Learn how you can support someone with bipolar disorder because a solid support system to rely on is invaluable for their treatment.
Dealing with the highs and lows of bipolar disorder can be tricky for everyone involved. The moods and behaviours of a person with bipolar disorder can impact everyone, especially family and close friends. It can strain relationships and disrupt all aspects of family life if you are not committed to learning and adapting. Read: What Is Bipolar Disorder? It is good to know that many people with bipolar disorder manage to live well-balanced, successful lives. When supported by family members and close friends, they experience fewer mood episodes, recover more quickly, and have milder symptoms. Those who follow a long-term treatment plan, including medication, therapy, and a healthy lifestyle, seems to best control their illness. Here is how you can support a loved one with bipolar disorder:
Take Care Of Yourself
Manic episodes may bring a whirlwind of reckless behaviour, outbursts, and irresponsible decisions. And on top of that, you may have to deal with the consequences of these events. On the other hand, during a depressive episode, you may have to stand in for a loved one who cannot meet responsibilities at home or work. Supporting a person with bipolar disorder can be overwhelming if you neglect your own needs. You have to make self-care and mental health management a top priority in your own life. When necessary, speak to your own mental health professional or join a bipolar disorder support group.
Learn About Bipolar Disorder
Learn everything you can about bipolar disorder. The more you know about the symptoms and treatment, the better equipped you’ll be to offer support and keep things in perspective. Also read: The Warning Signs Of A Bipolar Mood Shift
Let the person with bipolar disorder know that you are there if they need encouragement or assistance with treatment. People with bipolar disorder are often hesitant to seek help because they don’t want to feel like a burden to others. Your patience and understanding can play a significant part in your loved one’s treatment.
Managing bipolar disorder is a lifelong process, even when a person is fully committed to their treatment. Don’t expect quick results or a permanent cure. Be patient with the speed of recovery and be prepared for setbacks.
Don’t take bipolar symptoms personally
People with bipolar disorder may be acting out of character during a mood episode, and it’s sometimes difficult not to take their behaviour personally. Most of the time, they find their own mood and behaviour confusing. Remind them and yourself that it’s an unintended symptom of bipolar disorder, not the result of selfishness or immaturity.
Encourage Your Loved One To See A Psychiatrist
Besides offering emotional support, the best way to help your loved one with bipolar disorder is to encourage and support medical treatment. The sooner bipolar disorder treatment begins, the better the prognosis. Bipolar disorder is a severe chronic health condition that could be fatal. It is a complex disorder that is difficult to manage and should be treated by a psychiatrist and other mental health professionals. Read: Get Serious About Bipolar Disorder Treatment
Encourage Your Loved One To Take Their Medication
Medication is the most critical part of treatment for bipolar disorder, and most people need it to regulate their moods and avoid relapse. Despite the necessity of medication, many people with bipolar disorder stop taking it for various reasons. Still, it is crucial to continue with maintenance treatment even during a stable mood. A minor mood change may spiral into a full-blown manic or depressive episode without ongoing treatment. Urge your loved one to discuss bothersome side effects with their psychiatrist. Sometimes, a slight change in medication or dosage may solve the problem. Remember, abruptly quitting medication is unsafe.
Reach out to a mental health professional if you or a loved one needs help with a mental health issue. Whatsapp or phone the 24/7 Helpline on 072 7900 506