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When family and friends understand how things are for those of us with bipolar, it helps move us along the road to recovery and helps us all live more harmoniously.For those who support us, there are ways to reduce stress, improve relationships, and make for a better overall quality of life for everyone.Time is one of the hardest concepts to convey to people.
Effective encouragement is helpful; enabling is not. Family and friends can spend countless hours—if not years—wondering what went wrong. You also have to find a healthy balance when it comes to the support you offer. There’s a time to help and a time to step back; a time to speak and a time to listen; a time to be patient and a time to be insistent.
The world of the person who has bipolar disorder can be full of chaos and confusion, and low self-esteem is common.
It can make a big difference when you continue to acknowledge and show respect for the grown human being who is struggling behind all the symptoms. It can be a foreign concept to separate yourself from someone you want to help.
As with diabetes or cancer, bipolar disorder requires medical treatment and management.
And as with other chronic conditions, bipolar disorder is initially unfamiliar and frequently unpredictable. It also helps to face the facts when it comes to our current mental health system.