If you are helping a family member who is bipolar, you won't be helping yourself or them if you get sick and fall apart. When I was trying to help my mom, I made a huge mistake. I went from 7% body fat at 222 pounds to 190 pounds, and then up to 246 pounds in about seven months or so. I went from eating six healthy meals a day and drinking one gallon of water a day to one meal every other day and drinking about a cup of water. This is super unhealthy for your body. I was consumed with all the problems that I had that I simply stopped caring for my body's needs.

Unfortunately, I had to figure things out and then fix them, and it took a long time. I just didn't really have any idea of how important it was to take care of myself so that I could take care of my mom. I didn't know that letting myself get run down would have such a profound impact on how effective I would be as a care giver for my mom.

I suggest that you take health and nutrition supplements regularly, you exercise regularly, and you get plenty of sleep. Exercise can be as simple as taking a walk regularly, or go to the gym; preferably, your exercise should be anything that can get you out of the house for a period of time so that you can clear your head.

Sleep and relaxation can also help. Getting 7 or 8 hours of sleep each night will ensure that you are rested and able to think clearly in any situation. Studies have shown that lack of enough sleep for even a few days in a row can dull your ability to concentrate and make your decision making skills less sharp. If you can't regularly get a full night's sleep, try fitting in a quick nap in the afternoon (even a half-hour can make a difference), or just relax with a book or some soothing music to get rid of some of the day's tension.

Make sure you continue to socialize as well. Spending too much of your time with your bipolar loved one can be emotionally draining, particularly when they are being difficult and the only emotions you are feeling are ones like worry, exasperation, stress or anger.

If you get out and about with friends on occasion you can share laughter and some light-hearted fun, which will help relieve the tension and give you a chance to unwind. Your own mental health is essential to being able to cope well with

If you get completely consumed with caring for your loved one, you could have a sort of breakdown yourself. I know that I am recommending things that I didn't even do, but I learned the hard way and want to pass along the right things to do to you so that you can avoid the mistakes I made.