If a child or close family member in your home has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, undoubtedly they are in some type of treatment. Experts agree that there are things you can do to help, and that by learning bipolar care techniques, you can lessen the symptoms of manic depression. Acceding to The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, besides access to good professional care, one of the most important things a family member can do to help a child with bipolar disorder is to learn as much as possible about the disease. This kind of bipolar learning means you should read, join support groups, and network with other parents dealing with similar issues.
When learning bipolar care techniques it is important that you condition yourself to recognize the onset of an episode right away then intervene appropriately.
Learning to live with a child or family member who is bipolar also means learning to make a few simple lifestyle adjustments such as helping your child to:
- Maintain a stable sleep pattern. It has been studied and proven, bipolar children that go without proper sleep act out more often and at a much more aggressive level. Any child needs at least 8 hours of solid sleep, with some needing close to 10. Be sure to check with your child’s doctor to make sure you have an appropriate schedule in place.
- Maintain a regular daily routine. This is sometimes the hardest step for all families as changes are inevitable when raising children, especially more than one. Although times may not be scheduled on the dot, try to make sure that everything happens within sequence throughout the day.
- Set realistic goals. Never push your child to do anything they are truly unable to do. The truth is you may not be able to do everything you would do with your other children but this should be looked at as something special. Create fun activities allowing them to accomplish things that are actually within their bounds.
- Avoid alcohol and illegal drugs. This goes for both you and your child. Remember, being a parent means leading by example no matter how difficult this may seem at times.
- Continue treatment. Never halt treatment with the assumption that your child is better, or can “get through it”. There is no such thing as a “bipolar phase” and without treatment your child could be a great threat to you and themselves.
- Reduce stress at home and at school. This does mean going out of your way to make them comfortable even when it seems like a tall order. Learning bipolar episode triggers will allow you to keep the stress at bay, therefore preventing a great amount of stress on your child.
Learning bipolar care is one of the best things you can do for your child’s future. While these are only a few of the hundreds of tips for dealing with the often times overbearing condition, they will prove incredibly valuable in the day to day happenings. Always keep in mind that learning bipolar activities and showing your child that there is a way to overcome the obstacles will set your child up for great success in all that they become throughout life.