Bipolar disease affects many people. Loving Madness is a guide for loved ones of people suffering with bipolar disease.
Perhaps the most important point for all people, family member or otherwise is understanding that these disorders are physical illnesses just as are diabetes due to abnormalities of the pancreas and rheumatoid arthritis caused by the autoimmune system. In the case of mood disorders the disease is caused by a disease of the brain.
A family member cannot say “Snap out of it”. The first thing the one who is providing support needs to do is educate themselves about the disorders.
Often, particularly major depression and an early mania are invisible illnesses.
Unconditional love is not enough. You cannot fix them. You can reassure them that they will get better but you must get them to a psychiatrist or psychologist. When they say “I am hopeless” or “I can conquer the world because I am better than everyone else” they believe it. Unlike half of those with schizophrenia, people with mood disorders know they are sick once diagnosed.
A person going through a major depression or manic episode needs to be FREQUENTLY REMINDED by health professionals that there is no quick fix. Medications take up to six weeks to kick in and the same with adding new ones or adjusting them.
Paul Golden is a doctor that has lived with bipolar disease for over 40 years. Find out what you can do to best help. Get your copy of Loving Madness now.