Recovery from bipolar disorder can take a lot of work. Various factors can influence someone’s ability to work at it – the severity of symptoms, personality, family dynamics, and the availability of support.
Involvement in a variety of individualized activities is related to better recovery. Moreover, this relationship interacts significantly with social network size and satisfaction.
Support from Family and Friends
For many people with bipolar disorder, their support system can play a crucial role in recovery. A person’s family and friends can help encourage treatment, support during a crisis, and provide emotional stability.
They can also assist by educating themselves about bipolar disorder to understand the symptoms better and recognize early warning signs, according to the DBSA. They can also be helpful by encouraging their loved ones to get a thorough evaluation and to see a psychiatrist or therapist, if necessary. They can also be supportive by offering to run errands, take care of chores, or watch children, which can alleviate some of the stress of visiting a therapist or doctor.
In addition, family psychoeducation can teach loved ones how to interact better with a person with bipolar disorder. This can lead to a greater understanding and reduced conflict, often associated with bipolar disorder. Interpersonal therapy can also improve interactions and reduce stress, a common trigger for mood swings.
Keeping a regular schedule, staying physically active, eating healthy, sleeping enough, and avoiding alcohol and drugs are also crucial for helping people with bipolar disorder stabilize their moods. They can also benefit from learning relaxation techniques and coping strategies. It is important to remember that people with bipolar disorder can have a whole life and live in remission, even with frequent episodes.
Support from Other People
A sound support system is essential for bipolar disorder recovery, especially when other people understand the challenges associated with the condition. Finding a group of people who can provide support, love, and understanding without judgment is essential. This can be support groups for bipolar disorder, or it may be family members, friends, or peers who know someone with the condition. Having the support of others can be invaluable for managing mood episodes, preventing complications and relapses, and repairing relationships.
It’s also helpful to get as much education as possible about bipolar disorder and how it affects you and those around you. Learning all you can about the condition can help you spot red flags that can lead to an episode or relapse and help you work with your doctor to prevent these episodes.
It’s also essential to have a healthy lifestyle and manage stress. Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, getting enough sleep each night, avoiding alcohol and drugs, and engaging in regular exercise can all help to stabilize moods. Managing stress can be challenging for some people with bipolar disorder, so trying different coping techniques and finding what works for you is essential. This might include meditation, yoga, deep breathing, or progressive muscle relaxation.
Support from Your Therapist
Your therapist can also play an essential role in helping you learn to cope with your symptoms. They can teach you how to manage them, repair relationships, reduce stress, and establish daily routines to stabilize moods. They can also help you understand what’s behind your mood swings and how to recognize warning signs that mania or depression is approaching.
Psychotherapy can also help with medication adherence, an issue for many people with bipolar disorder. Medication is essential for treating the disease and preventing episodes. Still, some people don’t stick with their prescriptions for various reasons, including forgetfulness or a belief that they don’t need them. A therapist can address these issues and help you accept your diagnosis and medication regimen.
Your loved one may also benefit from family-focused therapy, which teaches patients and their families how to recognize and respond to symptoms. This type of therapy can improve communication and provide family members with tools for managing stress and improving their ability to support the person with bipolar disorder. Other types of psychotherapy include cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps people change unhealthy thinking patterns, and interpersonal and social rhythm therapy, which stabilizes moods by establishing and reinforcing daily routines. These therapies can also help improve the quality of your loved one’s relationships and increase feelings of acceptance, which can decrease family stress.
Support from Yourself
Getting support from others is essential for managing bipolar disorder, but it’s also important to actively participate in your recovery. This means building healthy relationships, staying physically active, getting adequate sleep, and avoiding risky behaviors, including drinking or drug use.
Educating yourself and your loved ones about bipolar disorder can help everyone understand what’s going on and how to recognize warning signs of mood shifts. Encourage your loved one to get professional help when they notice a problem, and make sure they stick with their treatment plan.
Maintaining a regular schedule can also help stabilize moods and prevent mania or depression from developing. This includes setting times for sleeping, eating, socializing, and exercising. Keeping a mood diary is another excellent way to monitor your symptoms and identify any triggers that lead to mania or depression.
Recovery from bipolar disorder takes time, and there will be ups and downs. It’s important not to compare your progress to someone else’s. Remember that everyone’s recovery journey is different, and you’ll get there. With the proper support, you can learn to manage your bipolar disorder and live a happy and fulfilling life. You may still have occasional episodes or a relapse, but with consistent treatment and self-care, you can manage your condition and find hope and healing.