Dealing With Us

Loving a person who is bipolar can be difficult at times. I’ve seen many people who have a loved one who is bipolar handle it well. Unfortunately I frequently see some who do not handle it well. Below I’ve shortened a list of do’s and don’ts from the excellent Depression and Bipolar Alliance website, plus I’ve added a few of my own:

  • Your loved one has a disease. It is not their fault or your fault. Let them know you understand this.
  • Each person experiences a mood disorder differently, with different symptoms.
  • Remember that this is a serious illness and that one in six successfully commit suicide. This should not be a constant worry, but should remind you the importance of proper care and support.
  • Get permission from your loved one to allow you to discuss their treatment with their doctor. Sometimes instructions and medications can be forgotten or misunderstood by the person with bipolar disorder.
  • Don’t claim you know how they feel, but let them know you care about them and would like to help.
  • Ask “what I can do for you.”
  • If your loved one tells you they need some space remember it is not personal and give it to them
  • Set boundaries. Just because they have a disease, it doesn’t mean that everything is is okay. (See my walking naked in previous post)
  • Accept that each person is different. Some become balance quickly, while others may take months or even years.

Things not to say to them:

  • It’s all in your head.
  • I get depressed to, but I get over it. You should too.
  • Look on the bright side…
  • You have so much to live for, why do you want to die?
  • Just snap out of it
  • Stop acting crazy

To me, probably the most important thing to do is NEVER use their disease against them. During an argument you should not tell them that the way they are acting is because they are bipolar.

  • Finally. Respect them.

  8 comments for “Dealing With Us

  1. August 1, 2008 at 02:15

    Great post! I wish I could hand it out to a few people I know. The basics, like respect, are vital, and unfortunately they all too often get looked over.

  2. July 27, 2008 at 07:01

    Very well said :)And I love that cartoon.

  3. Meg
    July 26, 2008 at 17:35

    Thank u for this post… i will be sharing it with my man, who has lived with my BP for eight yeras, and not always very well. Education is a wonderful thing…

  4. Michelle
    July 24, 2008 at 16:12

    Sometimes it just sounds like a tortured existence. Do you ever pray? I don’t do a lot of it myself but I do pray. How much meditation(not to be confused with medication) do you do or do you just get bored as I do frequently? I know the church frequently has meditation sessions in fact they have one tonight.One other thing, it is great when you respond to our responses. Are you able to do much volunteer work or is that out of the question? Helping others is so often a panacea. Unless you don’t know how you’ll feel when you go.So much of my comments are just old school advice most of which continues to be given to me mostly at meetings. Love as usual

  5. July 24, 2008 at 21:03

    @mchevalier Yes, you are sappy.@wellness and stephany Thank you for the nice comments about my drawings. I think my artwork is getting better. I’m practicing more. @michelle Yes, it can be tortured at times. Sometimes yes and sometimes no, plus how much varies on the individual.I do pray, though not as much as I should. I also do some buddhist meditation, though not as much as I should. Aside from those I do regular meditation at least twice a day. My pdoc and I are working on more meditation techniques that can be done quickly and easily during any situation (or most any – I doubt it would help in a diving airplane).

  6. Wellness Writer
    July 24, 2008 at 00:57

    Your cartoon made me smile. The points you made about dealing with BIPS were right on and very helpful!Susan

  7. July 24, 2008 at 05:46

    Bradley, your artwork is excellent, and “respect” is what ppl need to “hear” (read). ahh, the intro of psych drugs and a “verified” dx of (the so-called me) is why I am divorced! amazing how ppl can know someone for years and decades and a psych dx hits the shit to the fan faster than me to the donut shop.

  8. MChevalier
    July 23, 2008 at 19:18

    (SAPPYNESS WARNING) I respect, care for, worry about, and love you every minute of every day! And I'm not too concerned that you'll be running through the streets naked any time soon. But, if you do, I'll make sure to take pictures to share later! ;O)Peace & Love Y'all!

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