Do you know someone who is bipolar? If you know them well, you would know that this condition has a MASSIVE effect on their lives. The good news is that there is more awareness and treatment available now, than ever before.
Here are 5 important points for understanding Bipolar Disorder:
1. There are several treatment options available. Medication and talk therapy (counselor or psychiatrist) can be very helpful.
2. Lifestyle can make a HUGE difference. Alcohol is a common choice for self medicating, but this leads to more problems, and can counteract the benefits of prescription meds. Exercise and other stress coping activities can be very important
3. Sometimes, hospitalization is a good course of action if episodes are unmanageable. I am certain that many suicides (including seeking confrontation with police in order to die) occur when episodes get out of control or seem endless. There is no shame in hospitalization in order to prevent self harm, or to seek medical help.
4. Unfortunately, the cost of hospitalization can be high if there is not good insurance to pay for it. Fortunately, there are Employer provided plans or Individual Marketplace plans (with subsidies available), through companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, etc, that will pay for almost all of the hospitalization, depending on the plan that someone has.
5. Having a mental health condition can be so all-consuming, that getting through the day is often the main focus. Activities like planning ahead for family, career, etc, often do not come into the picture. If possible, the use of a lifestyle/business coach can be very effective to help and plan for the future.
My own personal experience with a bipolar family member, and following article were used for sourcing: Bcbs Point of Blue Blog from June 6, 2023 (the full article is here: https://blog.bcbsnc.com/2023/06/mapping-out-your-bipolar-disorder-treatment-plan/)