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Mental Health

Bipolar Relationships

In general, relationships take a lot of nurturing and time. Imagine doing this as someone with bipolar disorder. People with bipolar disorder have to navigate the emotional roller coaster of manic and depressive cycles. Then, they have to maintain relationships with family, friends, and significant others. It sounds like a recipe for disaster, but there are healthy ways to deal with relationships and bipolar disorder. Here are some of those tips.

Honesty is the best policy.

First, it pays off to be honest. Talk about your diagnosis of bipolar disorder with the important people in your life. You need to be upfront with them, because it can feel lonely dealing with the ups and downs of mood swings. Sharing your circumstances gains you a support system. Give your loved ones the chance to support you in your time of need. Also, at your discretion, you can be honest with your employer about your disorder. They may be able to provide the necessary resources and accommodations you need to do your work.

When you hit rock bottom.

In the lowest low, texting might be the easiest way to express yourself during solemn times. Text your loved ones that you feel unwell, and take a rain check for invitations to hang out. You can text, because you don’t feel like calling or meeting in person. Only text if you feel like it. You must go at your pace to maintain communication. Communication allows other people to understand your mindset. It gives them a guide on how to respect your social boundaries.

When you are high as a kite.

In high and normal states, it is best to maximize socializing with family, friends, and significant others. Schedule and plan specific times to call or hang out with your loved ones. Ask them to a brunch, breakfast, lunch, coffee, or dinner date. Make sure to ask how they are doing. It’s important to listen to the daily on goings of others too. This will build the trust factor between your loved ones and you. When it’s your turn to vent, they’ll be willing to listen to your thoughts and emotions. It is polite to wait for them to ask you how you are doing. You can tell them how grateful you are for your manic or normal moods.

Exercise is another way to spend time with your loved ones. This allows your body to release endorphins to create calm and happy feelings. For example, I take walks with my husband, sister, niece, and dogs. It allows me to vent to my sister or husband about my moods. Plus, they get to vent too. It allows me to talk to my niece about my disorder. She can ask questions and formulate her own opinion. The cherry on top is I spend time with my dogs. I am joyful for their unconditional love.

Social on social media.

Social media allows a connection between family, friends, and significant others. Facebook Messenger allows group messages, photo uploads, and video calling between people. Your phone allows for video calls and text messaging too. Other text messaging apps are Kik and Group Me. Marco Polo allows you to post daily videos within a group. Instagram allows you to share, follow, and like the photos and video clips of others. Social media becomes a positive outlet to spend time catching up on the lives of others. You don’t have to leave the comfort of your home, especially, if you feel depressed.

 Mental health upkeep.

Lastly, take the time to talk to a professional. This can be a psychologist, therapist, or life coach. They can help you provide objective guidance to deal with your relationships and bipolar disorder. Plus, these professionals are safe havens to vent about your relationship concerns. It is recommended to stay in contact with a psychiatrist. They can help you maintain and regulate your medication as needed. All in all, it takes different elements to maintain relationships while dealing with bipolar disorder. Just remember you don’t have to be alone.

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by Kimberly Ramos

I am a special education teacher by trade. I am a writer by hobby. I have a B.A. in English and a M.S. in Special Education. I hope to use my writing as a vessel to help women cope with everyday scenarios in life.

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