How to Stay Positive While Caring for Bipolar Loved Ones

Posted by on Monday | November 12, 2012

How to Stay Positive While Caring for Bipolar Loved Ones

It’s natural to want to steer clear of people who are negative, irritable, and moody. They are difficult to interact with and can test one’s patience to the limit. It is also natural to want to cut ties with a person who became a burden with these grating traits.

However, there are times when these essentially harmless behaviors are actually manifestations of a serious underlying condition. Bipolar disorder is a mental condition that causes bouts of elation and depression, sometimes to a degree that hinders a person from having a healthy and balanced life. Patients with bipolar disorder are on a constant battle with their emotions that, like any illness, can take a toll on their relationships and turn them sour. For people with bipolar loved ones however, the answer isn’t as simple as cutting ties and walking away.

When a loved one has bipolar disorder, it becomes even more important to maintain a healthy and positive lifestyle that will help you cope with the stresses of caring for them. Here are a few tips on how to keep yourself positive while helping your loved ones cope with their condition:

Be Prepared
Become aware about the condition. Read about bipolar disorder and arm yourself with information so that you will not feel helpless especially during one of their episodes. Watching a loved one go through their lowest points is difficult and will undeniably affect your own mental state. Therefore preparedness includes being knowledgeable enough about depression to recognize if symptoms of depression are starting to show in you.

Get Professional Help
You don’t have to carry the burden on your own. Consult with medical professionals who will share their expertise and advice on proper treatment and care.

Me Time
You cannot dedicate all your time and effort on your loved one because that will only leave you spent and vulnerable to falling into your own depression. Go out with friends and immerse yourself in activities that will keep your mind off the problems that come with the condition. For example, consider going to the gym or doing yoga to release much needed endorphins. You can also spend time pursuing your passion and hobbies.

A Support System for YOU
Just as your loved one needs a stable support system in you, remember that you too will need a person or a group with whom you can share the highs and lows with. Keep close contact with friends and family. It will also help to find a confidant who will keep you positive and focused on helping your loved ones.

 

[Photo Credit: Lachlan Hardy on Flickr]


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