There are a few things you should know about bipolar disorder. This is especially true if you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Understanding what it means to be bipolar and how to handle different situations are musts. Please keep reading for 7 things you should know about bipolar disorder.
1. What is It?
One of the first things you should know about bipolar disorder is the definition. According to WebMD, bipolar disorder is noted for causing severe changes in mood. A person with bipolar disorder can go from feeling euphoric, energetic, and powerful to feeling completely worthless and fall into a deep depression. These highs and lows can last for periods of days, weeks, or months, or just as sudden outbreaks.
2. It Doesn’t Define a Person
Bipolar disorder is considered a mental illness. It can affect a person's mood, thoughts, and how they act, but we shouldn’t let this disorder define a person. There is still much more to a person with bipolar disorder than the erratic behavior caused by this mental illness.
A person with bipolar disorder needs proper medical treatment. Proper treatment includes medication and possible therapy. Without proper medical care people with bipolar disorder will struggle with relationships, careers, and life. It is also important to note that over time treatment may change. A person may need to adjust medication or seek different types of therapy.
A person with bipolar disorder needs a good support system. They need people that will stand up for them, be in their corner when things get a little scary. They need friends and family who understand that some things they say and do shouldn’t be taken personally. Instead of lashing back at a person with bipolar disorder, you may need to seek help for them. If you know someone with bipolar disorder, how do you offer them support?
5. Stress Relief
Life gets stressful and crazy things happen. If you have bipolar disorder it is these life events that may send you into a downward spiral. In order to avoid such things it is good to have a plan to manage stress. We all know stress can’t be avoided, but we can decide to react to stress appropriately. If you know someone with bipolar disorder is going through a stressful moment in life, encourage them to exercise, try yoga, or other stress relieving activities. Offer your own suggestions for relieving stress.
6. Live Healthy
Another great way to help with bipolar disorder is to live healthy. Eat right, exercise, drink plenty of water, and get ample amounts of sleep in order to live a healthy life.
7. Share Your Concern
If you are close to someone with bipolar disorder, don’t be afraid to speak up. They may not be aware of their erratic behavior, or they may be too scared to do anything about it. Come to them from a place of love and express what you are seeing in them and why it worries you. Recommend they seek help from a doctor. If your loved one is at risk of hurting themselves or others, seek immediate help for them without hesitation.
Do you or anyone you know have bipolar disorder? What has your experience been like? What do you wish people better understood about this mental illness?