Bipolar disorder can become an unruly part of life when it goes untreated. After a loved one finally enters treatment for bipolar disorder, you can start to take care of yourself while continuing to take care of them in a new way.
Lead By Example, Not By Control
When a loved one is diagnosed with bipolar, there is a small sense of relief. Finally, there is an answer for the swinging moods, the erratic behavior, and the unmanageable sensitivity. For years, the home has been torn apart by the episodes of mania and depression which come with bipolar disorder. As the caring loved one of someone with bipolar disorder it is best to realize that it will never be a possibility nor your responsibility to try and control bipolar disorder. Your loved one will work hard in treatment to understand their mental illness and learn to live with it in a manageable way. One of the best things you can do is lead by example for your loved one and the rest of your family, as well as anyone who ever inquires about living with a loved one who has bipolar. Attend therapy with your own therapist, participate in family programs at their treatment center, and get involved. Make sure to continue taking time for yourself. Letting go of control means learning to put focus and attention on your own needs as well as the needs of your loved one with bipolar.
Take Care Of Yourself
On airplanes, you receive some of the best mental health care instruction out there through a simple emergency procedure video or audio. When the oxygen masks drop from the ceiling, you are instructed to put your own oxygen mask on first before helping others with their own. The logic is very simple yet very profound. If you want to help other people, in a truly helpful way, you have to have your own strength to do so. Should you run out of oxygen while trying to apply an oxygen mask to someone else, they might not have enough oxygen left to put it on themselves. Then, everyone loses out. The same applies to supporting a loved one with bipolar while they are in treatment. Take care of yourself in order to have the strength to take care of others.
Maintain Healthy Boundaries
For years, you might have lived without boundaries, bending and breaking to the every changing whim of your loved one’s bipolar. Healthy boundaries help you and your loved one define where each of your capabilities and responsibilities start and end.
Residential treatment for bipolar disorder and bipolar co-occurring with substance abuse is available at Avalon By The Sea. One of California’s only primary mental health treatment facilities, Avalon is providing healing for mind, body, and spirit. For a confidential assessment or more information on our programs, call 1 888-958-7511.