Suffering from bipolar disorder is one of the most challenging things in the world, but it’s still not the worst thing that could happen to you. Yes, it’s an unusual situation not that many people know how to handle, and finding out all you can about this condition is the first step towards handling it properly. However, if a member of your family suffers from bipolar disorder, things can get more complicated than you could’ve imagined, and it takes a lot of hard work to cope with this and be as helpful as possible. So, if you too are in this situation, here are five ways to help your family member and make their lives better.
Take the first step
Dealing with bipolar disease is difficult, and not all people have the courage to talk to their family members and tell them what they’re going through. That’s why you need to take the first step and let your loved ones know they can count on you and share their feelings freely.
Being sympathetic, expressing your concern and letting them know you’re here for them is essential, and it’s better to offer help than wait for someone to ask you for it. Talking to people with bipolar can mean the world to them, but you should avoid certain things and choose your words wisely. Only then can you help them completely and make them feel good.
Whether it’s your parents, grandparents, siblings, spouses or children dealing with bipolar disorder, on the one hand, or a distant relative, on the other, it’s essential to know what you’re dealing with and what these people are going through. No matter how close you are, these people will expect a certain level of knowledge and understanding from you, so make sure this is exactly what you’re giving them.
Finding out details on bipolar disorder will make you more knowledgeable and able to offer practical help and advice to your family member. Understanding the symptoms, knowing how to help and being prepared is the key towards dealing with this condition together, so start educating yourself as soon as possible.
Being quite a specific condition, bipolar disorder requires special care, and that’s something you can’t do on your own. Getting doctors involved is often required, as well as following their instructions and suggestions. Therefore, having an active role in the life of a family member with bipolar means being active with their treatment as well.
There are lots of ways to keep one’s bipolar disorder under control, and taking medications is one of them. Medications, such as a helpful drug Seroquel, are prescribed by doctors and should be taken carefully. Besides that, your family member with bipolar needs to be surrounded by love and care, so creating a safe environment around them can be helpful on more levels than one.
Be an active listener
Sometimes, people just want to get heard. This is especially true for those with bipolar as well, and it’s your job to anticipate these situations and listen to them. They don’t want your pity or your advice – they just want to share their problems and get them off their chest.
Being an active listener means knowing when to talk and when to shut up, encouraging them to open up, avoiding arguments, as well as staying off topics that might upset your loved ones. So, have all these things in mind when talking to your family member dealing with bipolar disorder, and you’ll actually help them more than you realize.
Give them space
Talking to someone about your mental issues is never easy, even if that someone is a person you’ve known all your life. That’s why people suffering from bipolar disorder are sometimes not that happy to talk to you, no matter how supportive and amazing you are, and that’s something you have to respect.
Giving your loved ones enough space can mean more to them than you can anticipate, and that’s often the only thing that will help them deal with their mood swings and other issues that are troubling them. Taking a step back and allowing them to catch a breath is the way to go, so keep in mind that you should respect their feelings, not the other way around.
Again, having bipolar disorder is hard, but it’s not the worst thing that could happen to someone you care for and definitely not the worst thing in the world. Having to watch a person you love deal with this condition is challenging, but you can do a lot to make their lives much easier. Doing whatever you can and just being there for your family member will mean the world to them, so educate yourself and learn how you can help the most.