We all experience ups and downs in life. One experience may promote joy in life, another disappointment or anger, yet another may bring grief or depression. A person who experiences or has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder goes beyond mild or interval mood swing episodes. Individuals with this disorder experience severe mood swings from mania to deep depression and mixed episodes in-between.
Loving a person with bipolar disorder can be one of the toughest challenges you could ever face. Dealing with the explosive outbursts, irresponsible decisions and outrageous demands of such a person can be enough to wreck even the strongest of bonds. This is where education/understanding is needed and where treatment and commitment from the friend or family member involved to take necessary medications to keep the episodes of mania to a minimum are integral. Stress is an automatic bi-product of caring for someone with this disorder. You will need a strong support group and to schedule regular time for yourself to de-stress and voice your feelings in a positive forum.
Persons of another generation, who are 50 years in age or older seem to have a difficult time dealing with any level of mental health disorder or diagnosis. These persons can be hallmark’s for such disparaging comments as, “this must be your fault” or “this must come from your side of the family” even whispering the diagnosis as if the person is Jack the Ripper and about to commit a crime. There is no place in modern conversation for such foolish comments or attempts at laying fault or blame. Bipolar disorder can be a diagnosis in the best and worst of family situations. The goal should be to love the family member or friends involved and assist that person with treatment and proper care.
If you or a loved one requires evaluation for bipolar disorder seek out a proper health care professional. In many cultures, even in the year 2013, persons with mental illnesses are seen with fear and shunned. Do you shun a diabetic or a person with high blood pressure for having a chronic illness? Promoting a climate of isolation can further hinder a person from seeking treatment and unfortunately can result in tragedy. It is time for open conversation and increased love and understanding. Until next time – good physical and mental health to you!