"I want to die," or words like it, are probably the most frightening words a bipolar supporter will ever hear.  You should already be aware that thinking about suicide, or even actually attempting it, is a part of bipolar disorder.  However, that knowledge may not help when you are actually facing the situation.

 

What do you do when your loved one is seeing things or hearing things that you don't see or hear?  How do you face the fear you feel?

 

When your loved one starts going into a bipolar depressive episode, do you cringe inside, thinking that they may become suicidal?

 

If you have this fear, know that it is normal for a supporter of a loved one with bipolar disorder to feel this way.

 

You may hear your loved one say things like:

 

·         "I just can't keep going on this way."

·         "You'd be better off without me."

·          "I hate myself."

·         "I'm afraid of the thoughts I'm having."

·         "I don't want to go on living."

·         "I just want to die."

·         …and other similar words.

 

Fear is a normal reaction for a supporter when their loved one starts talking this way.

 

Understand, however, that they are not themselves at those times.  Their thoughts and feelings are being controlled by their bipolar disorder, which by nature can distort these thoughts and feelings, until your loved one is no longer thinking rationally.

 

What happens when you try to reassure your loved one during these times and no matter how much you affirm your love and support, it doesn't seem to matter?

 

Unfortunately, though common, people with bipolar disorder may go through periods where they think of death and dying.

 

If you find yourself in this situation, and you are fearful for your loved one, you need to do something about it.

 

First of all, take all threats of suicide seriously.

 

Secondly, your loved one needs more help than you can give them.  Try to get in touch with their doctor, psychiatrist, and/or therapist.

 

Thirdly, although you may not want to, you may have to place your loved one in the hospital, where they will be safe.

 

The most important thing is that you do something as soon as your loved one starts talking about death, dying, and/or suicide.  This isn't something that you can handle at home or by yourself.