Bipolar Disorder: How YOU Can Help Your Diagnosed Family and Friends
Last week, we talked about explaining the disease of addiction to children and others who might not have much experience with substance abuse or who are of the opinion that addict = junkie = hopeless loser.
This week, I want to share some bipolar disorder resources with you. They’ll help better explain the mental illness, if that’s what you need, but most of these resources are designed to help YOU help OTHERS (such as your family members and friends) who’ve been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
I first started thinking about this situation when the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) announced a new publication for consumers and caregivers earlier this year. According to the DBSA, “Helping a Friend or Family Member with Depression or Bipolar Disorder” is designed to “tell you about what your family member or friend is going through, and how you can help your loved one and yourself.”
Mood disorders, such as Depression or Bipolar Disorder, affect millions of people. Their family and friends are affected, too. – DBSA
We talk about all sorts of mental illness and mental health conditions here, but because of the current popularity of Silver Linings Playbook, which focuses on main character Pat Solatano, Jr. learning to manage his life with his new bipolar disorder diagnosis, I thought we’d focus on resources for that.
So, without further ado!
Resources: Help Family & Friends with Bipolar Disorder
- Family and Friends’ Guide to Recovery from Depression and Bipolar Disorder: This is another DBSA publication, but this one is available for free in PDF format on the organization’s website. The book provides information about what friends and family can do to help with overcoming stigma, handling feelings of being limited, helping their loved one take action for change.
- Bipolar Disorder: Tips for Family and Friends: This WebMD resource provides a check list of actions family members and friends can take to help their loved ones diagonised with bipolar disorder including learning about bipolar disorder drugs, helping with positive self-talk, and creating a crisis plan.
- Helping Loved Ones with Bipolar Disorder: Helpguide.org explains mania and depression warning signs, how to encourage and support bipolar disorder treatment, and the often forgotten importance of taking care of yourself, too.
- Supporting Someone with Bipolar: For Family and Friends: HealthyPlace.com’s Bipolar Disorder Community offers numerous articles and guides for friends, family, and specifically spouses of people diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
- Readers Respond: How Could Family Be Supportive: Albeit the most informal, this collection of reader responses perhaps provides the closest you can get to an inside look at what your loved ones need. About.com’s Guide to Bipolar Disorder provided info on How Family Members Can Help with Bipolar Disorder and then in the Readers Respond piece, shared 30 responses from people with bipolar disorder. These responses explain what the consumer wishes his or her family and friends would do and not do, as well as what’s helped and what hasn’t.
PsychCentral.com: Bipolar Disorder Blogs and Other Resources
Of course, Psych Central provides a wealth of bipolar disorder resources, too.
Bipolar Disorder Articles
- Staging a Bipolar Disorder Intervention
- 8 Ways to Help Your Bipolar Loved One Cope
- Bipolar Disorder: Helping Your Loved One Manage a Manic Episode
Bipolar Disorder Blogs
- Bipolar Advantage
- Bipolar Beat
- Bipolar Trek: The Voyages of BipolarLab
- Adventures of a Bipolar Mom
- Tales of Manic Depression
- Her Bipolar Life
I hope this post finds anyone out there who has a friend or family member diagnosed with bipolar disorder and could use some help helping that person.
For those of you who are veterans at it, or who have bipolar disorder and know what it takes to help, what advice, stories, or other resources can you offer?
Sparks, A. (2013). Bipolar Disorder: How YOU Can Help Your Diagnosed Family and Friends. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 29, 2016, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/celebrity/2013/02/bipolar-disorder-how-you-can-help-your-diagnosed-family-and-friends/