Helping Yourself or Someone Else With Bipolar Disorder

Reviewed Oct 19, 2017

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Summary

  • Individuals must stay on medication.
  • Be patient and stay positive.
  • Learn all you can about bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder is an illness with far reaching effects. Those with the disorder often have trouble completing school work or keeping a job. Their extreme high and low periods can make day-to-day living difficult. It can also put a great strain on relationships. People with bipolar disorder need an extra measure of grace from friends, family, and themselves.

Helping yourself

If you have bipolar disorder, you know the toll it can take. Feeling guilty about it will only add to your hardship. Try to stay positive about your situation. Realize that with proper treatment, in time, you will get better.

Here are some ways to promote your own recovery:

  • Stick to the treatment plan agreed on by you and your doctor.
  • Have a routine for taking your medication.
  • Have a routine for getting enough sleep and eating properly.
  • Avoid unhealthy habits such as alcohol and tobacco use.
  • Avoid negative people and situations; surround yourself with positive influences.
  • Learn as much as you can about bipolar disorder.
  • Learn how to recognize when your moods are shifting.
  • Remain on your medication. Do this even if you don’t think it is working or if you start to feel better. If you feel something needs to be changed, discuss alternatives with your doctor in a timely fashion.
  • Keep a mood diary and routinely chart your moods, sleep patterns and life events.
  • Create a psychiatric advanced directive (PAD) to assure appropriate support, treatment, and even medication, when needed.

Helping others

Sometimes, the best way to help someone with bipolar disorder is just to be there. This allows your friend or loved one to open up about their struggles. You don’t need to have all the answers. You just need to provide encouragement and support. Listen to her, and let her know she is not alone in the fight.

Here are other ways to help friends or loved ones recover:

  • Go with him to doctor appointments.
  • Learn as much as you can about the disease.
  • Help her establish daily routines for sleeping, eating, and taking medication.
  • Praise his successes and don’t dwell on his failures.
  • Be patient with her. 
  • Encourage him by staying positive.
  • Attend support group meetings.
  • Invite her to partake in healthy activities.
  • Encourage him to stay on his medication.
  • Agree with your loved one to help monitor appropriate use of medication and notify health care provider if medications are discontinued or symptoms re-occur.
  • Remove firearms or weapons from home to avoid impulsive acts.
  • Don’t ignore suicidal thoughts. Call the person’s doctor or 911. Do not leave a person who is considering suicide alone.

Help for caregivers

There is a great deal of stress involved in caring for someone with bipolar disorder. Caregivers also need to take care of themselves. Just like their loved ones, caregivers need to get proper rest and nutrition. Caregivers should ask for extra help from family members or friends when it is needed. A healthy caregiver will make for a healthier person with the diagnosis. Many places have support groups for family members and friends of persons diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Make it a point to do this for yourself.

Medication congruency

Bipolar disorder is a lifelong disease which requires long-term treatment. This involves both therapy and medication. Medication must be taken exactly as prescribed. Serious problems can result from stopping it or taking it incorrectly. A person with the illness will have periods of depression and periods of mania. There will also be times of “normal” moods. Sometimes the illness will disappear for long periods of time. For some people as they get older, the illness severity improves. It is important that individuals continue taking their medication at all times to control symptoms and to prevent relapse. Precise, consistent treatment is the most effective.

Resources

The Balanced Mind Foundation
www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=bmpn_landing

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
www.dbsalliance.org

National Institute of Mental Health/Bipolar Disorder
www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/bipolar-disorder/index.shtml

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) to talk with a trained counselor.

By Kevin Rizzo
Source: Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=home; National Institute of Mental Health, www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/bipolar-disorder/complete-index.shtml; National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health, www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000926.htm; American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition
Reviewed by Cynthia Scott, MD, Physician Advisor, Beacon Health Options

Summary

  • Individuals must stay on medication.
  • Be patient and stay positive.
  • Learn all you can about bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder is an illness with far reaching effects. Those with the disorder often have trouble completing school work or keeping a job. Their extreme high and low periods can make day-to-day living difficult. It can also put a great strain on relationships. People with bipolar disorder need an extra measure of grace from friends, family, and themselves.

Helping yourself

If you have bipolar disorder, you know the toll it can take. Feeling guilty about it will only add to your hardship. Try to stay positive about your situation. Realize that with proper treatment, in time, you will get better.

Here are some ways to promote your own recovery:

  • Stick to the treatment plan agreed on by you and your doctor.
  • Have a routine for taking your medication.
  • Have a routine for getting enough sleep and eating properly.
  • Avoid unhealthy habits such as alcohol and tobacco use.
  • Avoid negative people and situations; surround yourself with positive influences.
  • Learn as much as you can about bipolar disorder.
  • Learn how to recognize when your moods are shifting.
  • Remain on your medication. Do this even if you don’t think it is working or if you start to feel better. If you feel something needs to be changed, discuss alternatives with your doctor in a timely fashion.
  • Keep a mood diary and routinely chart your moods, sleep patterns and life events.
  • Create a psychiatric advanced directive (PAD) to assure appropriate support, treatment, and even medication, when needed.

Helping others

Sometimes, the best way to help someone with bipolar disorder is just to be there. This allows your friend or loved one to open up about their struggles. You don’t need to have all the answers. You just need to provide encouragement and support. Listen to her, and let her know she is not alone in the fight.

Here are other ways to help friends or loved ones recover:

  • Go with him to doctor appointments.
  • Learn as much as you can about the disease.
  • Help her establish daily routines for sleeping, eating, and taking medication.
  • Praise his successes and don’t dwell on his failures.
  • Be patient with her. 
  • Encourage him by staying positive.
  • Attend support group meetings.
  • Invite her to partake in healthy activities.
  • Encourage him to stay on his medication.
  • Agree with your loved one to help monitor appropriate use of medication and notify health care provider if medications are discontinued or symptoms re-occur.
  • Remove firearms or weapons from home to avoid impulsive acts.
  • Don’t ignore suicidal thoughts. Call the person’s doctor or 911. Do not leave a person who is considering suicide alone.

Help for caregivers

There is a great deal of stress involved in caring for someone with bipolar disorder. Caregivers also need to take care of themselves. Just like their loved ones, caregivers need to get proper rest and nutrition. Caregivers should ask for extra help from family members or friends when it is needed. A healthy caregiver will make for a healthier person with the diagnosis. Many places have support groups for family members and friends of persons diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Make it a point to do this for yourself.

Medication congruency

Bipolar disorder is a lifelong disease which requires long-term treatment. This involves both therapy and medication. Medication must be taken exactly as prescribed. Serious problems can result from stopping it or taking it incorrectly. A person with the illness will have periods of depression and periods of mania. There will also be times of “normal” moods. Sometimes the illness will disappear for long periods of time. For some people as they get older, the illness severity improves. It is important that individuals continue taking their medication at all times to control symptoms and to prevent relapse. Precise, consistent treatment is the most effective.

Resources

The Balanced Mind Foundation
www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=bmpn_landing

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
www.dbsalliance.org

National Institute of Mental Health/Bipolar Disorder
www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/bipolar-disorder/index.shtml

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) to talk with a trained counselor.

By Kevin Rizzo
Source: Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=home; National Institute of Mental Health, www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/bipolar-disorder/complete-index.shtml; National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health, www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000926.htm; American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition
Reviewed by Cynthia Scott, MD, Physician Advisor, Beacon Health Options

Summary

  • Individuals must stay on medication.
  • Be patient and stay positive.
  • Learn all you can about bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder is an illness with far reaching effects. Those with the disorder often have trouble completing school work or keeping a job. Their extreme high and low periods can make day-to-day living difficult. It can also put a great strain on relationships. People with bipolar disorder need an extra measure of grace from friends, family, and themselves.

Helping yourself

If you have bipolar disorder, you know the toll it can take. Feeling guilty about it will only add to your hardship. Try to stay positive about your situation. Realize that with proper treatment, in time, you will get better.

Here are some ways to promote your own recovery:

  • Stick to the treatment plan agreed on by you and your doctor.
  • Have a routine for taking your medication.
  • Have a routine for getting enough sleep and eating properly.
  • Avoid unhealthy habits such as alcohol and tobacco use.
  • Avoid negative people and situations; surround yourself with positive influences.
  • Learn as much as you can about bipolar disorder.
  • Learn how to recognize when your moods are shifting.
  • Remain on your medication. Do this even if you don’t think it is working or if you start to feel better. If you feel something needs to be changed, discuss alternatives with your doctor in a timely fashion.
  • Keep a mood diary and routinely chart your moods, sleep patterns and life events.
  • Create a psychiatric advanced directive (PAD) to assure appropriate support, treatment, and even medication, when needed.

Helping others

Sometimes, the best way to help someone with bipolar disorder is just to be there. This allows your friend or loved one to open up about their struggles. You don’t need to have all the answers. You just need to provide encouragement and support. Listen to her, and let her know she is not alone in the fight.

Here are other ways to help friends or loved ones recover:

  • Go with him to doctor appointments.
  • Learn as much as you can about the disease.
  • Help her establish daily routines for sleeping, eating, and taking medication.
  • Praise his successes and don’t dwell on his failures.
  • Be patient with her. 
  • Encourage him by staying positive.
  • Attend support group meetings.
  • Invite her to partake in healthy activities.
  • Encourage him to stay on his medication.
  • Agree with your loved one to help monitor appropriate use of medication and notify health care provider if medications are discontinued or symptoms re-occur.
  • Remove firearms or weapons from home to avoid impulsive acts.
  • Don’t ignore suicidal thoughts. Call the person’s doctor or 911. Do not leave a person who is considering suicide alone.

Help for caregivers

There is a great deal of stress involved in caring for someone with bipolar disorder. Caregivers also need to take care of themselves. Just like their loved ones, caregivers need to get proper rest and nutrition. Caregivers should ask for extra help from family members or friends when it is needed. A healthy caregiver will make for a healthier person with the diagnosis. Many places have support groups for family members and friends of persons diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Make it a point to do this for yourself.

Medication congruency

Bipolar disorder is a lifelong disease which requires long-term treatment. This involves both therapy and medication. Medication must be taken exactly as prescribed. Serious problems can result from stopping it or taking it incorrectly. A person with the illness will have periods of depression and periods of mania. There will also be times of “normal” moods. Sometimes the illness will disappear for long periods of time. For some people as they get older, the illness severity improves. It is important that individuals continue taking their medication at all times to control symptoms and to prevent relapse. Precise, consistent treatment is the most effective.

Resources

The Balanced Mind Foundation
www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=bmpn_landing

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
www.dbsalliance.org

National Institute of Mental Health/Bipolar Disorder
www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/bipolar-disorder/index.shtml

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) to talk with a trained counselor.

By Kevin Rizzo
Source: Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=home; National Institute of Mental Health, www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/bipolar-disorder/complete-index.shtml; National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health, www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000926.htm; American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition
Reviewed by Cynthia Scott, MD, Physician Advisor, Beacon Health Options

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, quizzes, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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