Provide Emotional SupportBipolar disorder can cause stress and confusion, even in the strongest, most stable families. If your relative has been recently diagnosed with bipolar affective mood disorder, you can offer help by simply giving emotional support to her and her family. During those times when you see her or her family struggling to maintain a normal life, give them encouragement and understanding, especially when your relative appears to be entering a depressive or manic phase of her illness. Offer to talk to her or family members who seem to the the most receptive to support.
When you get together with your friend, plan to listen more than you talk. Have some conversational ideas ready and stick with the ideas that your relatives seem most interested in. Suggest outings or get-togethers so your family can have fun. Keep the outings simple so you don't inadvertently increase the stress on your relative suffering from bipolar disorder. Help your relatives understand that your ill relative will get better as long as she continues her treatment.
Get Appropriate TreatmentHelp your relative get the treatment he needs for his bipolar affective disorder. He needs to understand that his extreme moods of depression and mania are not normal and that either state keeps him from living and enjoying a full, productive life. He needs to begin taking his medication and keep taking it so his moods will stabilize.
As a part of appropriate treatment, he also needs to stay away from self-medicating with illicit drugs and alcohol---while he feels better if he uses these substances, he also runs the risk of suffering an overdose or being arrested for being in possession of illicit substances or driving under the influence.
Find Out More About Bipolar DisorderBipolar disorder can be a very difficult illness to understand. If you are to help your family member out, you need to develop an understanding of what bipolar disorder is, how it manifests itself, what type of bipolar disorder affective mood disorder your family member suffers from and the treatments given. Ask your relative questions about her mood disorder and what her treatments are.
Let her know you want to be present for her and help her through the difficult times, and in order for you do so, you need to understand everything you can about her illness. While you are offering support for your ill family member, remember to give support to her parents, siblings and significant other as well. Offer to help the family with some detail of their life while they manage their ill family member's medical and psychiatric needs. The person with bipolar affective mood disorder and his family are under tremendous stress once they learn of their loved one's diagnosis. They may feel isolated and abandoned by some friends and other family members. You can help by giving love and moral support and ensuring the ill person gets and maintains needed treatment.