Bipolar disorder and dating relationships
Finding the right medication (or combination of medications) can seem like a daunting process.
Strategies: Learn as much as you can about mood-stabilizing medications, Johnson said, including their potential side effects.
(This is a good chart, she said.) For instance, you can anticipate a potential depressive episode if you see that your mood has been progressively sinking in the last few days, Van Dijk said.
Practicing healthy habits is an effective way to lessen the hold emotions have on you.
If you do overspend, return your purchases, she said.
You can even ask a friend to go with you, she added.“There is no ‘one size fits all’ medication that helps everyone with bipolar disorder,” Johnson said. But for some people the side effects are especially troublesome, she said.
For instance, if impulsive spending is a problem, gain control by having a low limit on your credit cards, Johnson said.
Support groups are another valuable tool, Johnson said.
(She suggested looking at the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance website for a group.) For instance, individuals in these groups are usually familiar with compassionate doctors in the area, she said. The very symptoms – swinging moods, risky behaviors – often leave loved ones feeling confused, exhausted and like they’re walking on eggshells, Van Dijk said.
She also sees loved ones have difficulty distinguishing between the illness and the person.
Refer loved ones to self-help resources and biographies or memoirs of people with bipolar disorder, Johnson said.
Getting a handle on your emotions also improves relationships, she said. Individuals with bipolar disorder tend to have a tough time being assertive.