People with bipolar disorder often face day-to-day lives filled with unpredictable, destabilizing mood swings. In addition, they encounter other issues that can interfere with the ability to maintain a functional daily routine. For these reasons, immediate treatment by trained specialists is critical. At Crossroads, we specialize in treating women with bipolar disorder who also deal with substance abuse issues. With our help, lasting recovery is a realistic possibility for our clients.
You can also do several other things to help a friend or family member affected by bipolar disorder. The steps you take can not only help boost the benefits of bipolar disorder treatment. They can also help your friend or loved one lead a fulfilling life.
How to Help Someone with Bipolar Disorder by Knowing More About Bipolar Illness
The history of bipolar disorder in America is filled with preconceptions. For example, many people think there’s only one form of this condition, once widely known as manic depression. But in reality, your loved one may have symptoms of any of three bipolar illnesses:
- Bipolar I disorder
- Bipolar II disorder
- Cyclothymic disorder, or cyclothymia
All of these illnesses produce episodes of mania, as well as episodes of depression. However, mania and depression manifest in different ways in each condition. By educating yourself about these differences, you can better understand what’s happening to your loved one. You’ll also have a better idea of how to respond when bouts of bipolar symptoms occur.
Providing Help with Bipolar Disorder by Planning Ahead
Bipolar mood swings often come out of the blue. You and your loved one must prepare in advance for these episodes. It’s also a good idea to plan for the periods between bouts of mania or depression. That way, you can respond promptly to any situation that may arise. Common elements of a solid plan include things such as:
- Responding to extremely heightened or depressed moods
- Dealing with highly impulsive behavior
- Coping with the emotional aftermath of mania and depression
Make sure to consult with your friend or family member’s doctor when creating your plan. This professional input will help ensure your actions have the desired supportive effect. Once you have a solid plan, write it down and store it in an accessible place. You might even want to consider carrying a copy with you on your cell phone for quick reference.
How to Help Someone with Bipolar Disorder and the Importance of Listening
It’s natural to want to actively help a loved one struggling with bipolar symptoms. And there are certainly times when you may need to take action in one way or another. However, you can also provide crucial support in other ways.
The most crucial thing you can do is just listen to the person you care about. On any given day, individuals who have bipolar disorder confront a variety of issues. It’s important to give them room to talk about their problems by providing a space where they can express themselves. And for you to acknowledge the individual behind the bipolar illness’s symptoms.
Seek More Help with Bipolar Disorder and Addiction at Crossroads
If your loved one has a bipolar illness, there’s a good chance that they’re also affected by substance use problems. The only way to overcome these co-occurring issues is to treat them in a coordinated plan.
At Crossroads, we feature a program specifically designed for this purpose. All clients entering our program go through an extensive evaluation process. Only then do we create and carry out a customized treatment plan. Our goal is to help your friend or family member recover fully.
Have any questions about the comprehensive treatment approach at Crossroads? Just call us today at 877.978.1667.