Relationships are the most important and challenging aspect of anyone’s life, but they can be even more challenging for bipolar people. Maintaining healthy relationships is important for people with bipolar and is a prerequisite for their overall management of the condition. Family and friends can be a vital component of fulfilling their life.
Partners, the mega supporters, have this Herculean task of understanding, identifying the triggers and devising effective solutions. It is about knowing the “What and How” of it all. It can be very tough and sometimes, your own frustrations, anger about “why me?” may get in the way. The catch is to create a list of behaviours and activities that minimise the symptoms and those that don’t .
Creating a journal carrying all the major symptoms helps you achieve the goal of figuring out the main categories of your partner’s symptoms and to list the signs under each one. The categories as listed by Fast and Preston include depression, mania, paranoia, anxiety, anger, self-destructive behaviour and problems with focus and concentration.
Then sincerely talking about the problems that consistently interfere with your relationship because of the disorder would help you create “What works” and “What Doesn’t work” for each symptom. Working together on these lists help build a team to manage the problem as it gives an insight into what to do in a particular situation. For instance, you might ask your partner in how you could be of help when she/he is depressed… may be leave them alone or put some music and help them meditate or paint. Loving relationships become a kind of buffer between the triggers and the bipolar partner. It is very normal to get frustrated at times and we might tend to make some unwanted comments like “What is your problem?” or “If you cared you would try harder,” according to Fast and Preston. But is this going to help the case? Obviously not. So instead one could say, “I know you don’t feel well right now. What can we do so that you can get better?” “ What is it that I can do to get back the sense of peace and happiness?”
Encourage them to voice concerns. Help them with alternate therapies along with medication like yoga, meditation combined with a healthy diet. Cook what helps them.
Most importantly do not forget to take good care of yourself. Alongside figure out what works best for you and this discovery will help you know all that contributes to your emotional, physical and spiritual health and empower you with more energy to help you loved one!
Hire a coach who could be your confidant, a non-judgmental friend, who can help you see your blind spots. A life coach is perfectly poised to perform this critical function, providing objective feedbacks. The benefits of approaching a life coach for advise are manifold
– He/she has your best interests in mind in providing the feedback.
– can help you take on more responsibility by having you report weekly on your accomplishments and initiatives.
– can be a sounding board, another set of ears as you talk about the things that are bothering you.
As you hear yourself have the conversation, new personal realizations emerge and together you can brainstorm and try out new ways to strengthen your relationship.
Expand your sense of yourself!
Let’s work together, so that you too can achieve what seems to be insurmountable.
More about the Author- Jaswinder Grewal
Jaswinder, an educationist with an overall experience of more than two decades, has played varied roles in Success Coaching, Leadership, Empowerment and Personal Development space. She is an ICF Certified Personal Success Coach & Master Spirit Life Coach recognized by the Certified Coaches Alliance, USA and is an M.Phil. in English Literature by education.
She is gifted with exceptional coaching abilities and is an expert in empowering people to achieve Personal Success while dealing with common life transitions in different areas of Life, Academics, Career and Relationships