Helping a Loved One With Bipolar Disorder

Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center provides care for women and girls who are struggling with bipolar disorder. If you are trying to help a loved one who has bipolar disorder, Timberline Knolls delivers compassionate, comprehensive treatment that promotes lifelong healing.

Learn More About Bipolar Disorder

Learn how to help a loved one who is suffering from bipolar disorder

When someone you care about struggles with bipolar disorder, you may experience a range of emotions. You may be concerned, fearful, frustrated, or even angry. The signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder can include disturbing behavior patterns. Having worries or fears related to your loved one’s health is normal and understandable.  

However, please don’t allow your concerns to turn into a sense of hopelessness or helplessness. Bipolar disorder is a challenging mental health condition that requires effective professional help. But it is treatable. With the right type and level of care, your loved one can achieve an improved quality of life. You can play an important role in getting your loved one the effective professional treatment for bipolar disorder that she needs.  

The more you understand about what your loved one is experiencing, the better prepared you will be to provide meaningful assistance. Thus, it’s important for you to educate yourself about the signs, symptoms, and effects of bipolar disorder. This won’t allow you to diagnose your loved one – only a qualified healthcare provider can provide an accurate diagnosis of bipolar disorder or any other mental health condition. But it will give you a much better sense of the challenges that your loved one is experiencing. 

If at all possible, don’t try to accomplish all of this on your own. Get a small group of trusted friends or family members to help. You can support each other, share the research workload, and help keep your loved one safe until she enters treatment. You cannot be the best source of support for your loved one if you’re neglecting your physical or mental health. Don’t take on more than you can handle, practice self-care, and get help if and when you need it.

Talk to Your Loved One

Prepare for the conversation about getting treatment for bipolar disorder

Maintain healthy and open communication with your loved one. Express your concern. Discuss what you’ve observed and learned. Emphasize your love and support. Perhaps most importantly, listen. Reading about bipolar disorder or consulting with experts can give you a general understanding of the nature of this mental health disorder, but only your loved one can provide insights into exactly how bipolar disorder is impacting her life. 

Remember that you want to have a conversation, not lecture your loved one. This is not a time for accusations or ultimatums. Your loved one may respond with anger. Be prepared for this, and do not allow the discussion to devolve into an argument. Getting your loved one to enter an effective treatment program for bipolar disorder may require a series of conversations. Don’t let a temporary setback derail your efforts to help your loved one. 

Your loved one’s willingness or hesitance to talk about bipolar disorder can guide your next steps. If she acknowledges the problem and is open to the idea of seeking residential treatment for bipolar disorder, you can work with her to identify the treatment centers that appear to be the best fit for her. If she refuses to get help, you may have to do a bit more work without her participation. 

Contact the treatment centers that offer the type and level of care that your loved one needs. The admissions advisors at these centers should be happy to answer all of your questions, and can provide advice on how to work with a treatment-resistant individual until she’s ready to enter a comprehensive bipolar disorder program.

Should You Stage an Intervention? 

Consider an intervention for a loved one who is suffering from bipolar disorder

Talking to your loved one about bipolar disorder, and getting her to enter treatment for this mental health condition, can be a challenging endeavor. Even after educating yourself about the signs, symptoms, effects, and treatment options for bipolar disorder, you may feel ill-prepared to have a one-on-one discussion. As with your research, it can be valuable to include others who care about your loved one. 

If your only experience with an intervention is what you’ve seen on TV or in a movie, it will be important for you to do some detailed research before hosting this event. On-screen portrayals of interventions (even in so-called reality shows) are staged and edited for dramatic or comedic effect. They do not provide accurate representations of what actually occurs in effective interventions. 

In short, an intervention is a small gathering of close friends or family members, conducted for the purpose of convincing a loved one to enter treatment. Interventions are most commonly held for individuals who have been struggling with addiction.  

An intervention for someone who needs help for bipolar disorder should be attempted only after considerable planning and preparation has taken place. You should consult with an expert, and you may want to have a professional present during the event. Being confronted by a group of people can be an intimidating experience, even when those people are acting in what they believe are your best interests. Having a professional in attendance can help the process run as smoothly and effectively as possible.  

For information about interventions or other ways to convince a woman or girl that she needs effective treatment for bipolar disorder, contact the treatment centers that you have been considering. Reputable treatment centers such as Timberline Knolls have staff members who can answer your questions and help you take the most beneficial actions.

With Help  &  Planning, You Can Succeed 

Encourage your loved one to seek treatment for bipolar disorder

When you encourage a loved one to enter treatment for bipolar disorder, you help her take a significant step toward a healthier tomorrow. But remember that treatment is just one step on your loved one’s recovery journey. Bipolar disorder is a complex mental health condition, and your loved one will need your continued assistance as she works to manage her symptoms after she completes treatment for bipolar disorder.  

Manage your expectations. Prepare to support your loved one as she experiences both successes and setbacks. And plan to be a source of continued love and support in the weeks, months, and years to come.

I love how they treat mood disorders as well as eating disorders. The groups were great and the staff really connect and help you on your journey. You are truly cared about and you learn how to help yourself.

– A former resident
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