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How to Support Someone Who is Bipolar

If someone you care about is coping with anxiety, depression, or neurodivergent challenges, you’ve seen first hand how certain tasks can be a struggle. Erratic mood shifts and confusing behaviors pose additional hurdles for loved ones who are bipolar.

Proper treatment can make the highs and lows of this condition easier to navigate. Knowing what to expect and how to support someone who is bipolar during manic or depressive episodes can also help.

Learn how to support a bipolar spouse, friend, or family member with this helpful guide. If you or someone you know is seeking help, contact Miami Hypnosis and Therapy. We specialize in several therapeutic approaches and proudly care for the diverse population of South Florida. Get started with a phone consultation and begin your transformation today.

Listen and Learn

Listening as someone explains what they want from you is a great start when learning how to support someone who is bipolar. We often overlook the therapeutic properties of listening to the concerns of other people. Support networks can help provide the stability your loved one needs, so let your spouse or friend know you’re here to listen.

Educating yourself about bipolar disorder also teaches you how to better support your bipolar spouse or friend. At the peak of a manic episode, they can be over-energized, wildly ambitious, and potentially reckless. Activities that require the person to slow down, such as eating, sleeping, or interacting with others, might appear near impossible. At the lowest point of a depressive episode, the person may feel useless and suicidal. Learn to support someone who is bipolar by recognizing these symptoms. This will allow you to react without further triggering your loved one.

Be Understanding and Patient

Three women holding hands while walking

Another way you can learn how to support a bipolar friend is by remembering bipolar disorder is an involuntary condition. Understand that your family member, friend, or spouse has a health condition that affects their behavior and that they are not confusing or frustrating on purpose. You may not fully empathize with their struggles, but you can acknowledge what the person is feeling and be patient. Trying to understand goes a long way when learning how to support someone who is bipolar.

Take Care of Yourself

It can be hard to watch a loved one’s struggle. For some, the need to make things easier for others can override our sense of self-preservation. A crucial part of learning how to support your bipolar friend or spouse starts with putting yourself first and setting boundaries.

Tending to your own needs and desires is the best way to avoid emotional and physical burnout. Essentials like proper sleep and healthy eating provide you with the energy and mental fortitude required to push through the tough days.

While supporting someone who is bipolar, there will be times where you need to step back and recharge your battery. Cars can’t run on empty, and you can’t help loved ones while running on fumes.

Remember: taking care of yourself doesn’t mean you’re abandoning the people who need you. This is a hard lesson for some when supporting a bipolar friend or spouse—but it’s a necessary one. Recognize when things have become too much and mental health experts need to be called in. At the end of the day, this is the best thing you can do to support someone who is bipolar.

Seek a Professional

Bipolar disorder is typically a lifelong condition requiring consistent treatment to manage the symptoms. Take the first step and show you’re in this together by following your partner or friend’s mental health plan every step of the way. Encourage them to pursue regular counseling treatment at a practice like Miami Hypnosis and Therapy.
Approaches like neuro-linguistic programming and cognitive behavioral therapy can help level out the extreme highs and dangerous lows of bipolar disorder. Hypnotherapy with a licensed professional can reduce the client’s stress levels and improve their outlook.

Young woman sitting down with a mental health professional

As a loved one, helpful resources are the best way to learn how to support someone who is bipolar. Our inclusive practice is headed by Anna Marchenko, LMHC, M.A., Ed.M. Anna graduated from NYU and Columbia University and is one of the few therapists in South Florida to hold dual Masters degrees from an Ivy League university.

Anna is board certified by the Department of Education and has the educational background required to effectively treat patients with hypnosis. Start your journey and support your bipolar friend or spouse by encouraging them to reach out to Miami Hypnosis and Therapy today.

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