How to support someone with bipolar disorder?
Last Updated: 07/28/2020 at 1:24am
Lindsay Scheinerman, MA, LPC
Licensed Professional Counselor
My work with clients is to help them recognize and build on their strengths to find solutions for the conflicts presented in their lives.
Top Rated Answers
You can first learn about bipolar disorder if you don't really understand it to have a better insight. .Being understanding let the person know you are there for them and show patience. It will get better for them but it won't happen overnight and always remember to take care of yourself as well.
There are a few things that you can do to help support people with bipolar disorder - - learn about what Bipolar is (and isn't!). Try to understand how debilitating it can be for that person. Bipolar is often used as a 'jokey term' about being high/manic, but in reality it's not fun at all. - ask that person. What do they need? How can you help specifically? Everyone is different in what they need and what they find helpful; perhaps that's bringing dinner, giving them space or checking in regularly. No two people are ever the same. - support yourself. Caring for someone with bipolar can be exhausting for yourself; so up your own self-care and reach out to people when you feel like you are struggling.
I work as a caregiver full-time and have worked with clients who have bipolar disorder. In my experience, the best way to support them is to allow them to feel the way that they feel. It sounds simple enough, but a lot of times you can feel the urge to tell them to calm down or to try to get them to cheer up. Validating what they are feeling by saying "I know you're feeling really down today, and that's okay" or "Wow, I can tell you're really energetic today!" can be a good starting point. Acknowledging the validity of their emotions allows them to feel more comfortable with you and feel less judged.
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