Wednesday, December 2, 2009

How to help a friend or relative who has bipolar disorder?, and Support for caregivers

Hi Everyone, I hope you are doing well, I am doing good. I am reaching the end of my series on Bipolar Disorder. I hope this information was helpful to anyone who needed it. I will be doing more series as there is so much to cover on this topic. Thanks for visiting my blog, Take Care, Janet :)

If you know someone who has bipolar disorder, it affects you too. The first and most important thing you can do is help him or her get the right diagnosis and treatment. You may need to make the appointment and go with him or her to see the doctor. Encourage your loved one to stay in treatment.

To help a friend or relative, you can:
* Offer emotional support, understanding, patience, and encouragement
* Learn about bipolar disorder so you can understand what your friend or relative is experiencing
* Talk to your friend or relative and listen carefully
* Listen to feelings your friend or relative expresses-be understanding about situations that may trigger bipolar symptoms
* Invite your friend or relative out for positive distractions, such as walks, outings, and other activities
* Remind your friend or relative that, with time and treatment, he or she can get better.
Never ignore comments about your friend or relative harming himself or herself. Always report such comments to his or her therapist or doctor.

Support for caregivers

Like other serious illnesses, bipolar disorder can be difficult for spouses, family members, friends, and other caregivers. Relatives and friends often have to cope with the person's serious behavioral problems, such as wild spending sprees during mania, extreme withdrawal during depression, poor work or school performance. These behaviors can have lasting consequences.

Caregivers usually take care of the medical needs of their loved ones. The caregivers have to deal with how this affects their own health. The stress that caregivers are under may lead to missed work or lost free time, strained relationships with people who may not understand the situation, and physical and mental exhaustion.

Stress from care giving can make it hard to cope with a loved one's bipolar symptoms. One study shows that if a caregiver is under a lot of stress, his or her loved one has more trouble following the treatment plan, which increases the chance for a major bipolar episode. It is important that people caring for those with bipolar disorder also take care of themselves. One way to get support for yourselves is to join a local support group. They are usually held at mental health facilities, or at a local hospital. You may find you can get respite help to allow yourself some time off, which will only lead to better mental health for both you and the loved on with the disorder.

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