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Bipolar Disorder: Preventing Manic Episodes

By Jennifer Bradley, Staff Writer

(Page 2 of 2)  

Don’t fight fire with fire

The first rule of preventing an outburst is simply not being the flame that starts one. The four big communication no-no’s, according to Bipolar Disorder for Dummies, Second Edition, are criticism, blame, judgment and demand. The guide says to keep them out of interactions with a loved one who is bipolar. Honing these skills is essential, and how a caregiver (or anyone for that matter) says something makes a world of difference in the outcome of an event or gathering.

While some people tend to yell when they are upset, and if a caregiver is one of those people, it is imperative to find another way of expression. Yelling at a person with bipolar disorder puts them on the defensive and increases aggression, and possibly hitting the trigger point of stress. Fighting fire with water is much better.

Here are some examples of phrases that may be taken the wrong way by someone with bipolar disorder, but not affect someone else.

· Who said life was fair?

· Chill!

· It’s all in your head.

· Snap out of it.

· Shouldn’t you be better by now?

· Stop acting crazy.

And things to say:

· What would you like to do?

· This episode won’t last forever.

· We’ll get through this together.

· What can I do to help you have fun?

· I wouldn’t change anything about you.

Caregivers willing to jump on the rollercoaster of bipolar disorders certainly will find loops and dark tunnels along the way. It’s a guarantee. Taking the big dip over the hill can be a blessing, in knowing someone who needs love and compassion is being given it. The loved one with a bipolar disorder is looking to their caregiver to be a friend who enjoys life with them.


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