When learning how to deal with a bipolar parent, first understand that Bipolar disorder affects millions of people worldwide. If you or someone close to you has a bipolar parent or close family member, the first thing you’re going to want to do is learn how to cope with the situation.
Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme mood swings from depression to mania. The condition can cause severe problems at home and school, as well as affect relationships.
It’s important to remember that bipolar disorder isn’t something that you choose. It is an illness just like any other.
Before you call us, here are some ways on how to cope with a bipolar parent.
Talk to someone regarding coping with a bipolar parent now: 1-866-771-1649
Coming to Terms with Your “Bipolar Parent” Situation
If your mother or father has bipolar disorder, they may not always act the way you expect them to. They could be irritable one day, then calm down the next. Or they could be angry and hostile for no apparent reason.
You don’t need to feel guilty about this, but you do need to understand what’s going on. When you’re dealing with a person with bipolar disorder, you need to try to understand their behavior without judging them.
You also need to come up with coping strategies that work for you. For example, if your mom yells at you when she’s manic, you might want to avoid her during those times. But if she’s depressed, you’ll probably want to spend more time with her.
At Arbor Wellness we suggest talking things out with your family members. You can explain why you think your parents’ behaviors don’t make sense, and ask them to help you deal with them.
The key thing here is to talk to them in a positive manner. Don’t yell at them or blame them for being sick. Instead, use empathy and understanding.
Coping With a Bipolar Parent Who Is Depressed
When your mother or father is depressed, they may seem very sad and withdrawn. They may even cry all the time. This doesn’t mean that they don’t love you. In fact, many people who suffer from bipolar disorder say that they love their children more than anything else.
They simply don’t know how to express themselves because of the symptoms of the disease.
When you see your parents crying, it’s okay to comfort them. Just let them know that you care about them. Try to find out what’s upsetting them so that you can help.
Try to get them to eat healthy foods. Some people with bipolar disorder can become overly focused on food.
This means that they start eating too much junk food. And they often overeat. This can be especially problematic if you have a parent who is a diabetic or has other underlying health problems.
Try to encourage your parents to eat healthier meals. Make sure that they drink plenty of water. And don’t forget to give them enough sleep.
Dealing With a Bipolar Parent Who Is Manic
When your parents are manic, they can be extremely happy and energetic. They may laugh loudly and play games.
Sometimes they can even appear rude or disrespectful towards others.
As long as your parents are taking their medication, there shouldn’t be any problem with their moods.
However, if they aren’t properly medicated, they could experience episodes of mania. During these periods, they may behave inappropriately.
For instance, they may shout at you or throw objects around the house. If this happens, you should tell a teacher or another adult.
Your parents will likely apologize for their actions. And they’ll promise to take better care of themselves.
If you notice that your parents are becoming manic, you should speak to your doctor. He or she can prescribe medications that will help control their mood swings.
And remember: It’s not your fault that your parents have bipolar disorder.
It’s important to realize that people with bipolar disorder are just like everyone else. They deserve respect and compassion.
Tips to Manage a Bipolar Parent
You’ve got to learn how to manage a bipolar parent. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Be patient
- Listen carefully
- Avoid arguments
- Keep an open mind
- Talk to other adults
- Stay calm
- Ask questions
- Let go of anger
- Take responsibility
- Find support
- Accept the situation
- Focus on the present
- Think positively
- Look after yourself
- Have fun
Coping Skills to Learn Having a Bipolar Parent
Having a bipolar parent can be challenging. But you can cope with it by learning new coping skills. These include:
- Learning how to communicate effectively
- Developing good listening skills
- Understanding your feelings
- Managing stress
- Taking charge
- Being assertive
- Finding ways to relax
- Dealing with conflict
- Coping with change
- Resolving problems
- Handling difficult situations
- Making decisions
- Building relationships
- Recognizing signs of depression
- Talking to your family
Resources for Helping and Coping With a Bipolar Parent
One great resource on bipolar disorder is the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). They provide information on mental illness, including bipolar disorder. You can also call 1-866-771-1649 to get more information and to speak with someone one-on-one who can help you.
The NAMI website has lots of helpful information on bipolar disorder. This includes articles about managing bipolar disorder, finding support groups, and much more.
The NAMI website also provides links to many other websites that offer additional information on bipolar disorder.
Another resource to consider is the American Psychiatric Association. The APA offers free publications on bipolar disorder. You can download them from their website.
Contact Arbor Wellness for Guided Help
If these tips and coping skills seem like valuable advice the next step is to contact us to talk things out and get more information. We have experience helping people in your situation. Some of us have been (or are still) in your situation.
Call Arbor Wellness Now! 1-866-771-1649