How does bipolar affect a family?
- Jennifer Baxt NCC, DCC
- Bipolar Disorder
When most people talk about depression, they will often talk about how it can affect the person who is suffering the depression. They will also mention how it can have a negative impact on their social life, their work life and their family life. What most will often forget to mention or think about is the affect that depression can have on the friends and family of the person with it, especially those who have bipolar disorder, otherwise known as manic depression. Bipolar disorder is one of the more serious kinds of depression out there and it is one that not only affects the person who has it in an immense way, it can have a huge negative impact on both their friends and their family.
Most are well aware of how the disorder can affect those who have it. The change from an episode of deep depression to one of mania, where the person will experience and exhibit high irritability, can make most things in life difficult. People with bipolar disorder will often have mood swings, become withdrawn, participate in fewer activities, communicate less, have less of a social life, and appear hyper at some times while drained or lethargic the next. Friends start to disappear and others dont feel that they want to be around that person anymore because they feel as though the person with the disorder is no fun to be around. The family, however, especially the immediate family, can not dismiss or leave the family member alone as easily as a friend can leave. Both the spouse and the children are further attached to the depressed person because they have a deeper care for that person than a friend would. As the family member with the bipolar disorder continues on in their life without getting the help or treatment that they need, the family members around them begin to feel drained and can become depressed themselves. No matter what they do, they cant seem to make this person feel better and it can leave a person feeling helpless, guilty and mentally drained.
A family that has a member who may have bipolar disorder should try their best to get that person the help that they need. It is not something that other family members can help with. First, one has to find out, somehow, if the person really is suffering from bipolar disorder. This can be done by consulting an online counselor who would be more than happy to answer any questions and give any suggestions or advice. If it is believed that this person really is suffering from bipolar disorder, than the best thing for the family to do is to get that person into counseling. Many individuals will not go in to see a counselor because they are embarrassed or they dont want to appear weak to others; however, many of these individuals are more open to the idea of online therapy. The online therapist will work with the person to find out if they are possibly suffering from bipolar disorder. If it is found that this person is suffering from bipolar disorder, then they can work with this person through online counseling to find an appropriate treatment. In getting treatment for this person, it is also helping the family in that it can keep the family together, improve the overall atmosphere in the household and keep the happiness and joy in life around.