If you’re wondering how to help a family member with bipolar disorder, then it’s essential to know where to start. In fact, one of the best things you can do is get educated on the truths and myths of bipolar disorder. For example, it is a treatable mental health disorder, and it doesn’t mean that the person suffering from it is a psychopath. Start by listening and understanding.
Understanding Bipolar Disorder
Living with a person who has bipolar disorder isn’t always easy. Just remember that it isn’t easy for the person with the disorder to cope either. A manic episode might bring reckless decisions, absurd demands, as well as outbursts of anger or excitement. On the other hand, a depressive episode might be characterized by complete lethargy where the person is unable to even get out of bed. They may be depressed and ashamed by however they acted during their manic episode. You can help by being understanding, patient, and also encouraging. Encourage them to get help by letting them know that the disorder is treatable. Be understanding of how they feel. Many bipolar sufferers feel like they are a burden. When the person does seek treatment, be patient, and don’t expect them to immediately recover or become “normal.” Remember that managing bipolar disorder is something that lasts a lifetime.
Helping a Family Member with Bipolar Disorder: Don’t Say This
Along with what you can do to help someone with bipolar disorder, there are things you should avoid saying and doing. As mentioned above, people with bipolar already have a difficult time feeling wanted and accepted, and there are definitely things that can make them feel worse. Don’t say: “You seem down today.” Remember that people with bipolar go through periods of tough depression. They usually know how they feel and also don’t need someone to tell them that they seem down. Don’t say: “Aren’t you taking your medication?” Bipolar disorder can’t be simply cured with a pill. Even with medication, they’re going to have some rough patches. Asking this question might make the person feel as if their treatment isn’t working. Don’t say: “Quit acting ridiculous.” Even though it’s true that some bipolar people exhibit behavior that is outrageous, it’s not something that they can help. This is the type of language that isolates and hurts rather than helps. Don’t say: “Don’t take things personally.” Bipolar people often struggle with self-esteem issues. They may take something like a forgotten promised phone call much more seriously than others. From their perspective, it might look like you have stopped caring about them.
How to Help a Family Member with Bipolar Disorder Seek Treatment
Along with being understanding, one of the best ways to help is to encourage them to seek treatment at a bipolar disorder treatment center in Hanover, PA. In fact, they may not even understand what’s wrong with them or that they can be helped. The Ranch PA can help someone with bipolar get their life back. We offer the following services:
- Holistic treatment
- Individualized treatment
- Dual diagnosis
- Family support and counseling
- Caring staff
- Motivational Interviewing
Take the first step towards living a better life with bipolar disorder. Give The Ranch PA a call today at 717.969.9126 to discover how you can take control of your life again.