March 23, 2017 • Volume 10, Issue 12 • Subscribe to Hope & Harmony Headlines
Advice for the support team
Sometimes managing your bipolar disorder can feel so overwhelming, it’s easy to forget that the people who love you are living with bipolar, too. They get stressed. They may feel angry or hurt by your words or actions. They want to help, but don’t know how.
Sometimes meaning well isn’t enough: People in your support team need education and simple, concrete guidelines. That’s what columnist Stephen Propst gives in “What Helps and What Hurts.” So make it a point to sit down together and review his ideas.
For example: “Remember to acknowledge any effort your loved one makes to deal with his or her situation.”
During one extended depressive episode, Stephen writes, “even getting out of bed was a big deal. Fortunately, my family recognized the seriousness of my struggle; they didn’t dismiss such an accomplishment as being trivial. This helped me more than you can imagine.”
Stephen also emphasizes that members of your support team need to practice self-care as much as do. For one thing, “Realize there’s only so much you can physically, mentally, financially, and otherwise manage.” For another: “Take care of yourself first so you’re better equipped to help your family member or friend.”
Studies have shown that family members of people with bipolar disorder tend to be at increased risk of both physical and mental health problems because of increased stress, clinical psychologist Lesley Berk, PhD., notes in our story “Help For Helpers.” And if they’re not well, they can’t be there for you.
Not just for the birds
People living in neighborhoods with more birds, shrubs and trees are less likely to experience depression, anxiety and stress, according to British researchers. In addition, those who spent less time out of doors than usual in the previous week were more likely to report they were anxious or depressed.
The study, which involved hundreds of people, found benefits whether people lived in urban or more leafy suburban neighborhoods. “This study starts to unpick the role that some key components of nature play for our mental well-being,” said Daniel Cox, PhD, a University of Exeter research fellow. Read more >>
Achieving Goals with the Help of My Puppy (video)
Don’t let bipolar stop you from living your life. With a little planning, effort, and support you can achieve more. Plus, meet my surprise guest! Watch Gabe Howard’s video blog >>
via bpHope – bp Magazine Community