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What Not To Say To Someone With Bipolar

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Things Not To Say To Someone With Bipolar Disorder

This is the kind of well-meaning comment that many of us have made at some point when youre trying to think of a way to help. But the fact is, herbal tea just dont cut it when youre experiencing a mental illness.

A nice idea and we understand people have good intentions, but no amount of tea is really going to help.

What Are The Different Types Of Bipolar Disorder

There are different types of bipolar disorder.

What is bipolar disorder I disorder?

What is bipolar II disorder?

A diagnosis of bipolar II disorder means it is common to have symptoms of depression. You will have had at least 1 period of major depression. And at least 1 period of hypomania instead of mania.

What is bipolar I or II disorder with mixed features?

You will experience symptoms of mania or hypomania and depression at the same time. You may hear this being called mixed bipolar state. You may feel very sad and hopeless at the same time as feeling restlessness and being overactive.

What is bipolar I or II disorder with rapid cycling?

Rapid cycling means you have had 4 or more depressive, manic or hypomanic episodes in a 12-month period.

What is bipolar I or II with seasonal pattern?

Seasonal pattern means that either your depression, mania or hypomania is regularly affected in the same way by the seasons. For example, you may find that each winter you have a depressive episode, but your mania doesnt regularly follow a pattern.

There can be some similarities between bipolar I or II with seasonal pattern and another conditional called seasonal affective disorder.

What is cyclothymia?

A diagnosis of cyclothymic disorder means you will have experienced regular episodes of hypomania and depression for at least 2 years. You wont be diagnosed with bipolar because your symptoms will be milder. But they can last longer. Cyclothymia can develop into bipolar disorder.

Just Try To Be Positive

Suggesting that someone can treat their mental illness with a simple attitude adjustment is unrealistic its a little like telling someone with diabetes to think happy thoughts instead of giving them insulin.

Mental illnesses can be serious conditions, and often require treatment to match. If only it was as simple as turning that frown upside down!

Youre Lazy And Dont Have A Life Anymore

Are you pushing someone who has bipolar disorder to get on with life? Doing so might create stress, counteract recovery techniques, and worsen overall health. If you have a family, a job, social engagements, etc., consider yourself not only lucky, but also far apart from the typical individual who deals with bipolar disorder. Such a person has often dealt with a radical departure from any sense of a normal routine. Recovery takes time and work, and the role you play is critical.

Do People With Bipolar Know They Have It

5 and 3/4 Things You Don

Bipolar disorder is a pretty common mental health condition. About 1 in 40 American adults live with it. Its common in children and adolescents, but it usually doesnt get diagnosed until adulthoodit can take up to ten years from the time a person experiences symptoms to the time they actually get diagnosed!

So no, not everyone who has bipolar disorder knows they have it. There are lots of reasons why someone with bipolar disorder might not realize itor why they might deny having it even if they do. If you think someone you know might have untreated bipolar disorder, there are a few things you can do to help.

Things Not To Say To Someone With A Mental Illness

When someone close to you has a mental illness, its hard to know what to say. Here are ten things that are best left unsaid.

If you need to talk to someone about mental illness or a crisis in your life, please consider calling Lifeline on 13 11 14. For advice and support contact beyondblue on 1300 22 4636 or the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.

When someone close to you has a mental illness, its hard to know what to say and no matter how good your intentions, some suggestions or comments can do more harm than good. Here are ten things we think are best left unsaid, and the reasons why.

It’s All In Your Head

Its all in the mind you dont need that medication! Technically yes it is in my mind, it is in my head bipolar is a chemical imbalance in the brain, caused partially by genetics. A chemical imbalance however, needs addressing, and that is something that my medication does. Some people with bipolar do not need medication to control their illness, but this does not mean it is all in their mind either, but rather that they have learnt to control their illness through different means.

Related Topics :

Things You Should Never Say To Someone With Bipolar Disorder

Dont take a leaf out of clothing store Joys book. I may have bipolar but its not what I am. And enough with the Stephen Fry comparisons

On Monday, high-street clothing store Joy was forced to make an apology after not only stocking a product offensive to people with bipolar disorder, but then also managing to offend people who pointed out its offensiveness. Matryoshka dolls of offence, if you will.

As part of its accessories range, Joy is selling a card bearing the message: Dont get mad, take lithium.

When challenged about marketing a product which trivialises mental illness, Joy responded on Twitter: If you know anyone with bipolar disorder, then dont buy it for them. PROBLEM SOLVED.

Joys social media guru idiot was then asked how someone with bipolar might feel if they happened to see the card in a store. Their response: Theyll like it one minute and hate it the next?

Mental health charity Rethink Mental Illness deeply offensive, aggressive and obnoxious, while former Labour strategist and mental health campaigner Alastair Campbellsaid the comments proved a deep ignorance about the reality of mental ill health.

Language is an interesting thing. Our choices inspire a multitude of reactions. Language around mental health is especially difficult. In this instance, many people vowed never to set foot in a Joy store again, while other people with bipolar disorder took to to say they couldnt see what all the fuss was about.

First What Is Bipolar Disorder

10 Things NOT to Say To Someone With Bipolar x

Bipolar disorder is a serious mental health condition which includes an experience of mood from emotional highs, referred to as mania or hypomania that can last for days to a week, to lows, or a depressed mood which can last for weeks, explains clinical psychologist Dr. Desreen Dudley, PsyD.

According to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, 5.7 million American adults are currently diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

There are different types of bipolar disorder, including:

Your thoughts may differ depending on the type of bipolar disorder you live with.

Does someone with bipolar disorder remember what they say? Yes.

Do people with bipolar disorder know what theyre doing? Also yes.

Many people think that a person with bipolar disorder doesnt have any control over themselves or that theyre unable to take care of themselves or function in society. This simply is not true, says Ikaika King, who was diagnosed with bipolar II when he was 17.

In many ways, we think exactly like everyone else most of the time. Its when we have symptoms that things start to go haywire, adds Gabe Howard, author of Mental Illness Is an Asshole and host of Psych Centrals Inside Mental Health podcast.

People with bipolar disorder may face unique challenges as a result of their condition, but theyre fully capable of leading happy, healthy, successful lives.

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 and warning signs, such as decreased sleep.
  • Ask for help when trying to stick with your treatment.
  • Be patient; improvement takes time. Social support helps.
  • Avoid misuse of alcohol and drugs.

Remember: Bipolar disorder is a lifelong illness, but long-term, ongoing treatment can help control symptoms and enable you to live a healthy life.

Try Not To Make Assumptions

It’s understandable that you might find yourself constantly on the lookout for signs that your friend or family member is starting a bipolar episode, but remember that this might not be the most helpful way to support them.

  • Always keep in mind that it’s possible for anyone to have 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 to ask, not assume.”

Suicide Is So Selfish

Suicide is a desperate act by someone who is in intense pain and wants their pain to stop. This is not a selfish response, it is a human response a decision no one makes unless they feel there is truly no other option.

For someone who has a mental illness and especially those having thoughts about suicide, it is so important that they are supported to get help.

There No Reason To Be Ashamed

9 Things One Should Never Say to People With Bipolar Disorder

Im not sure where the belief originated, but somewhere long ago it became almost a universal truth that depression equaled mental weakness. That is absolutely false. You and I know thats a lie, but amid depression, its hard to believe its not true.

Fighting with bipolar disorder every day, I continually have to remind myself that my illness is indeed an illness, and not a lack of effort on my part.

You cant just turn off depression by watching a comedy or listening to uplifting music.

When choosing what to say to someone with depression, remember that depression runs a cycle. Some times it can be a long cycle lasting weeks, months or even years. Regardless of the length, mental strength has nothing to do with it.

Information For Family Carers And Friends

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:

What To Say Instead:

  • This is a medical illness and it is not your fault.
  • I am here. Well make it through this together.
  • You and your life are important to me.
  • Youre not alone.
  • Tell me how I can help.
  • I might not know how you feel, but Im here to support you.
  • Whenever you feel like giving up, tell yourself to hold on for another minute, hour, day whatever you feel you can do.
  • Your illness doesnt define who you are. You are still you, with hopes and dreams you can attain.

All of the above are things that show you care. It shows the person youre speaking to that they arent alone in their struggles and that they can get through it. All we need is a bit of support. So, be there for those you care about. You never know who may need help to make it to tomorrow.

Everyone Has Mood Swings

Everyone has mood swings. This is absolutely true – everyone does have mood swings. We all have bad days, and we all have those days where we impulse spend on things we really dont need, however these would not equal a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, whereas spending an entire student loan in a couple of days and claiming to be the president of Mensa would come closer.

You Sound A Little Down Today

Things NOT to Say to Someone Who Has Bipolar Disorder!!

Most people with a mental illness know how they feel. Being told you are not sounding well is not constructive, nor is it a substitute for true compassion. People who live with bipolar dont always feel 100 percent; however, they dont wish to have their symptoms constantly gauged or evaluated. Its like having a never-ending physical, says Stephen Propst.

Oh Yeah Im A Bit Like That

Ive had plenty of people say this to me after finding out that I have bipolar disorder. Its meant kindly, as a means of finding common ground. Except often it comes across like Russia battering a flag into a bit of the Arctic she doesnt own.

Everyone has ups and downs as a natural course of life; this is why people who are permanently smiley are irritating. Ditto those who seem to look to Grumpy Cat as a role model. The difference with bipolar disorder is the extremities of the moods .

Someone without bipolar might go through a bit of a giddy spell: go mad and exit Pret with two bags of popcorn at lunchtime, despite an initial intent to purchase just the one. A person with bipolar, however, during a manic phase, might sweep into Pret and announce forthwith that they are taking over the chain, because boy, they have so many great ideas. Have you heard all these great ideas though? Listen to these ideas.

Similarly, feeling down and miserable sucks, and it is something we all feel at times. Grief is a normal process. Feeling fed up is normal. Clinical depression, however, , is a devil that chews on bones and gorges on souls and should never be underestimated or undermined.

What Should I Say

We admit, its not always easy to know what to say in all situations, and thats ok. Every person has their own preferences, however, here are a few things you may say to someone who has a mental illness feel free to put your own personal spin on these as well.

Thank you for telling me.

Talk to me. Im listening.

Would you like to talk about what youre going through? If not, who are you comfortable talking to?

Have you spoken to your doctor or therapist about how you are feeling?

I am proud of you for getting the support you need.

What can I do to help?

This must be hard for you, but youre going to get through it.

I am there for you, youre not alone in this.

You are important to me.

I love you.

A lot of the time, simply listening can be helpful. Its also important to talk to the person in the same way you have always done theyre the same person, and letting them know your relationship is stable can be very important.

What If Im Not Happy With My Treatment

If you arent happy with your treatment you can:

  • talk to your doctor about your treatment options,
  • ask for a second opinion,
  • get an advocate to help you speak to your doctor,
  • contact Patient Advice and Liaison Service , or
  • make a complaint.

There is more information about these options below.

How can I speak to my doctor about my treatment options?

You can speak to your doctor about your treatment. Explain why you arent happy with it. You could ask what other treatments you could try.

Tell your doctor if there is a type of treatment that you would like to try. Doctors should listen to your preference. If you arent given this treatment, ask your doctor to explain why it isnt suitable for you.

Whats a second opinion?

A second opinion means that you would like a different doctor to give their opinion about what treatment you should have. You can also ask for a second opinion if you disagree with your diagnosis.

You dont have a right to a second opinion. But your doctor should listen to your reason for wanting a second opinion.

What is advocacy?

An advocate is independent from the mental health service. They are free to use. They can be useful if you find it difficult to get your views heard.

There are different types of advocates available. Community advocates can support you to get a health professional to listen to your concerns. And help you to get the treatment that you would like. NHS complaints advocates can help you if you want to complain about the NHS.

What Not To Say To Someone With Psychosis

7 things not to say to someone who has symptoms of bipolar ...

Psychosis happens amongst people with the mental illnesses schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, post partum psychosis, and sometimes those with bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder and severe depression. Psychosis is experienced in two different ways; hallucinations and delusions.

Hallucinations are when a person hears, sees, smells, tastes or feels something that isnt really there. Its a sensory experience that happens without any outside stimuli. The world around them is perceived differently to everyone else, with others not being able to see, hear, or feel what they can. The whole experience feels very real to the person experiencing it. One of the most common hallucinations is hearing sounds and voices.

Those with psychosis often lose touch with reality and suffer delusions. Delusions are when you believe wild theories and beliefs that often have no evidence based in fact. People may have whats called delusions of grandeur where they may feel like the most important person in the world. They may believe they have powers or intelligence above and beyond anyone else.

Since being open about my experiences of psychosis, Ive had many helpful comments and sometimes some that are just downright insulting. So Ive put together a list of the top comments that really shouldnt be said to anyone with psychosis.

Does that mean youre violent?

Have you taken your meds?

Ive had hallucinations when I took

Just stop thinking about it!

What Not To Say To Someone With Bipolar Part 2

Continuing on from the first part, which you can read here Ive explored conversations Ive had regarding bipolar. As I mentioned in part 1, many of the questions or statements are meant to help, but are things I have heard many, many times before. Sometimes they can be insulting, which is difficult to deal with. I have been taken aback by how little people understand the condition and what they feel is acceptable to ask. Its like when a woman is visibly pregnant, and people will touch her tummy without asking. Its invasive and so are some of the questions Im asked. Statements are made without thinking. If people stopped and thought to themselves would I be alright if someone asked me that? they may change their mind before speaking.

You cant have bipolar, you seem so nice!

Im always confused by this one. Having Bipolar is not a character flaw. Just because I suffer with intense mood swings it does not make me a bad person. Im not going to suddenly attack you or go on some rampage. Mental illness for the vast majority of us doesnt work like that. I find people that suffer with mental illness have a huge amount of empathy for others, and are willing to support friends and family even when they themselves are struggling.

A healthy diet and exercise will make you feel so much better.

But you dont look Bipolar.

Do you really need to take all of that medication?

Ive watched Homeland/Silver Linings Playbook and you dont act anything like that. 

Other Ways To Help Someone With Bipolar Disorder

You can also support your loved one by:

Learning about bipolar disorder. Learn everything you can about the symptoms and treatment options. The more you know about bipolar disorder, the better equipped youll be to help your loved one and keep things in perspective.

Encouraging the person to get help. The sooner bipolar disorder is treated, the better the prognosis, so urge your loved one to seek professional help right away. Dont wait to see if they will get better without treatment.

Being understanding. Let your friend or family member know that youre there if they need a sympathetic ear, encouragement, or assistance with treatment. People with bipolar disorder are often reluctant to seek help because they dont want to feel like a burden to others, so remind the person that you care and that youll do whatever you can to help.

Showing patience. Getting better takes time, even when a person is committed to treatment. Dont expect a quick recovery or a permanent cure. Be patient with the pace of recovery and prepare for setbacks and challenges. Managing bipolar disorder is a lifelong process.

The importance of support in bipolar disorder recovery

People with bipolar disorder do better when they have support from family members and friends. They tend to recover more quickly, experience fewer manic and depressive episodes, and have milder symptoms.

Is It Cured Are You Cured

An Oxford don asked me this once in an interview. I didnt even know what to say in response to it cos I was flabbergasted how somebody with such a big study and so many books could be so stupid.

Its fine not to understand an illness. It is fine to ask questions, but one would hope that most people realise that mental illness cannot be cured. Just for the record, bipolar disorder cannot be cured. It is a lifelong illness. Some people feel that they are in remission, however. The goal to aim for is to maintain a healthy stability, usually through a combination of medication and lifestyle choices . But, yeah, its pretty much there for life.

Things Not To Say To Those With Bipolar Disorder

10 things TO SAY to someone with BIPOLAR DISORDER!

I always enjoy reading listicles about what not to say and what to say to someone with a mental illness. I read them and nod my head in agreement, as I can relate all too well. There are sayings or comments that may seem helpful, but arent in reality because they inadvertently minimize our thoughts and feelings or may make us feel even more anxious. I devised my own list and wanted to share it.

Here is my list, in no particular order:

1. Everyone has something. 

2. You dont know what goes on behind closed doors.

3. You always look for an excuse.

4. How are you managing? .

5. Be nice.

7. Im not very happy with you right now.

8. Why cant you just be happy?

9. You have every reason to be happy.

10. What happened now?

12. Why cant you have one day where you feel good?

13. Youve been like this for so long.

14. Maybe you need to change your medications.

15. Maybe your medications arent working anymore.

16. You should discuss this with your doctor.

17. What does your doctor have to say about this?

18. What did your doctor say?

19. You should exercise.

20. Ill motivate you.

21. Dont be lazy.

22. Everyone has stress.

24. Youre making yourself anxious.

25. Stop anticipating.

26. Youre making yourself nervous.

27. Why cant you make a decision?

28. So-and-so said it would be nice to see you.

29. Dont worry about it.

30. Everythings going to be okay.

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