If you are closely associated with a person with bipolar disorder, it is very important that you understand the nature of the condition and how to deal with it.
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness wherein there are periods of excitability (mania) alternating with periods of depression. The “mood swings” between mania and depression can be very abrupt. The cause of this disorder, which is likely to occur more often in people with bipolar relatives, is still known.
Severe bipolar symptoms include psychosis such as hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia. It is very frightening and confusing to members of the family seeing their loved one experiencing such symptoms. Family involvement is very beneficial to the sufferer in helping him or her cope with the illness because he or she has no control over the feelings of depression and hopelessness. Family support and understanding are very important even if it not appreciated.
Most often it is the family members who suffer a great deal because of the provocative, aggressive, or destructive behaviors of people who suffer bipolar. It is extremely important to recognize the signs and symptoms of such problems and the patient should be treated by a specialist.
Usually, the treatments of choice are mood stabilizing medications, like Lithiumand valproic acid.
This is effective for treating both the manic and depressive phases, as well as preventing future symptoms. Drugs can be effective in reducing acute psychotic symptoms, while long-term compliance with medication will help prevent recurring of symptoms in the future.