How to Live with a Bipolar Person in Today's World

/ Lifestyle

We all get mood swings. Our moods are impacted by how we feel on the inside and a sudden outburst doesn’t mean that we’re mentally ill. Women feel a roller coaster of emotions before their period, and when pregnant and that too does not mean that they’re bipolar.

What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder during which the individual suffers from extreme mood swings. If they’re happy, they’re fanatically happy, if they’re angry, their anger cannot be managed. The moods can also change within a blink of an eye and the bipolar patient has no control over how he/she feels and reacts. These mood swings can drastically impact the individual’s daily life. Unlike other mental illnesses, bipolar disorder is very common and according to stats, around 11% of bipolar patients go undiagnosed in Dubai.

What are the signs of bipolar disorder?

It is recommended to consult a doctor if you have the below-mentioned signs as emotional instability can disrupt one’s mental well-being:

·         Feeling very sad or happy for prolonged periods

·         Lack of focus and concentration in daily life

·         Feeling fatigued all the time

·         Eating too much or eating too little

·         Having a constant want to commit suicide

·         Suffering from a sleeping disorder

·         Having a risky behavior (not living life according to the norms)

·         Unrealistic goals and thinking

·         Sudden mood shifts

·         Not being able to control the mood swings

It is not easy to self-diagnose this disorder, so going to a specialist can rule out any other mental illness possibilities.

What causes bipolar disorder?

There is not a specific cause, however, an individual can develop the disorder based on the following factors:

·         Genetic factors (if the disease runs in the family)

·         Hormonal problems

·         Environmental factors such as stress, trauma, etc.

·         Brain-chemical imbalances

What types of bipolar disorders exist?

Four types of this common disorder are commonly known. In bipolar I, the individual has sudden and extreme mood swings which may require immediate hospitalization as these episodes are unlike the person’s usual behavior and can last for over a week. Less critical than I, in bipolar II, the individual suffers from extreme depression and hypomania. Common symptoms include insomnia, endless crying, and loss of interest. If not treated in time, the symptoms can worsen. Cyclothymic disorder makes the individual suffer from mild mood swings and if left untreated, can make the person bipolar. There are some bipolar disorders which have a different pattern other than the above types. It is best to get diagnosed from a professional if your mood alters in an uncanny manner.

Woman at a psychiatrist's office.
A therapist can understand what you're going through.

How does one live with a bipolar person?

Living under the same roof with a bipolar person can be difficult. However, keeping in mind the following tips, life can become relatively easy for both you and the patient:

·         Sometimes text cannot explain what the impacted person is going through. Take your type to study their behavior and pattern to better understand the needs and wants. This research will allow you to make sense of what they do, why they do it and most importantly, it will allow them to trust you, knowing that you can understand their feelings.

·         The person will go through both; extreme highs and lows. When they’re feeling gloomy, even if it is without any apparent reason, listen to them and try your best to comprehend their problems. Don’t let them feel alone during this period. When they’re having a manic episode, come up with activities to do together so that their energy can be channeled in a positive manner.

·         Sometimes, they might not be that vocal. They’re already troubled because they can’t explain and control their moods. It is best to sit with them and ask if they want anything done, if they have anything in mind or if there’s a way you can help.

·         Like we said, this disorder is not something that they can control. So do not get frustrated, and certainly do not judge them for their actions and reactions.

·         Helping them live can get overwhelming so make sure to take out time for yourself to relax, breathe and unwind. Do not be too hard on yourself. There is only much that you can do.

·         It is perfectly fine to ask for help. You can ask a loved one, a friend, and even go for professional help. Sometimes, it’s not for their chores but yours (cooking, cleaning, etc.) so you can pay more attention to them.

·         Voice out your feelings to them, and make sure that the environment around them is comforting and does not in any manner triggers their mood swings. Moreover, encourage them to take their medication on time and go for their regular checkups.

What is the treatment for bipolar disorder?

Unlike most diseases, this mental illness cannot be cured and is there for the entire lifetime. However, with medications, regular checkups, therapy, day treatment programs, maintenance treatment, and hospitalization, the disorder can be controlled. After a psychological diagnosis, a doctor can make the treatment chart based on the patient’s unique needs.

A young girl with her teddy bear at the psychologist's clinic.
Contrary to popular belief, children too can suffer from bipolar disorder.

How do I book a top doctor for a bipolar family member in Dubai?

If a loved one is suffering from the disorder or is exhibiting signs that he/she might have it, it’s best to take them to Dubai’s best doctors for bipolar disorder. You can filter and choose the doctors here based on price, ratings, reviews, and location.


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