December is full of holidays, and whether it’s religious, civic or patriotic, nearly everyone has a holiday in December.  While these holidays bring joy to many people, they also make December a time that brings more responsibility – particularly when it comes to your loved one with bipolar disorder, especially so that they don't go into acting out behavior.

 

Here are some suggestions for a great bipolar holiday:

 

Don't let your loved one get overwhelmed

Although this is generally a happy time for people with bipolar disorder, they can easily become overwhelmed by all the holiday activity.  Try to watch your loved one carefully for signs that they are feeling overwhelmed.

 

Don't do too much

Keep the decorating, gatherings, and other holiday festivities to a minimum, so that you don't do or change too much of their surroundings.  This, too, can cause your loved one to feel overwhelmed.

 

Include your loved one

By including your loved one in holiday plans, they will feel more a part of them – just be sure to ask them if they want to be included, and to what extent.  As long as you keep things simple, your loved one’s disorder should not cause problems.

 

Hold down some of the excitement

For some people with bipolar disorder, all the holiday gatherings and the excitement they bring can cause them to get too excited, and they will go into acting out behavior.  Be sure to watch your loved ones closely for signs they are starting to act out.

 

Have an agreement for holiday gatherings

Your loved one may become nervous or anxious over having to go to holiday gatherings.  Make sure you keep these to a minimum, and have an agreement with your loved one that they can somehow let you know if they need to leave early – and then make sure you leave when they ask.

 

Keep the stress to a minimum

Stress, even good stress, can be dangerous for your loved one.  Stress is one of the biggest triggers to borderline acting out behavior.  Try to keep stress to a minimum, but still enjoy the holidays.

 

Talk to your loved one

Make sure that your loved one has a say in all holiday activities.  Only they know how they feel, and you are not a mind reader – so make sure they talk to you about how they are feeling so that you can take this into consideration before each event or gathering.

 

If you follow these suggestions, there is no reason you shouldn't be able to enjoy a happy holiday season with your loved one in spite of their bipolar disorder.