How can I help a friend or relative who has bipolar disorder?
If you know someone who has bipolar disorder, it affects you too. The first and most important thing you can do is help him or her get the right diagnosis and treatment. You may need to make the appointment and go with him or her to see the doctor. Encourage your loved one to stay in treatment.
To help a friend or relative, you can:
Offer emotional support, understanding, patience, and encouragement
Learn about bipolar disorder so you can understand what your friend or relative is experiencing
Talk to your friend or relative and listen carefully
Listen to feelings your friend or relative expresses-be understanding about situations that may trigger bipolar symptoms
Invite your friend or relative out for positive distractions, such as walks, outings, and other activities
Remind your friend or relative that, with time and treatment, he or she can get better.
Never ignore comments about your friend or relative harming himself or herself. Always report such comments to his or her therapist or doctor.