My story of living with bipolar is one that has been shared by many. I come from a family who has faced this particular mental health challenge for generations, and yet it was not until recently that I have become more familiar with the disorder.
It has been a long road full of ups and downs in navigating our experiences as a family and learning to cope with this illness. We are still on our journey, but we have made progress over the years in understanding both our emotions and the disorder itself so we can better manage it as a family unit.
One of the biggest pieces of advice I can offer to other individuals or families coping with bipolar is to talk about it openly and honestly. This doesn’t mean you have to go into detail about your experiences if you’re not comfortable doing so, but having just one open conversation could open doors for more dialogue that promote understanding, empathy, and compassion.
I also suggest reaching out for help if need be, whether through therapy or support groups. This can help get access to resources such as medications that can assist in balancing out your mental health and make coping easier on everyone involved – patients and their families alike. You don’t have to manage this alone – there are people who are willing to help!
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that no two people experience bipolar or any other mental illness exactly the same way – what works for me might not work for someone else, but it’s important that we continue having open conversations about what does work while still finding ways to support those around us no matter where they stand on their own journey.