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Bipolar disorder is one of those mental health conditions that seems like it could be scary to have, but in fact, it’s just another form of mental health that needs help adjusting to.
I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was 20 years old. It's been an ongoing battle with medications, therapies, meditations and more. While my case is somewhat mild (I'd like to think), there are others who don't have that luxury.
My bipolar disorder initially started out as postpartum depression after having my oldest son and spiraled out of control. There were many things that my therapist and I talked about over the course of 6 months or so that made me realize that much of my childhood was forgotten because of traumatic events.
I thought I was broken. No one would would ever want a single mom who had mental issues, much less someone who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
After 2 failed relationships and 2 sons later, I found my missing piece to my broken puzzle called life. My husband. He knows my triggers, my faults, my weaknesses and helps.
As more conversation is made surrounding mental health in general, it’s important to be aware of those around you and how they’re feeling.
When Someone with Bipolar Disorder Needs Help
Here are some signs that your loved one may have bipolar. Please make note of these and reach out and help your loved one. NAMI is a great site that you can find out more information and details on getting yourself or a loved one help with not only Bipolar disorder but other mental health issues.
Extreme Changes In Mood
The biggest factor for those with bipolar is their change in mood. It’s not a typical transition from day to day or through the course of a few hours. We all have days where we might wake up feeling good, but something happens that triggers frustration or sadness. Those with bipolar with immediately change moods from one extreme to the other. These mood swings can range from being manic to very depressed, and it can be a rollercoaster to experience both for the person who has it and for those around them. The best thing you can do in these situations is to be there for them in both these situations because it may feel terrifying and confusing for them.
Asked For Help
It’s a big thing to ask for help, and if they have, you want to take action and help them get the help they need. You might want to approach a bipolar disorder treatment center and see if this is the right treatment for them to get or whether something else is more suited to how they feel and what they want. Remember always to listen and to respect everything they do. If they’re a harm to themselves, then you want to take more control, but you don’t want to always forcibly take away someone’s free choice if they still have the ability to do so.
Does your loved one have trouble sleeping? This is another symptom and something that can trigger the emotions that come with bipolar. If their mind is constantly all over the place, it can be really difficult to rest your mind and to fall asleep. Try to give them some suggestions on how they can reduce the amount of noise in their head and to change the setting in their room to something that will encourage sleep to happen. This could be by taking medication, writing in a journal before bed or darkening the room with blackout blinds or an eye mask. It’s worth exhausting all your options to allow a better night’s sleep.
Has A Lot Of Self-Doubt
And finally, self-doubt can be a key feature of bipolar. That uncertainty of everything they do or say is critiqued by their own mind, and it can be a constant battle. The only thing you can do is to provide reassurance in those times where they openly doubt their decisions or things they say.
Bipolar can be a tough illness to deal with, but it can be controlled, nonetheless with the right help and support from loved ones around them.
Mental Health Hotlines:
If you know someone who is suffering, you've helped, but you are scared for their safety, here are hotlines that I urge you to either call on their behalf or hand to them.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
Center Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse
National Sexual Violence Resource Center