Learning About Bipolar Disorder Talking With Your Loved One Supporting Your Loved One Community Q&A Bipolar Disorder, formerly known as manic depression, is a disorder of the brain that results in shifts in mood, activity, energy, and day-to-day functionality.
Although nearly 6 million American adults have bipolar disorder, like many mental illnesses, it is often misunderstood.
Your support can make a difference to a friend or family member who has bipolar disorder. One of the simplest things you can start with is to try to accept them -- and their condition -- just like you would if they had a physical health challenge.
Cynthia Last, a therapist in Boca Raton, FL, didn’t know for a long time that she had bipolar disorder.
In popular culture, people may say someone is “bipolar” if s/he demonstrates any sort of mood swings, but the diagnostic criteria for bipolar disorder is far more rigorous.
There are actually several types of bipolar disorder.
A week by a lake or ocean, where your loved one can keep up a sleep and meal-time routine, is easier than a tour where you visit a different place every day or an action-packed weekend in Las Vegas or New York City.
Stay in your time zone, since jet-lag disrupts sleep. The ship “takes me to different places, without my having to change hotel rooms,” she says, and she can stick to her usual hours.
We became best friends, and two years later he married another woman and had a baby.
Alicia Smith, a retired entrepreneur who has bipolar disorder, lives in Bozeman, MT.
Her friends have motivated her at times to do things she wouldn’t have done on her own.
Some people with bipolar can be very proactive about their care, but this is usually after treatment has begun to help.
Part of what makes bipolar so scary is that it takes an enormous amount of work to manage, and "an enormous amount of work" is almost impossible for someone very ill with bipolar.