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You have their medication history, knowledge of their previous hospital stays and access to their medical records. As the significant other, husband, wife, daughter, brother or wife you need to work diligently to maintain your health during this period of illness.


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Being a caregiver is a great responsibility and also a drain on your emotions and health. Above all, you must take care of yourself before you can take care of someone else. You need to access the services of a behavioral professional to ensure you have an outlet for your frustrations and concerns. You may need medication to aid you in recovering from the strains of being a caregiver. Joining a support group through NAMI or another community organization will provide the information, training, references and emotional support you need to continue the journey.

You need to sleep, eat right and exercise in order to maintain your strength and health. Know that some of your friends will understand your plight but others will not be able to identify with your situation. Be aware that mental health challenges are very scary to people who have not been exposed to someone who has one. You need their emotional support to make it through this period of uncertainty.

Guilt and shame needs to be confronted and discussed with your behavioral professional. As the significant other, child or caregiver, you feel a great sense of guilt that you cannot do more for the one affected with bipolar. Helplessness turns into guilt, which is not an emotion you want to deal with alone. When this feeling sets in, it is time to get professional assistance. There is nothing to be shamed about, remember it is a disease that can passed on from one generation to another.

Your behavior as a parent, husband wife or sibling is not responsible for their bipolar disease.

These self-help tips can help you manage bipolar disorder, cope with symptoms, and prevent relapse.

Running from a problem is an option, but never a solution. You may have these thoughts, but you need to discuss them with a behavioral professional. I am aware of a number of divorces in which the wife or husband could not cope and abandoned their significant other. You need to marshal your resources, stay the course and fight this disease.

When the opportunity presents itself, step up and help someone who needs help. Sharing your strength with your loved one is critical, but you need to save some for yourself. One day someone will step up for you. Fight the disease, but embrace your loved one, let them know you are there for them and understand they are the one suffering.

This is a battle that you will eventually win. Research into bipolar is ongoing and there will always be new drugs that will help fight this disease. This is not a race, but a marathon. By sharing your experience, you can let others know that they are not alone. Javascript must be enabled for the correct page display Skip to content.

An upside to the mania is that my sex drive goes haywire. During my mania, I feel like a god. I feel like I can do anything, so my self-worth skyrockets. Mania isn't the only symptom of bipolar. People living with this disorder also have periods of depression and alternate between extreme highs and extreme lows. You may be all too familiar with these extremes and unpredictable moods.

Your relative could be laughing and having a great time one day. And then the next day, they disconnect from the family and isolate themselves for no apparent reason. They may have little to say, become easily irritated, or lose motivation, which can be a difficult time for everyone. Your relative may also simply revert to a normal amount of energy without symptoms of depression. They can remain like this until the next manic episode occurs.

So, the easiest way to feel better is to hide. Do they try to cheer me up, or do something to make me laugh? They just want their clown back. If friends invite me out, I imagine waiting for the bus, being crammed against angry people, waiting in lines, and all the other negative things. I think of every possible downside of something, which leaves me dreading the idea of doing anything. That self-reminder helps me from doing anything stupid.

What it's like to have bipolar, by people who have bipolar | Mental Health Foundation

I can only envision more troubles, endless work, and an endless string of letdowns. I wake up in the morning and I feel fine. I go to work, get things done, and have plenty of energy throughout the day.

I can roll with the punches the average day gives me. Keep in mind that bipolar symptoms in children differ from symptoms in adults. Symptoms in children may include:. Bipolar is unpredictable.

Growing up with bipolar disorder

Take it one day at a time. You may fear them making reckless or irresponsible decisions, and harming themselves during an emotional low. Bipolar can be a lifelong struggle. The more you learn about the condition, the easier it'll be to offer support. People with bipolar cannot control their emotions or moods.

It is a mental illness. Offering practical assistance can reduce their stress level and help keep their emotions under control. For example, help out around their house or offer to research local support groups for them. Bipolar is a real disease that can have a huge impact on friends and loved ones.

Treatment may help control symptoms. These include mood stabilizers, and for some people, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication, exercise, and nutrition.

What is bipolar disorder?

Some people also benefit from counseling and support groups. About 5 million people in the United States live with bipolar disorder, a mental illness marked by episodes of depression and elevated mood. There are many ways to treat depression - therapy, medication, exercise, food - and now mobile apps. These iPhone and Android apps are designed to….


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If you're living with bipolar disorder, you're not alone. Learning more about it and understanding its effects on daily living can be helpful whether…. Bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD are conditions that affect many people.