Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder that’s characterized by both manic and depressive episodes. The symptoms of bipolar disorder can make daily life difficult as it can affect social life, maintaining a career, and every other aspect of life. One important factor for people in treatment for bipolar disorder is a supportive network of family and friends who are willing to help and provide encouragement. But, what can a loved one with bipolar disorder do to help? If you’re wondering how to help someone with bipolar disorder, there are a few things you can do.
The best thing a loved one of someone living with bipolar disorder can do is encourage professional assistance. Treatments for bipolar disorder can help to manage mood swings that are characteristic of bipolar disorders. Thus, giving them the tools to live out their lives with the most mental well-being. But, there are other things you can do to help a loved one living with a bipolar disorder can do as well including:
Mental health issues don’t just affect the person who is diagnosed with them, they affect their friends and family too. So, it can help when people who are close to a person with a bipolar disorder get involved with the treatment process. Family therapy, education, and learning more about bipolar disorder can give loved ones the tools to provide optimal support and encouragement. Plus, allow for the practice of healthy boundary setting and utilizing effective communication skills.
A big part of mental health treatment for people with bipolar disorders includes making healthy lifestyle changes that can encourage a long-lasting recovery. As a loved one, making these changes yourself as well can provide your loved one in treatment with added support and encouragement. It will make them feel as if they aren’t doing it alone and that you’re active in their recovery journey. Some of the healthy changes you can make with your loved one include:
Certainly, establishing healthy routines is not a means of treating mental health issues. But, they can help with the recovery process and managing specific symptoms including mood regulation. So, they’re an important part of the treatment process.
Sometimes, all a person needs who is struggling is an open and non-judgemental ear to listen. As a loved one of someone with a bipolar disorder, you can be this listening ear. Active listening is a skill that involves not only hearing your loved one speak but taking into account the overall meaning behind these words. To help practice active listening, when someone is talking to you, you should listen carefully, not interrupting, avoiding distractions, and not counter arguing. Furthermore, active listening can also include making sure the person you’re speaking with knows you understand by portraying understanding body language like nodding your head, repeating words or phrases, and saying things like “I get it”.
When we allow ourselves to learn how to listen actively, we can become better listeners who provide safe spaces for our loved ones to release bottled-up emotions that may become a trigger for mental health symptoms down the road. Thus, providing the support they need to overcome obstacles along the way in their mental health journey.
If your loved one is willing to get help for bipolar depression, Delray Brain Science offers outpatient treatment for mood disorders including bipolar disorders in Delray Beach, South Florida. Check out our website to learn more about our therapy options.