In considering how to help someone who is bipolar, you need to consider those ways in which you can be most effective in helping them to manage their bipolar disorder.
In order to become stable with their bipolar disorder, there are certain things that someone who is bipolar should do for themselves; such as maintaining a good sleep schedule (going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning and getting at least 8 hours of sleep every night) and exercising (at least 30 minutes at least three times a week).
However, as their supporter, there are also some ways that you can consider how to help someone who is bipolar as well.
For example, if you live with them, you can help with their diet. They will want to stick to a healthy, nutritious diet, and if you cook the meals, you can help with this.
You can also help someone who is bipolar by helping them with their medications. For example, you can remind them to take them. Or, if need be, you can even put them in a daily (weekly) pill container for them to take themselves.
Another way how to help someone who is bipolar is to help them get to their appointments with their doctor, psychiatrist, therapist, or any other professional they may see. This will ensure that they get the treatment they need to maintain stability.
One big problem that people with bipolar disorder have is in the way of finances. For example, in a manic episode they tend to spend money excessively. So a good way how to help someone who is bipolar is to help them learn to manage their finances. Many of them have incurred debt because of what they’ve done during episodes, so you could help them to manage this debt, or to work out a plan to pay it back over time.
Sometimes people with bipolar disorder use alcohol and drugs during an episode and then find it hard to stop when the episode is over. Then they end up with a substance abuse disorder in addition to their bipolar disorder. So another way how to help someone who is bipolar if this is the case for them is that you can help them go to meetings for their substance abuse.
Another way how to help someone who is bipolar is to help them develop a good strong support system. They will need this if they are going to maintain any sort of stability. You might suggest people who could be in their support system, or even talk to people for them, if need be, to see if they would be willing to be in their support system.
One way how to help someone who is bipolar is to help them with repairing damaged relationships. Perhaps they said or did something to a family member during a bipolar episode that pushed that family member away, and now they want to ask their forgiveness. One thing you can do is to role play with them before they do it, so they can practice some things to say.
The best way how to help someone who is bipolar is to be a good supporter to them. Be a good listener and be understanding. Be a shoulder for them to cry on. Listen not only to what they say, but also to what they don’t say. Watch for cues from body language. Reaffirm your love for them. Tell them you are there for them. Tell them you are proud of their efforts at recovery.