Summary: There are various things a person should keep in mind when sharing their living space with another person. This is especially true when living with someone who has any form of disorder. Here are some things to avoid when living with someone with bipolar disorder.
When living with someone and sharing a home, it calls for a lot of trust and coexistence. There are various factors to keep in mind to help all parties live together in harmony. Thus it is always better to know about the people you are living with before making a decision. Knowing the comforts of each other and reaching an understanding helps create a comfortable environment to live in. With proper planning, a person can easily live with a person with a disorder as well. However, it is important to remember the existence of the disorder and find ways to work around the same.
Bipolar disorder is also known as manic depression. It is a mood disorder where people who suffer from the same have frenzied mood swings. The individual’s mood may swing and a person may seem excited and energetic or they could make split second decisions usually due to unrealistic expectations or delusions. In extreme cases, individuals may also be violent and exhibit psychotic behavior and they may even have hallucinations. While there are times when there is a break from extremes and the person may have moments or periods of time when they are normal, most go through a rapid change in mood. This is called rapid cycling. The only form of treatment for bipolar disorder is medication to stabilize moods and psychotherapy. In extreme cases where people suffer psychotic episodes or have severe depression which may lead to suicidal tendencies, the individual may be involuntarily committed. There are a range of different factors which contribute to this disorder. This includes certain brain circuits, certain genes in the body which might be passed through the family, etc. However, studies have shown that a person’s environment may have a major effect on the same. A stressful childhood, and abusive or traumatic experiences in their youth have also been shown to play a role in their current bipolar condition.
There are different types of bipolar disorder. The major ones are: Bipolar I disorder where there are one or more manic episodes; Bipolar II disorder where while there are no manic episodes and the individual may have one or more major depression episodes and hypomanic episodes. This makes it more difficult to diagnose than the other forms; Cyclothymia is a form where the person has a history of episodes of hypomania and periods of minor depression; Bipolar Disorder NOS is a category for the bipolar condition which does not fall in any specific subtype, however it can adversely affect an individual’s quality of life.
Things to Avoid when Living with a Bipolar Individual
While it is possible to live with someone suffering from bipolar disorder, it is important to keep in mind that the individual’s mood can swing rapidly. Thus it is important to be aware at all times and ensure that things which could trigger an episode are avoided:
Medication: Ensure that there are sufficient funds to refill medication. It is also important to monitor the intake of medication as many suffering from this disorder may avoid taking their medication.
Avoid small arguments with someone suffering from this disorder. Small arguments can easily be avoided and it is best to do so as they can turn into large fights. Speak calmly to them when they are upset as it will help them calm down. Follow your normal routine to put them at ease.
Triggers: It is important to be aware of the symptoms of episodes which may occur as well as their triggers. If you are aware of the same, an individual can work towards avoiding the situation or ensuring it does not escalate.