It is hard enough to deal with bipolar disorder if you are the one that is diagnosed with it. However, there are some of us who are lucky enough to have never have this problem. We cannot say the same thing for our parent, sibling, or best friend. It is hard to see their personality change and watch as they cannot always control the things that they do and say when having an episode.
So how can you help them? Unfortunately when you are close to someone who suffers from this than you will be greatly affected by it also. Helping them to get diagnosed and treated is the first step and one that they have to take. Give them encouragement and help them to understand that the medicine will help their lives return to normal.
Emotional support is going to be needed during this time. Try to be patient, encourage them, and help them to understand that they are not alone. They will be angry for a time. Allow them to vent to you – but make sure they are coping at the same time.
The best way you can help is to fully understand what they are dealing with. Make sure to do your homework on what the disease is, how to look for symptoms, and what treatments they can use.
Listen to the feelings that they are going through and be understanding for them. Also you must try to understand not to take things personally when they are having an episode.
Remind them that with enough treatment they will learn how to deal with the episodes and how to avoid the triggers. When in doubt, try to distract them with a walk or to go watch their favorite movie.
Helping The Caregivers
Like we stated earlier, the people closest to the patient are also greatly affected by this. None more so than the parents or siblings. It is important that you find ways to support them as well. Make sure that they have someone to talk to about what is going on so that they do not crack under all of the stress.
It is important that you encourage them to seek out help from a counselor. Someone that they will be able to vent to and that will help them to know how to move past it all. When possible, ask them how you can help take care of the patient. Sometimes just taking them out for a day is a great stress reliever for them.