Summertime is here, and many parents of children with bipolar disorder are getting ready to send their children to camp, so checklists are on the minds of many supporters at this time.  This made me think of the following checklist.

Many supporters are NOT supporters of children – they are supporters of adult loved ones.  So the following is a checklist for supporters of adult loved ones who have bipolar disorder, written in the same way as a “Camp Checklist”:

THESE ARE THE TOP TEN:

(But don’t forget this one: Your own self (grooming, self-interests, health, etc.).

1.      Taking their medication.

 

2.      Managing their grooming, diet, exercise, general health.

 

3.      Seeing their therapist regularly.

 

4.      Seeing their doctor and psychiatrist when necessary.

 

5.      Keeping ALL their appointments (with other professionals).

 

6.      Having other outside interests and staying involved with them (in other words, NOT isolating).

 

7.      Getting the right amount of sleep.

 

8.      Doing things to de-stress (reading, yoga, writing, gardening, hobbies).

 

9.      Staying in touch with their family members and friends.

 

10.  Doing at least one thing every day that they enjoy.