Suffering from bipolar disorder can be debilitating. The show of support to a loved one suffering can go a long way. Bipolar disorder is a family disease. Manic depression can easily wreck a relationship and even cause divorce. Understanding and helping a loved one cope could be the glue that will keep families together despite having bipolar disorder.
Learn what it is
Do you remember the time you saw your loved one having a manic episode or some panic attacks? It was not a great sight. The amount of anxiety and fear that brewed inside you was too intense for comfort. You were sure that your loved one could be in grave danger soon and you don't know what to do. You could have averted this very horrible episode only if you understand how bipolar disorder works. The starting point to help a loved one cope with this mental illness is to know all about it. The Internet is the first place you can find resources how you can help a loved one cope with the disorder.
Know how to communicate
People tend to be cautious to speak to a person suffering from a manic episode. Not only they are hesitant they actually don't know how to approach the person. When you are trying to communicate with the bipolar loved one you need to consider the state of mind they are in. When they are in depressive episode they are often irritable and wanting to start a fight. You need to constantly remind yourself that it is not the real person that is dragging you down but it is the illness that is speaking. Be more considerate, open and bring along tons of patience when you are trying to talk to a sufferer.
Have some plans
Having a plan is a sound idea so you can prepare how to engage and act at times when your loved one is down. It pays to design a strategy that would give you signs when to engage with caution. This can lead to a smoother and more productive interaction. Try to list down the symptoms that often lead to a manic or depressive episode. Just like how you would listen to the fire alarm back when you were in school signaling a fire drill. The plan would give you better chances of getting your loved one treated when the episodes have become too severe.
Prepare for emergencies
When the person has become too ill you need to be always prepared on what to do next. That is why you need to draft an action plan in cases of emergencies. When you are dealing with a situation that could lead to threats on the life of a loved one, you need decisive and swift action. Your decisions could mean life and death to your loved one. A plan would include names and numbers of people you can call for help. Make sure to have the number of your psychiatrist and 911 for emergency transport in case you need to go to the hospital.
Be gentle always
There would be times that your patience will be tested and it will be tested time and time again. If you expect these things to happen there would be less resentment and more care that will come out from your heart. A little kindness and understanding can go a long way in treating a person with bipolar disorder. You will encounter the difficult situation of putting up with extreme mood swings that would last for days and you need to be strong.
Get some help
You will not survive this ordeal if you don't get help for yourself. If you feel that you are feeling the crunch of caring for your mate then you may need to have some rest for yourself too. Never try to overextend because someone is relying on you and that is your loved one.
Experts believe it could cause a great impact on the family compared to other chronic diseases like rheumatism and heart disease. There has been a study that only severe forms of dreaded cancer can have a dent in the family as critical as how depression and bipolar disorder can affect a family. The family and its support are critical on how you can help a sufferer have a better quality of life and fruitful one at that.
Ryan Rivera has always been generous about giving effective tips that will help people cope with any forms of anxiety disorders.