Caring for someone who is suffering from a bipolar disorder is as much a chore on the caregiver as it is on the patient. Having close friends and family around is one of the secrets to surviving and thriving over bipolar disorder, however, this can put a strain on the caregivers themselves. This is because bipolar disorder is a situation which affects not only the patient but those around them, as it is a social disorder. This post is an advice and encouragement to all caregivers for patients suffering from bipolar, you are heroes, and at the same time to show them ways in which they can make the entire experience easier to handle.
Understand what bipolar disorder your loved one is going through
The first step is always understanding. If you want to help your loved one (the patient) and you want to be able to handle it easily and without any kind of resentment flowing from your own end, you need to be able to understand exactly what they are going through. This means lots of reading, lots of seminars too. Thankfully there are a lot of resources out there teaching you everything you need to know about this disorder. On this blog, we deal weekly with different kinds of issues on bipolar disorder especially with regards to how to manage it and live a happy and fulfilled life at the same time.
Don’t think about it all the time
It may sound like a wholly impossible thing to do, especially if your child or spouse is the one who is suffering from this disorder. However, it is possible to have a life outside of the disorder and that is something you need to understand and come to terms with if you want to overcome the illness. Get a hobby for yourself, something that takes your minds off the disorder and lets you focus on other things that are fun and inspiring. Another way you can work with this is to go on a holiday or a break every now and then. This is an excellent way to deal with the issues.
Take care of yourself too
It is easy to forget to take care of yourself when you are so focused on caring for another. This happens especially with people caring for those suffering from bipolar disorder. While you are encouraging your loved one who is suffering from bipolar, also encourage yourself too. This involves, going out often, getting yourself new things, working out, eating healthy, playing games too. You should ensure you have a healthy life because it is easy for you too to fall into a depression cycle.
Hang out with people going through the same thing
Surveys have shown that having a peer connection works wonders to make work easier for people. There is a veritable community available of people who give care to those working through a bipolar disorder. The thing is, you do not even have to worry about finding a physical location to find such people around your location as you can find them online too. A lot of them can be found on this blog followership too! You should try and connect with these people as they will encourage you and provide a support base you can always lean on if you are worried or feeling isolated at any time.
Look out for and celebrate the wins
This point is self-explanatory. Instead of worrying too often about the health of your loved one and how soon they can get well or when you would need to look for a different prescription if they outgrow their medication or a million other things, you should instead look out for the wins and celebrate them. there are so many wins around you and the reason why you do what you do is so there would be more wins, so why not celebrate them more often? If your loved one went a whole week without a manic or depressive episode, that is something to throw a party for (not exactly literally). Look out for the wins – the things that make the efforts you put in worthwhile.
Finally, accept it
After all said and done, the most important thing you should do is to accept the situation for what it is. It is easy to be angry at yourself, at your god, at your environment or even at your loved one for the situation. However, this kind of feelings would only impact negatively on the progress of your relationship with them and their eventual healing. You need to come to grips with the fact that the situation has already occurred and there is nothing more that can be done except to make the best of the situation. Accept it and move on from there and win.