Over 50? Keeping Up With Your Healthcare Needs

Over 50? Keeping Up With Your Healthcare Needs

4 Ways To Be A Good Friend To Someone With Bipolar Disorder

Nellie Ryan

If you have a friend or family member with bipolar disorder, it is essential to learn how to be a supportive friend. It is essential to show up for your friend, let them know that you are still there for them, and not judge them for having a mental health issue.

Way #1: Don't Let it Define Your Friend

First, you are not going to want to let your friend's bipolar disorder define them. They are not just their mental health diagnosis; they are still the full person they were before their diagnosis. Remember that they are a person with additional interests, concerns, and feelings outside of their mental health disorder.

Way #2: Learn About Your Friend's Diagnosis

Second, everyone who has bipolar disorder doesn't have the same experience. There are different types of bipolar disorder. Your friend could experience a mixture of symptoms of the different types of bipolar disorder, which means that everyone has a different experience. That is why you will want to know and learn about your friend's specific diagnosis so that you can understand that.

With bipolar 1, people experience episodes of mania and depression. With bipolar 2, people may have depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes but not mania. With cyclothymic disorder, someone might experience hypomania and mild depression that lasts for a set period, with normal moods as well. Some people don't fit any of these criteria.

Way #3: Ask How to Help

Third, don't assume you know how to help your friend. You are going to want to check in with them and ask how you can help. For example, they may want you to ask if they are taking their medication. Or they may not want to feel like people are always watching if they are taking their medication, and they don't want those types of reminders.

Or your friend may want you to be aware of the signs that they are having an episode and ask what you can do to help them. Asking how you can help them is powerful and can be really helpful.

Way #4: Don't Play Doctor

Fourth, don't act like you are your friend's therapist or doctor. Don't try to size your friend up. Instead, express concern when necessary, and be there for your friend. You don't have to monitor them and try to diagnosis them all the time — just be there for them. You can support them, but you don't need to take on a monitoring role.

If you have a friend who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, don't let it define your friend, and remember they are a whole person. Learn about your friend's specific diagnosis, as a bipolar diagnosis is not just one thing. Ask your friend how you can help them. Don't try to play doctor with your friend; just support them.

For more information, check out something like a bipolar resource directory.


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About Me
Over 50? Keeping Up With Your Healthcare Needs

As an adult in my 50s, I find that my body isn't as strong as it used to be. But I don't let that stop me from enjoying life! In fact, I make every effort to get the treatments I need from my doctor to improve my health. I know that I'm not a senior yet, but I do all I can to prevent the health problems that affect that age group. Because of this, I put together a health blog for people over age 50. My blog isn't a review of what you can easily find on the Internet. It's a plethora of unique information designed to help you find the services you need fast. What my blog doesn't do is tell you what to do for your health. Instead, it offers guidance and options. Please, enjoy the blog and happy reading.

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