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How can you help your loved one who has bipolar disorder?

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Bipolar disorder can affect the whole family in big ways. Here are some ways you may help the person who has the illness:

  • Notice their symptoms. They may not recognize them or even deny them. Make sure they get help ASAP.
  • Encourage them to stick with their medications and other treatment.
  • Listen. Pay attention to what your loved one has to say.
  • Do things together. People who are depressed often pull away from others. If they say no, try again.
  • Make a plan about what to do if their symptoms get worse. Have a plan for emergencies
  • Help them stick to a schedule for sleep and other daily activities.
  • Express your own concerns about how their actions make you feel and how they affect you.
  • Take care of yourself to stay healthy emotionally and physically.

SOURCES: National Institute of Mental Health: “Bipolar Disorder in Adults.”

American Psychological Association: “Consistent routines may ease bipolar disorder.”

American Psychiatric Association: “Help With Bipolar Disorders.”

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on February 22, 2018

SOURCES: National Institute of Mental Health: “Bipolar Disorder in Adults.”

American Psychological Association: “Consistent routines may ease bipolar disorder.”

American Psychiatric Association: “Help With Bipolar Disorders.”

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on February 22, 2018

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What are the main symptoms of bipolar disorder?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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