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Bipolar disorder is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a chronic mental health illness. Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder that is characterized by sudden and severe episodic mood swings from emotional highs (manias) to emotional lows (depressions) with intervals of stable moods. There are many treatment options, both formal and informal, available that can help individuals learn applicable strategies, techniques, and tools to effectively cope with and navigate the symptoms of bipolar disorder. To help someone with bipolar disorder consider offering your support through the following suggestions:

    • Educate yourself: learn everything you can about bipolar disorder, because of the more information you know about it the better you will be able to help.
    • Encourage them to track their mood: monitoring one’s daily mood can help illuminate certain factors that may influence one’s mood (e.g., sleep, medication, events, etc.).
    • Consistency is key: help your loved one develop a daily schedule, as adhering to a schedule provides consistency and routine, which can help him or her maintain stability.
    • Model healthy habits: cultivating your own healthy habits can be mutually beneficial, be sure to:
      • Prioritize sleep hygiene: poor sleep habits can affect your circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycle), which can have a negative impact on your mood.
  • Engage in physical activity and exercise regularly: exercising is one of the body’s natural ways of releasing endorphins, which help to reduce pain and increase pleasure, making you feel happier and enhancing your overall mood.
  • Eat nutritiously: food is the fuel for your body, and what you eat plays a large role not only in the physical health of your body but also in your mental health.
    • Practice mindfulness: try different relaxation exercises to quiet your mind, like yoga or meditation. Research has found that meditation can help lower blood pressure, reduce feelings of anxiety and depression, improve insomnia, and more.
  • Maintain open lines of communication: create an emotionally safe environment for your loved one to share and listen.
  • Be active in their treatment process: Treatment plans for bipolar disorder often include a combination of psychotherapy and medication, which involves attending many different appointments. Offer your support by accompanying them to doctor visits or therapy sessions and waiting for them until their appointment is over.

A person with bipolar disorder will have moods that are unpredictable, which can make it difficult to predict how they will react or cope at any given moment. Although arduous at times, being a reliable and consistent source of support through the various ups and downs that are inevitable with bipolar disorder, can help them to remain more positive, stick with their treatment plan, and ultimately enhance their quality of life.

For Information and Support 

Every family in need of mental health treatment must select a program that will best suit the needs of their family. When one member of a family struggles, it impacts everyone in the family unit. To maximize the benefits of treatment we work closely with the entire family to ensure that everyone is receiving the support they need through these difficult times. Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know needs mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person’s life, long term. Pursuing support at the beginning of one’s journey can put the individual in the best position to learn how to manage themselves in a healthy way so they can go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.


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