Bipolar Support

I know I touched on loved ones that live with someone who is bipolar but I’d like to go back to it a little bit.

When you have been living with someone who is bipolar for as long as my loved ones, it’s very easy to go right back to your old responses (the before bipolar diagnosis) when they have an episode. Now I know how nasty and horrible I can be when I have just a minor episode so I understand why my loved ones may jump to the defense. But you can’t. BP ( bipolar people) don’t understand reasoning or worse, feeling attacked while having an episode. Now you’re probably saying “why do I have to change?” Well because if you truly love and care about this person with bipolar than you will make every effort to make things go more smoothly. And with that may come counseling, therapy or group meetings. Maybe even friends or family can help you cope. You need an outlet. It’s not fair for you to sit on the bench by yourself.

I do want to ask you to stop and think about your BP. Are they going to a psychiatrist to get all the right meds? Are they going to therapy every week or every other week? Are they working hard to be the best version of themselves? If you answer yes to these questions then you as well should be seeking outside help. It’s not fair to either of you to just fly by the seat of your pants.

I do my best to keep a lid on my disease. But every once in awhile things do set me off and we’re off to the races! Put someone like me in a very stressful situation that would test even the most patient person and your bound to get a reaction. Now I have gotten to the point that I for the most part can keep myself from going full on manic even though every inch of my being wants to go full on Charlie Sheen. “Where’s my tiger blood!?” Haha! So when A BP is like this the loved ones, no matter who they may be have got to have their own set of tools. This is so you can protect yourself and the BP. You are in control the BP isn’t and they are in fight or flight mode. So the simplest phrase you make may only make things worse. Now I am not saying in any way shape or form do you bow down to the manic/mood swing person but being prepared for when even small episodes occur can help things run just a little more smoothly.

Here are some tips: Talk to the person with no anger or aggression. If they don’t want to talk then go about your business calmly without disturbing the BP. But also be there if they do need your help. They, we, I are probably scrounging around feverishly in our tool box to try and get a handle on ourselves. And that can be very scary. You the loved one are probably on pins and needles wondering is she gonna lose her shit and go full on manic? Most likely if the BP is doing everything I mentioned above then the answer is no. Medication and therapy and possibly in patient can really, truly be the difference between full blown manic to just an ebb in the flow.

I wrote this blog for the loved ones of BP’s. This is a life long illness that can only get better if you and your loved ones work as a team. You both want to get a win and not a loss because of a mood swing. You’re on the same team. Don’t ever take a BP’s words or actions personally when they are manic or just having a high. We don’t mean it. If you really know me or someone else that has BPD you know we would never ever purposely want to hurt anyone. That is partially why the deep depression comes after a mania. The utter guilt eats at you like you are the devil. I can’t tell you how many apologies I’ve made in my lifetime. But I know it’s way more than I can count. Which brings me to that part. When the BP is in that depression or just guilty place, you have to give them a break. Be supportive even though you would rather give them a tongue lashing. We are wallowing in our own self pity. We loathe ourselves for our behavior and the last thing we need is to have it rubbed in our face. I’ll say it again BP have NO control over their brain when it comes to this disorder. We do have a conscious though and will do our best to make things better.

I really hope this reaches those of you out there that have a BP in your life. It’s like any other disease. You wouldn’t abandon your loved one because they have heart disease or diabetes. Mental health is just as bad if not worse in some cases. It MUST be treated as if it was like Cancer or any other disease. Only then can we start to get a grasp on the debilitating mental health community.

To all my bipolar beauties, please feel free to pass this along to your loved ones. Until next time, keep trucking!

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