Bipolar Disorder can keep a person from being a typical, normal human being. Bipolar Disorder happens when depression controls the majority of a person’s moods. It swings back and forth with euphoria. This happens in short spurts with me as I have Bipolar Disorder II. My euphoric stages are short and infrequent, so therefore I’m mostly depressed. There are a lot of things you can do for someone with Bipolar; some are simple while others require more effort.
Some things you can do when you have Bipolar Disorder, whether it is I or II are simple.
You can spend time with family and friends in person, on the phone, and on the internet. Sometimes it takes a lot of effort for the person with the disorder to want to associate with other people. Sometimes they feel ashamed or ostracized for having the disorder. I also suffer from social anxiety severely, which makes it harder for me to be around people even though they are friends or family. Understanding that makes it easier for the person. I try to stay in touch with people online to keep up with the goings on of friends and family. I don’t get out much since I’m in a really small town with little to do for entertainment. That usually involves driving a ways to do things and don’t always get to do it with friends. My family invites me on outings that I can participate in and enjoy, like a trip to the beach. Not something I get to do much of, but it’s enjoyable all the same.
Doing activities that occupy the mind helps. Distraction is an often reoccurring thing. I find it difficult staying with a project for long periods of time because of my illness. So I usually end up doing several projects simultaneously just to keep occupied. Doing projects with another person can be pleasurable and distract from the dismal gloom of depression. Making the activity reoccurring with other people can build better and stronger periods of good feelings that are beneficial to Bipolar Disorder plagued people.
Some thing you don’t want to do is to become isolated, in your own little world, especially for long periods of time. Doing things alone is okay, but staying focused on real life occurrences makes things better. Another thing you don’t want to do is to stay focused on what makes you sad and depressed. Look for things that make you happy. Being alone can be difficult, so there’s more of a struggle to find happy distractions. I’m not alone, but I still find myself with times that depression hits me hard, such as when I’m missing my daughter or my parents. Phone calls can help in short periods, but sometimes you just have to make time for visits. Something else that you don’t want to do is not talk about the depression with someone. Being focused on yourself and not opening up to others can make the depression stronger and more difficult to shake. So talk with your counselor, a family member, or a friend that is willing to listen. Not everybody can do this, it takes a special person to listen to someone with depression, because most people want to shake you and tell you to just get over it. With Bipolar, you can’t do that. It takes effort and good people to get by. Best thing to do is be patient with someone with Bipolar Disorder, be supportive, and be understanding. They didn’t ask to be this way. Take it seriously, it’s real.