Information for Family and Friends.
If your spouse or loved one has
Warning Signs of a New Episode
Early signs of a mood episode are different for mania and depression, and they vary from person to person. At the onset of an episode, people may experience slight changes in mood, sleep, energy, self-esteem, sexual interest, concentration, and level of enthusiasm and optimism. These symptoms may become more severe. Some may start dressing differently, or neglect grooming. Learning about their particular symptom pattern is a way for people to be proactive in their own treatment for
Separating myth from fact
You can help
Family members and friends can help a person with
Here are a few things family members and friends can do:
- Encourage the person to stick with treatment and regularly see his or her doctor or therapist. You can also encourage him or her to avoid harmful habits, like smoking or using alcohol or illegal street drugs.
- If the person with
Bipolar Disorderis not doing well or having side effects, encourage him or her to talk to a healthcare professional. They should not stop taking their medication without first talking to a healthcare professional.
- Don't take it personally. Often, if help is rejected during a mood episode, it is a symptom of the episode, not a true feeling.
- Learn the difference between a good day and a manic episode. People with
Bipolar Disorderhave good days and bad days like everyone else. With experience and attention, family and friends can learn to spot the signs indicating that a bad day may have turned into a severe mood swing.
- Learn the warning signs of suicide and take them very seriously. If the person is “winding up” his or her affairs, talking about suicide, or exhibiting increased feelings of despair, seek help immediately. Share responsibility with others. This can reduce the stress that caring for someone with
Bipolar Disorderbrings and can prevent emotional fatigue or resentment. If the person ever has suicidal thoughts, call their healthcare professional, emergency room, or 911 to get immediate help.
- When a person is recovering from an episode, don’t expect too much or too little. Let the person recover at his or her own pace. Do things with the person instead of for the person.
- Plan ahead. Take advantage of stable periods to make arrangements for the future. Discuss when to put plans into action, such as withholding credit cards, restricting bank accounts, hiding car keys, and heading for the hospital.
- Take advantage of support groups. There are several resources available for families and friends of people with
Bipolar Disorder. Find a resource center, an assistance program, or the branch of a national advocacy group near you.
Find support and resources for loved ones and learn more about
View a list of
Your E-mail has been sent to .