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Living with Someone Who is Bipolar

Living with someone who has Bipolar Disorder can be difficult

Living with Bipolar DisorderI try (like many others I am sure) to keep Bipolar Disorder from wrecking my family.  I don’t always succeed.  In a lot of cases, it comes down to taking my medication on a regular basis (which historically I have not always done).  Even at the best of times, living with someone who has Bipolar Disorder can be difficult.  In some ways, it is probably harder to live with someone who is Bipolar than it is to be Bipolar yourself.

Having Bipolar disorder is just part of who I am.  It isn’t “good”, it isn’t “bad”, – it just “is”.  There are good days and bad days, but I expect that.  Just because someone else thinks I am having a “bad day” doesn’t mean that I experience it that way.  I don’t really know what it is like to live with someone who is Bipolar.  I only know what they say and how they seem to react.

InsaneLong before I was diagnosed, a roommate said to me, “living with you is like walking on eggshells”.  That kind of made me mad – and my response was something like “Well at least I wash my clothes”.  This had nothing to do with anything – except that she didn’t wash her clothes.

My husband once said, “Living with you is like waking up with a rabid animal.”  My thought was, “Then don’t talk to me when I wake up”.  In either case, I still believe that I wasn’t doing anything particularly wrong – unpleasant for them maybe – but normal for me.
There are some things that you can do to help yourself deal with a household member that is Bipolar.  Know these hints will not solve the problem, but they may make things better.

•    Don’t say things like, “I am not putting up with this Bipolar shit!”  First you will make them angrier than they already are. Second, you obviously are putting up with it, and they may feel compelled to remind you that you both live there, which will make you angry.
•    Do keep an eye on whether they are taking their medicationNormal and MiserableIf you can check on it in a prominent manner – do so, but likely you will have to sneak around them.  You can’t easily force them to take their meds, and subtle reminders will probably create an explosion. But you have to decide if the explosion is worth it – or just be prepared in case it is not.
•    Educate yourself so that you can see what “the disease” is, and what the person is.  Know that the disease is also a significant part of a person. Also, know that a lot of what you like about them is because they are bipolar.  While Bipolar Disorder makes things difficult, it also makes things interesting.
•    If you can watch for disruptions, try to be there to compensate.  Meaning; make sure children and other responsibilities are taken care of.  It does not mean that you must do all the work but remember you aren’t necessarily doing it for “them” but for the others that depend on them.
•    Try not to be angry at them for being who they are.  Again, part of what makes them interesting is the disorder and for a lot of use – we like who we are most of the time.  If you don’t like us, then leave.
•    Lastly, and most importantly – if you can, be there to pick up the pieces when it breaks – because with most of us, it usually will.

Whether it is a spouse, child, a sibling or roommate, you will have to make a decision.  If you can put up with the mental disorder, that’s great.  You can help them, but you can’t change them.  They can’t change being Bipolar, and criticism never helps.

Melissa

Living With Someone Who’s Living With Bipolar Disorder:

Living with someone who is living with bipolar disorderA Practical Guide for Family, Friends, and Coworkers is an essential resource for anyone who has a close relationship with a person who has Bipolar disorder.
This book provides a much-needed resource for family and friends of the more than 5 million American adults suffering from bipolar disorder. From psychotic behavior that requires medication to milder mood swings with disturbing ups and down, this book offers a warm and often humorous user-friend guide for coping with bipolar loved ones, colleagues, and friends.

The book includes Guidance for identifying bipolar disorder symptoms and how to get the diagnosis confirmed Strategies for dealing with rants, attacks, blame, depression, mania and other behaviors. The book includes crucial information on medication and its effectiveness, potential side-effects and techniques for dealing with attempts to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol.

How many people with bipolar disorders can care for themselves, get help, feel supported and go on with their own lives? This important book contains real-life illustrative examples and a wealth of helpful strategies and coping mechanisms that can be put into action immediately.

Beyond Limitations: Saving the World and Ruling the Galaxy with Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Myths Dispelled

Greetings once again, friends and fellow freaks!Bookmak this mental health article

I like that sentence. I`ve always been fond of alliteration. For those not familiar with the term, alliteration is a literary device which means “the repetition of consonants.” Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. That’s heavy alliteration. I know because I take writing seriously. Probably a little too seriously.

I use apostrophes when I text; capitalize proper nouns on my grocery list; and edit my Facebook posts for style, usage, and clarity. I craft each and every thing that I write very carefully, so that each time I write anything, I get better at it.

OK. I’m gonna go ahead and brag. I’m a pretty damn good writer. It took Stephen King eight years to sell his first story. Me? It only took me ONE. Now… I’m nowhere near as rich or successful as he is—yet—but because I AM a good writer, I thought this would be the perfect way to segue into another myth.

Bipolar Myth #4 – People with bipolar disorder are limited.

Mentally IllThere are times when bipolar disorder can be crippling. There are days when I’m too depressed to write anything, but it isn’t always like that. Keep in mind, bipolar disorder has an upside, too.

That’s another literary device: the pun. 😉

People with bipolar disorder aren’t always depressed. When we’re on the upswing, we’re filled with boundless energy. We need less sleep. We can accomplish a great deal of work. Ideas come whizzing into our heads at the speed of light. We can be sharp, witty, and very charismatic.

Speaking of both charisma and light speed… know who else is bipolar? Actress Carrie Fisher. That’s right. PRINCESS LEIA IS BIPOLAR. Bipolar disorder doesn’t seem to limit her, does it? She’s an American icon! And she’s not the only one.

Linda Hamilton? Yup. Earth is safe from Terminator robots thanks to this bipolar actress.

Richard Dreyfuss? Jaws, American Graffiti, Close Encounters, Academy Awards = YES. Limited = NO.

It’s not just actors, either. Congressman Pat Kennedy, artist Jackson Pollock, and singer Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots are also bipolar. There are so many success stories that I could fill DOZENS of articles just listing them all. If you want to know more, Google “famous bipolar people.” You might also want to grab a cup of coffee. You’ll be reading for a while.

And if you want to read something written BY someone with bipolar disorder aside from me, you might be reading for a very, very long time. In Kay Redfield Jameson’s book Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament, you’ll find a list of authors and poets believed to have been bipolar. Want to know who’s on it? Take a college literature class. Pretty much anyone your teacher assigns you to read. That’s who’s on it.

And by the way, it’s not Ms. Kay Redfield Jameson, it’s Dr. Kay Redfield Jameson. She’s a clinical psychologist, so she probably knows what she’s talking about. Guess what? She’s also bipolar. Run for the hills, folks! The loonies have taken over the bin!

People with bipolar disorder can achieve great things, so please don’t make it harder for us by discriminating against us. You hurt us AND you hurt yourselves by not taking advantage of the enormous amounts of talent and drive many of us possess. Also, you might piss off Linda Hamilton. She kicked the Terminator’s butt, ya know.

Be nice, or Linda will find you.

Keep fighting!

-Bruce Anderson

Read more from Bruce Anderson: (A brilliant bipolar article writer)