How To Deal With Someone With Bipolar

Are you seeking information on how to deal with someone with bipolar disorder? Knowing how to support them and care for yourself can be challenging.

However, with the proper methods, the condition can be managed.

Bipolar disorder is marked by intense mood fluctuations, including emotional highs or mania and depressive lows.

The indicators of bipolar disorder can range from mild to severe. Many individuals experience different combinations of both manic and depressive phases.

To help someone with bipolar, you should learn about the disorder to understand it better. Also, it’s essential to establish effective communication strategies.

This post will help you determine the best ways to approach someone with bipolar disorder. Let’s begin by diving into the meaning of bipolar disorder first.

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder, formerly called manic-depressive illness, is a mental health condition.

People diagnosed with this disorder experience extreme mood swings, including emotional highs, mania, and depressive lows.

Manic and depressive states can last for days or weeks. They can affect how a person carries out daily tasks and maintains relationships.

The signs of bipolar disorder can range from minor to extreme. Many individuals experience different combinations of both manic and depressive episodes. 

When dealing with someone with bipolar disorder, they may exhibit the following symptoms during manic phases:

  • An inflated sense of self
  • Racing thoughts
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Agitation

Depressive episodes often manifest as follows:

  • Excessive fatigue
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Low motivation

There are three main categories of bipolar disorder: 

  • Bipolar I disorder is characterized by at least one manic episode lasting at least seven days. The signs typically occur every day throughout the majority of the day. Sufferers also experience depressive episodes for at least two weeks.
  • Bipolar II disorder involves at least one hypomanic episode, a less severe form of mania, and one major depressive episode. 
  • Cyclothymic disorder, on the other hand, consists of numerous short periods of hypomanic and depressive symptoms. However, they never meet the full criteria for a hypomanic or major depressive episode.

There isn’t a definitive cause of bipolar disorder. However, various factors such as genetics, environmental influences, and imbalances in brain chemistry are believed to contribute to its development. 

How To Deal With Someone With Bipolar

Dealing with someone with bipolar can be challenging. However, with the right strategies, you will know how to support them and take care of yourself in the process.

Educate Yourself about the Disorder

Learning about the disorder is one of the best ways to deal with someone with bipolar. You should research and educate yourself about the following:

  • The symptoms and causes of bipolar disorder
  • The different kinds of bipolar disorder and their associated signs
  • How bipolar disorder is treated (medication and therapy)
  • Monitoring mood patterns and understanding triggers

Speaking to the person with bipolar disorder can also be helpful. It can help you identify any behavioral patterns you should be aware of and gain deeper insight into how their symptoms manifest.

Establish Effective Communication

Establishing open and honest communication is vital to dealing with someone with bipolar.

One communication strategy that proves effective is active listening. When interacting with someone with bipolar disorder, focus on what they say and acknowledge what you hear. 

In addition, stay calm when expressing your feelings about the person’s behavior.

Also, point to the specific behavior you have an issue with instead of blaming the person’s general behavior.

It’s also vital to tell the person with bipolar disorder what you want them to do. However, don’t ask them for too many things at once.

Finally, be understanding toward them, whether it’s your friend, family member, or a stranger. Encourage them and offer assistance with treatment.

Offer Emotional Support

Dealing with someone with bipolar disorder can be demanding. However, offering emotional support can be beneficial to managing the condition. 

If your friend or family member finds it difficult to cope with their symptoms, be understanding and offer support. Let them know you’re available to lend a sympathetic ear or encourage them.

Being patient is also crucial, as recovery takes time, even when someone is committed to treatment. Prepare for obstacles and trials, and be patient with the healing process. 

Take Care of Yourself

When dealing with someone with bipolar disorder, you must take care of yourself. This can be a tricky balancing act.

However, you can do the following to ensure you’re staying healthy and happy while also supporting your loved one:

  • Find a balance between tending to them and looking after yourself
  • Ensure you get adequate sleep each night
  • Have healthy, colorful, and balanced meals
  • Exercise as often as you can

Practicing mindfulness is also recommended. And setting boundaries for yourself can help you deal with stress and keep burnout at bay.


Bipolar disorder is a treatable mental health illness requiring lifelong treatment with medication and therapy.

If you have a friend or family member with bipolar disorder, educating yourself about the condition is essential. You should also prioritize open and honest communication, tend to their emotional needs, and carve out time for self-care.

By doing so, you can help manage the symptoms of the condition. And this can improve the quality of life of someone with bipolar disorder. 

Remember, recovery takes time, and setbacks are common. Therefore, it’s essential to be patient, understanding, and compassionate throughout the process.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.) Is Bipolar Disorder Treatable?

Yes, bipolar disorder is treatable. People diagnosed with the condition require lifelong treatment with medication, like antidepressants and mood stabilizers, and therapy.

These treatments enable them to manage their symptoms, stabilize their moods, and have a better quality of life.

2.) How Do You Handle A Bipolar Person In A Manic Episode?

When dealing with someone with bipolar during a manic episode, you must keep calm. Giving them space to breathe and calm their emotions can also prove effective.

However, don’t neglect them. Many individuals with bipolar disorder tend to feel isolated during manic phases, so showing them support can lessen this feeling.

3.) How Do You Help A Bipolar Person In A Depressive Episode?

You should ensure they stick to a healthy routine by maintaining healthy eating and sleeping habits. This can significantly help ward off depressive symptoms. 

Additionally, ensure they schedule daily tasks to stay on track. Lastly, it is essential to encourage them to partake in activities they usually enjoy as it can alleviate their depressive symptoms.

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