Individuals diagnosed with a bipolar disorder are likely at the whim of the associated side effects, including strong mood swings. One of the most effective ways to deal with a bipolar disorder is through engaging with a positive support system.
The support system acts as a safety blanket in the treatment and recovery process of the individual. If a loved one is struggling with a bipolar disorder, it is up to the friends and family members involved and to be supportive for this support system helps the individual recoup all the more rapidly, experience less episodes, mood swings, and symptoms subside.
To help someone struggling with bipolar disorder, try these 7 techniques listed below.
- Do Some Research – Determining the specific type of bipolar disorder enables friends and family to better predict mood swings and tailor expectations accordingly. Bipolar I and II disorder are characterized by manic and depressive episodes that can last for a long time. Cyclothymic disorder is similar to other bipolar disorders, but the symptoms and issues involved are less extreme. Understanding a condition is the first step toward providing support.
- Drop the Sympathy Act – Sympathy may seem like a supportive measure, but empathy and compassion are much more positive influences. Feeling sorry for someone won’t yield positive results. What will yield a constructive outcome is when an individual knows that they have the unwavering support of others whenever adversity strikes. An individual experiencing a bipolar disorder needs to know that they can count on their support system to help them meet challenges head on.
- Practice Acceptance – The mark of insanity is experiencing the same result but failing to alter expectations. Anyone who fails to accept the manic and depressive episodes along with the side effects of both won’t be able to provide the support necessary for recovery. It is crucial to understand that the individual experiencing such symptoms has little or not control over them. These episodes must be accepted and taken seriously before they can be remedied.
- Know How to React – It can be very frustrating trying to help someone with a bipolar disorder. This frustration can lead to responses that seem helpful, but they are actually harmful. Telling someone to “get it together” or “buck up” will probably only make the issue worse. Rather than spout such ineffective comebacks, supporters should try to distract the bipolar individual with productive activities.
- Be Interested – It is easy to tell when someone is not interested, so feigning attention in a person who is experiencing a bipolar disorder is unacceptable. It is very important to show support by actively engaging with concern for the individual’s well being. If the person brings up self-destructive tendencies, a mental healthcare expert should be notified. A treatment program may be needed for recovery.
- Promote Health – Staying active and healthy is the primary defense against mental as well as physical disorders. A healthy lifestyle doesn’t necessarily mean getting an apartment that’s equidistant from a 24-hour gym and a health food store. It just means staying physically active on a regular basis, avoiding unhealthy foods, and abstaining from illicit drugs or alcohol.
- Stay in the Loop – It seems pretty unbelievable that anyone could lose touch these days. With all the available social media outlets, text messaging, and face timing, it’s easier to stay in touch than ever. That is why there is no excuse for getting out of the loop with an individual who is experiencing a bipolar disorder. Most people are at a loss when it comes to keeping communication open with someone who has a mental disorder. However, it doesn’t matter how communication occurs; only that it does. Write a letter, post a tweet, or drop a Facebook message. Show support in any way possible and communicate that support honestly.
If support from friends an family is not enough treatment for bipolar disorder, checking in to a bipolar disorder center may be necessary. Mental healthcare professionals at bipolar treatment centers can offer a treatment program specific to the unique needs of a given patient.
How To Cope With Bipolar Disorder
There are four kinds of bipolar disorders, and each is defined by how the disorder controls the mood. Someone who has bipolar disorder will feel intense highs and debilitating lows that prevent them from living a normal life.
Bipolar I Disorder – manic and depressive episodes that alternate in one to two week intervals. Manic incidents last for about a week, while depressive episodes tend to last around two weeks. Manic symptoms may also occur during depressive episodes.
Bipolar II Disorder – similar signs related to bipolar I disorder. However, the manic episodes are not as intense.
Cyclothymic Disorder – similar to the bipolar disorders above, but not as strong. Cyclothymic disorder involves hypomanic and depressive symptoms, but they do not match the criteria for diagnosis as depressive or hypomanic episodes.
Other – these are conditions that have similar symptoms as defined above, however meet the criteria for bipolar disorders.
The odds of being diagnosed with a bipolar disorder are closely tied to family history. Individuals who have a lineage of bipolar disorders or bipolar inpatient treatment may be at greater risk of developing a debilitating disorder.
Bipolar Treatment Options
Since bipolar disorder can tremendously affect a person’s ability to have an enjoyable life, it is essential to seek bipolar treatment options. Bipolar inpatient treatment centers can allow a person dealing with the condition to have a normal life. Bipolar disorder can be a lifelong issue, so it is helpful to bipolar treatment options upon undergoing manic and depressive episodes.
Aside from seeking treatment at bipolar inpatient treatment centers, individuals with bipolar disorder can practice healthy activities to combat the effects of the disorder. One such activity is developing a regimented exercise schedule to burn off extra energy and improve moods. Regular exercise for thirty minutes a day helps counter bipolar disorder by releasing dopamine as well as serotonin into the body. These two chemicals occur naturally in the body and are released during moderate or intense exercise. They are neurotransmitters that help to regulate moods and help stabilize irregular episodes.
Meditation can also be effective when used in turn with other bipolar treatment options. Meditation seeks to calm the mind, enabling an individual to achieve great levels of concentration and relaxation. It can be difficult at first because calming the mind is like a muscle that needs to be strengthened. Fortunately, meditation is very accessible and can be performed anywhere. If practicing meditation is too difficult initially, group or guided meditation services can be beneficial.