleep, treatment, relationships, and employment. It is full of inspirational features and profiles of real people with bipolar disorder.

According to one of their subscribers, …bphope.com another part of my support networkas important to me as my family, friendsor even my doctor!

bphope.com is loaded with articles about symptoms and treatments. There is even an extensive section made just for kids, with various blogs and educational videos. There is also a Buzz section with the latest news, inspiration from real people experiencing bipolar disorder , and recommendations of movies and books dealing with the issue.

Throughout bphope.com, there are plenty of blogs and vlogs posted by their team of individuals sharing their unique perspectives on living with bipolar disorder.

If you cant find exactly what you are looking for in the Blogs and Peer Support section, these additional groups are available for anyone with a Facebook account.

Find A Balance Between Support And Control

How AI Can Help People with Bipolar Disorder

Its not uncommon for people with the diagnosis to experience overly controlling and critical behavior from family and friends.

Finding a balance between being supportive, but not controlling, can be difficult if you want to look after someone you care about but its crucial you find this balance. This requires requires ongoing communication and acceptance of each others feelings, says Bipolar UK.

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How To Help A Loved One With Bipolar Disorder

Caring for someone with bipolar disorder can be very hard, whether youâre a partner, parent, child, or friend of someone who has this condition. Itâs stressful for everyone it touches.

Itâs tough to strike a balance. You want to be supportive and empathetic, because you know the person with bipolar disorder isnât to blame for their illness. But their behavior may affect you, and you have to take care of yourself and your needs, not just theirs.

Although there’s no easy solution, these tips may help.

Learn. Read information from reputable websites, books, and articles that explain the condition. The more you know, the better.

Listen. Pay attention to what your loved one has to say. Don’t assume that you know what they are going through. Donât dismiss all of their emotions and feelings as signs of their illness. Someone with bipolar disorder may still have valid points.

Encourage them to stick with treatment. Your loved one needs to take their bipolar medication and get regular checkups or counseling.

Notice their symptoms. They may not be able to see it as clearly as you do when their bipolar symptoms are active. Or they may deny it. When you see the warning signs of mania or depression, you can try to make sure they get help ASAP.

Take care of yourself. As intense as your loved oneâs needs may be, you count, too. Itâs important for you to stay healthy emotionally and physically.

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