Here Are 5 Ways You Can Help Your Partner
You may be tempted to tell your family member or friend how to “fix” their problems. But sometimes, you need to do more listening. Your loved one may just want to be heard and doesn’t want your opinion right now. Instead, tell her that you’re there whenever she wants to talk. She may not open up all the time, but she’ll be happy to know you’re open when she needs it.
2. Offer Encouragement
Keep in mind that people with bipolar disorder can live full, successful lives. Let your friend know that the condition doesn’t define her. It’s not a personality flaw, and she can’t just “snap out of it.” Encourage her that she can get better with treatment — especially when she sticks with it.
3. Spend Time Together
Go out together see a funny movie, or take a walk in the park. Social connections are important, especially if your loved one is depressed. She may isolate herself, which can make the problem worse. Even if she turns down your invitations, keep trying. It’ll send the message that she’s important to you. She’ll probably appreciate your efforts and may eventually say yes.
4. Be a Partner in Treatment
Don’t let your girlfriend one go it alone. Your support can help her succeed in treatment. Offer to be involved in any way she wants you to be. You can help her:
- Find good doctors or therapists
- Set appointments and go along
- Track her progress
Encourage her to keep taking medications. Some people stop when they feel better or because of side effects. If the medicine is bothering her, ask the doctor if another one may help.
5. Take Care of Yourself, Too
When someone in your life is bipolar, it can take a toll on your emotions. Caregivers can get depressed or have other health problems. If you don’t pay attention to your own needs, you can get burned out. Try to carve out some regular “me time” to clear your head. Paint, listen to music, or do something else you love. Have lunch or dinner with friends. And don’t feel guilty about it. You can’t support your loved one if you’re not well.
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