03-03-2016 03:45 PM
In recognition of World Bipolar Awareness Day, tonight we are focusing on carers who have a loved one with bipolar.
We are @Jo, who, during the 1970s/1980s was part- time carer for her sister and nephew, both of whom lived with schizophrenia and from the 1990s on, has been full time carer of her son who has bi polar disorder. She also brings carers together and runs workshops on how to take care of themselves.
Jo will be around to answer you questions and share some of her own experiences and will also be throwing out questions to learn more about YOUR experiences, so we can share and learn from each other.
Jo is going to kick off the night by asking you some of the most common questions she gets as a carer
22-03-2016 06:16 PM
It's not uncommon that the one you care for explodes in frustration and anger during their periods of mania and usually it's directed at the one caring for them. How do you handle these explosive episodes?
22-03-2016 06:45 PM
Carers of loved ones living with bi polar or any other mental illness often reach a point of exhaustion we call 'burn out'. This can lead to the development of a condition called dissociative disorder. Dissociative disorder is a dream-like state, a feeling of carrying out the daily routine in a robotic manner, almost like being in a trance. Would anyone who has experienced this like to share in order to help others understand and cope with this problem?
22-03-2016 06:56 PM
22-03-2016 07:01 PM
Oh wow, Heartworks! So inspiring to hear your story! So good to hear about how you take time out for yourself in this way. I do hope anyone else reading this will take on the suggestions you have made. My son who has bipolar does similar things. He takes time out to go for a walk, meditate and listens to music he loves. Thanks for sharing.
22-03-2016 07:06 PM
I think, as carers and those with a lived experience tend to be, well I know for me, in a hyper vigilant mode, constantly waiting for 'the next' and it can be exhausting. So, self care and mini time outs are critical
22-03-2016 07:09 PM
I cared for my sister and nephew during the 1970s and 1980s, both of whom lived with schizophrenia. Since the early 1990s I have cared for my son who has bi polar disorder. I found that one good way to release pen-t up energy, grief, anger etc. during difficult periods was to pour my thoughts and emotions into a journal. Does anyone here use this method to let off steam?
22-03-2016 07:11 PM
My son has just been diagnosed with Bipolar 2 by the Black Dog Institute...but i have since heard that is their general diagnosis for most people...has anyone else had that experience?
22-03-2016 07:12 PM - edited 22-03-2016 08:26 PM
Yes, that is so true Heartworks.....re the need for self-care and time out.
22-03-2016 07:13 PM
I wish I had an answer for this one. My loved one does not explode but tends to become very short with both myself and the children. I tend to retreat and focus on the children (over compensate if you like). I also give my loved one a wide berth. I find raising the issue exacerbates his frustration. Again this is probably not the best course of action - but I am at a loss a lot of the time.
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