What is bipolar disorder and how to treat them?

If you have a family member who has bipolar disorder, then you’re aware of this disorder. The fluctuating behavior and the extreme mood changes are challenging for people suffering from the condition and other people.  

People with bipolar disorder need to know how to manage their illness. 

What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder, also called manic depression, is a mental disorder that causes drastic fluctuations regarding moods, levels of energy, and levels of activity. The changes can affect a person’s ability to perform routine activities. Bipolar disorder is most commonly seen in teenagers who are older or adults. 

The typical age at which it manifests is 25 years old. Based on the National Alliance on mental illness, about  3 percent of adult patients living in the US have bipolar disorder. 

Six major kinds are associated with bipolar disorders. Although they share similar symptoms, they differ in the severity of treatment. Below are the six different types that range from least severity to highest severity. 

  • Bipolar I disorder
  • Bipolar II disorder
  • Cyclothymic Disorder 
  • Substance/medication-induced bipolar related disorder
  • Unspecified bipolar disorder

The primary manifestations of bipolar disorder are intense emotions referred to as “mood episodes.” These mood episodes may change from extreme happiness or joy (mania) to extreme despair or sadness (depression). 

Bipolar Disroder: Challenges

When those are suffering from bipolar disorder experience mood swings, they typically notice drastic fluctuations in their mood levels, activities, sleep patterns, and other daily behavior. 

Psychotic symptoms, including hallucinations and delusions, can also occur during intense mood swings. They can be terrifying for people with bipolar disorder and those around them. 

Bipolar disorder is typically a chronic condition that lasts for a lifetime, while many individuals with bipolar disorder do not experience symptoms for some time. 

Whereas some people with bipolar disorder are anxious during these non-symptom-free times, the uncertainty of the exact time when their next mood attack is likely to occur. 

What can I do to help anyone who has bipolar disorder?

Being a bipolar patient isn’t an easy task. However, your help can make an enormous difference in the lives of people who have bipolar disorder, mainly when mood swings occur. Here are ten ways you can assist someone who has bipolar disorder. 

Learn to educate yourself

The more you are aware of bipolar disorder, the better you’ll help. For instance, knowing the signs and symptoms of manic or depressive episodes will aid you in coping with intense mood fluctuations.

Pay attention

There is no need to offer advice or answers to help others. However, having excellent listening skills can be one of the most effective actions you can take for bipolar disorder, particularly when they wish to talk with you about their challenges. 

Acceptance and understanding will go a long way in making the person more comfortable with their situation. You can be a better listener by:

Attentively paying the attention of others to the things they’re hearing 

Maintaining a calm attitude during conversations 

Beware of the arguments

Please stay clear of any topic that is likely to frustrate or annoy them. 

Be a champion

People who have bipolar disorder may feel like everyone is against them. Ensuring them that you’re with them can make them feel more secure. You don’t need to agree with their actions; however, telling them that you’ll support them can be highly beneficial. 

Bipolar patients often feel depressed or helpless.

Participate in the treatment of your child

Treatment for bipolar disorder generally includes a number of appointments with therapists and doctors. You shouldn’t be required to go to these appointments. For example, you could help someone with bipolar disorder by accompanying them and waiting with them to be seen until the appointment is completed. 

The appointment can be difficult or frightening to people who have bipolar disorder. A person who can help and support them can help ease the anxiety or stress they may feel. 

The Main Takeaway:

Aiding someone who has bipolar disorder is challenging. The person’s mood will fluctuate, and it can be challenging to figure out how to handle or deal with it.

If you are willing to put in the effort, then you’ll create a substantial positive impact on your life loved one. Being able to count on you will help them stay with their treatment regimen and remain positive.

It’s also satisfying to feel that you’re helping a loved one or friend deal with the challenges and ups of living with bipolar disorder.

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