Support For Bipolar Disorder


Seeing someone you care for going through the symptoms of manic depression can be very distressing. It's painful enough to be with someone who is in a deep depression, but during a manic phase they may not accept that there is anything unusual about their behaviour, and they may become hostile towards you. This can leave you feeling frightened and helpless. However, you can be vital in providing support and helping them to get practical assistance.

How to cope

Try to make sure you have support in coping with your own feelings. Give yourself time away from the person you are caring for, and ask friends and relatives for help. You may find counselling is helpful. Learning as much as possible about bipolar disorder can help you to cope better with your caring role. It's also worth remembering that, under the Carers (Recognition and Services) Act 1995, you may be entitled to ask for an assessment of your own needs from your local social services.

Sometimes, people with manic depression experience suicidal feelings. If the person you are caring for feels like this, you might find it useful to contact a support organisation.

Addressing difficult behaviour

If someone is hearing or seeing things that you don't, there's no point trying to argue them out of it. Nor is it helpful to pretend you see or hear them too. It's much better to say something like,’ I accept that this is how you see things, but I don't share that way of looking at it.' Try to focus on how the person is feeling at the time, to empathise with their emotions and encourage them to talk about them.

Giving practical support

Being organised can be a problem for people with this diagnosis. They may need help with practical matters (like ensuring they get enough to eat and sleep) and with their finances, particularly if they have built up debts during a manic phase.

Try to work together with your friend or relative, rather than taking over completely. Ask them what support they want and then help them establish what is available. Encourage them to manage their own condition safely. Respect their wishes regarding care as far as possible. If they are in agreement, you can go ahead and approach agencies for help. Help them try to combat the stigma they may face from work colleagues or friends.

Compulsory hospital admission

If all else fails, particularly if the person is a risk to themselves or to other people, it may be necessary to seek compulsory admission to hospital. The 'nearest relative', as defined under the Mental Health Act 1983, has the legal right to request a mental health assessment from an Approved Mental Health Professional to look at possible options and to decide whether the person should be detained.

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The Have I Got A Problem website is a free online resource to help people better understand any issues or concerns they may have about mental health or addiction. The website includes resources specifically focused to; general Mental Health, Depression, Stress, Anxiety, Insecurities, Self-harm Schizophrenia, Bipolar, Anger Management, Eating Disorders, Coping, general Addiction, Alcohol, Smoking, Gambling, Drugs, Cocaine, Heroin, Marijuana (Cannabis) Ecstasy, PCP, Mephedrone, Ketamine & Crystal Meth.

The site was created to give the public information to help them understand mental health and addiction issues and to assist people in making better informed decisions about their life and personal choices. was created and is run by 'Advising Communities’, which is a UK registered charity (Charity No. 1061055)


"The 'real' you is a person with bipolar who is struggling but who is seeking help and support and that is something to be really proud of. None of us can say what we'd be like if we hadn't become ill - all we can do is work with what we have."


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