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Helping a Loved One With Bipolar Disorder

Lido Wellness Center Blog

Helping a Loved One with Bipolar Disorder

March 10, 2023

Bipolar disorder can sometimes feel like a rollercoaster. But not just for for those who experience its mood swings. The people who are close to them, who love them, and care for them are on that ride and it can feel like there is no way to get off the ride.

If someone you love is battling this mental health disorder, you can be their anchor in the stormy sea. The first step is to educate yourself about the condition and understand the symptoms of the different types of bipolar disorder. Encourage your loved one to seek professional help and support them through their journey. Help them build healthy habits and provide the care they need to navigate the ups and downs of this challenging condition. With your love and support, they can find stability and lead a fulfilling life.

Understanding Bipolar Disorder

As someone looking to help a loved one with bipolar disorder, it helps to understand the condition’s symptoms and its impact on those affected.

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

Here are the symptoms of the common types of bipolar disorder:

  • Bipolar I. The list of symptoms includes manic and depressive episodes. A diagnosis is usually made if the manic episodes last beyond a specific period or are severe.
  • Bipolar II. This condition causes depressive and hypomanic episodes without full manic episodes.
  • Cyclothymic disorder. Cyclothymia is associated with prolonged periods of depressive and hypomanic episodes of at least two years with occasional normal moods.
  • Other related disorders. Several specified and unspecified bipolar disorders may not meet the criteria for bipolar I, bipolar II, and cyclothymic disorder.

How Does Bipolar Disorder Affect Individuals and Their Loved Ones?

Individuals that experience the extreme mood swings caused by bipolar disorder find it challenging to work, study, maintain relationships, perform tasks, and navigate their daily lives. This is due to the unpredictability of their behavior. In addition, their loved ones often witness their mood episodes, which can cause stress and relationship strain.

Ways to Help a Loved One with Bipolar Disorder

  • Educating oneself about the disorder. Understanding how bipolar disorder works can promote empathy and the realization that the affected individual needs love and support. A deeper dive on the types of bipolar is a good place to start.
  • Encouraging treatment and medication adherence. People with bipolar can lead normal lives if they receive the care and support they need to seek and adhere to prescribed treatments.
  • Supporting healthy lifestyle habits. Adopting healthy lifestyle habits is an essential coping skill for dealing with bipolar disorder.

Navigating the Challenges of Helping a Loved One with Bipolar Disorder

  • Managing mood swings and behavior changes. It’s important to be aware of the warning signs and triggers of bipolar disorder to minimize the risk.
  • Addressing suicidal thoughts and behaviors. It’s best to be open about bipolar disorder and encourage your loved ones to seek help if there’s a high risk of suicide.
  • Coping with caregiver stress. If you’re a caregiver for someone with bipolar, practicing self-care is essential to avoid burning yourself out.

Getting Help for Bipolar Disorder

If you have a loved one who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, it’s important to educate yourself about the condition and provide the support they need to lead a healthy lifestyle. Encouraging them to seek professional help and supporting their treatment can make a significant difference in their quality of life.

Take the time to learn about the symptoms and impact of bipolar disorder, and work with your loved one to develop healthy lifestyle habits. Remember to be aware of warning signs and triggers, address suicidal thoughts and behaviors, and practice self-care to avoid caregiver stress. Your support can make a world of difference to your loved one with bipolar disorder.

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