Thursday, August 14, 2014

We Pray To The Lord - Part 7 - What Can I Do To Help Someone With Bipolar Disorder?

Here I am
still feeling the loss of the great Robin Williams.
But how many suicides
by people with Bipolar Disorder
are mourned on such a global level?
With this blog entry
I share some ways
you can help the person with Bipolar Disorder.
do one of them.
Do all of them.
But do something,
please. . . .

*Learn About Bipolar Disorder
Read. Read. Read. Look up information online. Go to the library. Learn what the symptoms of bipolar are and what some of the treatments are. And learn about the side effects medications. Sometimes the side effects are not worth it. We learned this the hard way.

* Listen
Ok. I just said this in a previous blog entry, but it bears repeating.  Listen and listen well. If you don’t have Bipolar Disorder yourself, you really don’t know what the person is going through. Listen.

*Ask The Person With Bipolar Disorder What You Can Do For Them.
Simple tasks can become overwhelming. They might need your help with seemingly simple things like washing the dishes, doing the laundry, or writing a check to pay a bill.  Or just sit and watch a movie on tv could be all they need. Simple, right? Just ask them. This could be all they need at the moment.

* Keep A Journal Of Sorts
Track the symptoms. You will soon start to notice changes and know that an up or a down is coming. Learning these things can make a difference in what treatment the doctor gives.  You don’t need to spy into a person’s life, but if you are close enough to the person you will notice changes.  And when you notice changes you will also begin to know when is the right time to offer your help.

* Find The Right Doctor
Again, I said this in a pervious blog post in this series, but it so bears repeating. Find the right doctor. Find the doctor who will listen and help develop a treatment plan that works. As I said in one of the previous blog posts, we spend more time in this country shopping for a used car than we do for a doctor. If your doctor isn’t doing the job, if your doctor isn't taking the time to answer your questions and listen to your concerns,  fire him and find one who will.

* Stick With The Treatment Plan
When things go well the person with Bipolar Disorder may get a sense of “I’m all better now,” and decide to forego meds. Not a good idea. While it may be true that it may take some time to find the right medication it is important to stick to the treatment plan to make sure all is well. Make sure they see their doctor regularly. And it is also important to know that some medications may take several weeks before they begin to help. It’s easy to get frustrated and think, “this medication isn’t working.” Or once the medication system is in place and all is going well, “I don’t need these meds anymore.” Stick with the treatment plan. Change it if you must, but under a doctor’s supervision.

* Be Truthful With The Doctors And Ask A Myriad Of Questions
That’s what the doctor is there for. Be honest if you think the medication isn’t working or if you see some side effects. (Of course, talk to your loved one about this before the actual doctor visit.) The truth is, some of the Bipolar Meds carry some hefty side effects.  Are the side effects worth it? Ask questions. And then, ask more questions. Write things down. Write things down before you visit the doctor so you don’t forget. And then, write down the things the doctor said so you don’t forget.

* When Things Are Going Well For The Person With Bipolar Disorder Make A Plan Of Action For When Things Aren't Going So Well.
What will you do if the person with Bipolar Disorder is very depressed, maybe suicidal? What is the plan of action? Will you stay with that person until the episode is over? Will you take that person to an emergency room? Will you contact the doctor or family members? Work out a plan of action together. The person with Bipolar must be a part of developing the plan, but don’t make the plan when they are experiencing the downward spiral.

* Pray
But don’t just pray in the solitude of your bedroom with closed door.  Ask for prayers from your local prayer group.  Ask for the sacrament of the sick. And if the person with Bipolar Disorder already had the sacrament least year, ask for it again. And pray with the person. Words have power. I’ve said that often enough in this blog as well. And when those words are connected to prayer, well, the power is infinite. Pray.  And don't just pray for the person with  Bipolar Disorder. Don't just pray for their doctors. Pray that you may learn how to help. Pray that you can help educate others. Pray for people who judge others for having committed suicide. Pray for those who have committed suicide. Pray for family and friends of those who committed suicide.  A rampage of prayer. . . .please.  .  .

That we become help and support
to those with Bipolar Disorder,
We Pray To the Lord.
* * * * * *

Part 1 - For Those Who are Ill

Part 2 - For A Better Understanding of Bipolar Disorder

Part 3 - For A Better Understanding Of The Medications Used To Treat Bipolar Disorder

Part 4 - To Get To Know Others With Bipolar Disorder

Part 5 -  For A Better Understanding Of The Different Types Of Bipolar Disorder

Part 6 - That We May Learn To Listen To Those With Bipolar Disorder

* Part 7 - What Can I Do To Help Someone With Bipolar Disorder?

Part 8 - To Learn More About Bipolar Disorder

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