When someone in a family lives with bipolar disorder, life can sometimes be challenging. When that person is a child or teen, at times, emotions can overpower. Here are six tips to handle the trying times:
#1 Get control of worry
It is typical that a manic episode can cause the person with bipolar to behave in a reckless way and this is extremely worrying for families. It’s important that you talk openly about the illness and try to keep apprehension to a minimum to avoid unneeded stress.
#2 There’s always hope
While it’s very upsetting for parents of children or teens to hear their child has bipolar disorder, it’s important to remember that a brain disorder such as bipolar does not mean the person cannot enjoy a happy and successful life. There are certain challenges the entire family face; however, with illness management, there’s hope for a bright future.
#3 Realize it’s a medical illness
Parents and families may initially feel guilt following a bipolar diagnoses, thinking they are somehow responsible for their loved one to become ill. The entire family needs to fully understand it is no one’s fault.
#4 Manage anxiety of siblings
Siblings of children with bipolar may fear they will inherit the illness. Parents need to have a plan on managing anxiety within the family. A good place to start is a family appointment with a psychiatrist or therapist.
#5 Go with the flow
Parents and families need to realize that routines may be disrupted in times of either a manic or depressive episode. It’s all part of the disorder and it’s important to try and go with the flow and then resume normal activities and routines as soon as possible to lessen stress on the rest of the family.
#6 Seek out supportive social network
Sometimes friends and extended family feel awkward as to what to say to you about your child or they don’t understand the nature of bipolar disorder. Since it’s important to have a supportive family social network, you may have to seek out those that will be there for you.
via bpHope – bp Magazine Community