In today’s society knowledge about mental health has become commonplace and it’s safe to say that most people know someone who suffers from some disorder or condition.
So, how can we be helpful to our friends as they go through day to day life with a condition like bipolar disorder?
It's difficult to deal with the various moods related to bipolar disorder, and it's not only for the individual who has it. Bipolar disorder can put a strain on your relationship and cause chaos in your home. You may have to deal with risky behaviour, excessive demands, explosive outbursts, and unwise judgements during a manic episode. You might have to pick up the slack for a loved one who doesn't have the stamina to meet tasks at home or at work during depressive periods.
The first thing to remember is to always be patient with your loved one, they can’t help that they feel and act the way they do.
So make sure to give them constant reassurance that you are there for them and will support them through the whole process.
Research and learn...
Next, I suggest you do some research and learn about bipolar disorder and everything that comes with it.
There are many aspects that come with a condition like bipolar disorder, so it’s good to educate yourself on all the different facets of it.
Seek professional help
Always remember that you are no one’s therapist, so encourage them to seek help when they need it.
No matter how much you want to help them, you have to look out for your own mental health as well. More importantly, in the majority of cases, a trained professional is able to tackle the issues more efficiently.
And finally make a plan, Bipolar disorder is a condition that is difficult to predict. You may need an emergency plan during a severe mood episode.
Your plan should cover what to do in the worst case scenario such as the person losing control of the situation during a manic episode.
You should also have daily strategies in place to help the individual get through the period in between extreme episodes.
With all this in mind, if you know someone with this condition or if you encounter someone along the line who is living with bipolar disorder, do your best to be a support structure if they ever need one.
Don't forget about your wellbeing though... Remember to preserve your own mental health as well.
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The contents of this article/post should not be considered as professional medical advice.
Consult your health professional if suffering from any related symptoms.