6 Ways to Help a Loved One with Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is neither a common condition nor is it a rare brain disorder. According to the World Health Organisation (data – 2016), India has one of the highest depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder cases in the world.
Bipolar disorder is a condition that involves a myriad of emotions, with individuals often swinging from one mood to another. These extreme mood swings can range from hopelessness or sadness to cheerfulness and elation, and can occur from a few times a year to several times a week.
Is it possible to help a person cope with Bipolar Disorder?
Helping a person with bipolar disorder can be challenging and unrewarding at times, but the key is to not give up and to be patient. Here are 6 ways to help your loved one the right way and make their journey easy.
Learn about Bipolar DisorderBefore you can help your loved one cope with this disorder, it would be wise to learn everything about it. Educating yourself about the illness will help you understand what your loved one might be going through during their mood swings, and will help you empathise with them.
Lend an EarIf a loved one suffering from bipolar disorder needs you to simply lend an ear, then what you need to do is just be there to listen. This is because sometimes they don’t need your advice. They just want someone they can trust to be around. Be there! They will appreciate your involvement. At the end of it, you can always assure them that you will be available whenever they want to have a talk.
Get a Little more ProactiveIndividuals with bipolar disorder may find simple tasks overwhelming. You may notice that they need help with everyday tasks such as folding clothes, unpacking, or fixing a bulb. In such instances, do as much as you can to help. Offering to go along with them for their medical appointments and keeping track of their medication schedule can go a long way in making life easier for them.
Help them SocialisePeople suffering from bipolar disorder prefer staying indoors, but fresh air never hurts and in their case, it helps a great deal. Gently urge them to go out on a walk with you. Go to the park, watch a fun movie, sit at a cafe, walk at the seashore, or watch the sunset. Something as simple as inviting them home, if they don’t live with you, can be helpful. Help them understand that you want them to be a part of your life.
Give them their spaceIndividuals suffering from bipolar disorder tend to love solitude. While your care and affection is needed, it may not be appreciated all the time. Keep in mind that they need their space. Hovering around them constantly may lead them to believe that they are not independent enough. Help them cultivate some self-trust by letting them carry out certain tasks on their own.
If you can, be a part of their support groupOffer to go along with them when they visit their support group. This will motivate them to keep going and to take care of themselves. Encourage them to also read about mental awareness campaigns. It helps to know that you are not alone and are being supported by many others who are also fighting this journey.
As mentioned earlier, helping those suffering from bipolar disorder can be really challenging. Keeping yourself well informed about the disorder and tracking your loved one’s behaviour patterns will make things easier for you.
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