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CLOSED // Topic Tuesday // Caring for someone with bipolar

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.

A big hello to all those who wanted to join in tonight - @Bob @Tara1 @Mama_Penguin @Shaz51 @Chezrailee @Longdog @Millie12 @DaveShaw and @Mazarita *waves*

Jo is going to kick off the night by asking you some of the most common questions she gets as a carer Smiley Happy

 

69 REPLIES 69

Re: COMING UP: Topic Tuesday // Tues, 22 March, 7pm AEDT // Caring for someone with bipolar

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?

Re: COMING UP: Topic Tuesday // Tues, 22 March, 7pm AEDT // Caring for someone with bipolar

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?

Re: COMING UP: Topic Tuesday // Tues, 22 March, 7pm AEDT // Caring for someone with bipolar

I think, self care is absolutely critical. I have Bipolar Disorder and so does my husband and we have been married for 12 years this May. We call ourselves Mr and Mrs Bipolar in a rather affectionate way. It is so easy to disassociate when things 'get too hard'. For me, I have pockets of 15 minutes throughout the day that are just allocated for me - caring for me. That might be a shower with lovely smells, it might be taking time out to read a chapter or paint.

This allows me, amd I can only speak for me, nurture myself in a compassionate way, rather than try and be everything to everyone all at once. We also have a son who has high functioning Autism and another child who doesn't. We are constantly wondering, as parents, ensuring that we don't give our children a childhood that they have to recover from.

Self care, for me and coming back to me, works for me Smiley Happy

Re: COMING UP: Topic Tuesday // Tues, 22 March, 7pm AEDT // Caring for someone with bipolar

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.

Re: COMING UP: Topic Tuesday // Tues, 22 March, 7pm AEDT // Caring for someone with bipolar

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 Smiley Happy

Re: Topic Tuesday // Live now! // Caring for someone with bipolar

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?

Re: Topic Tuesday // Live now! // Caring for someone with bipolar

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?

 

Re: COMING UP: Topic Tuesday // Tues, 22 March, 7pm AEDT // Caring for someone with bipolar

Yes, that is so true Heartworks.....re the need for self-care and time out.  

 

Re: COMING UP: Topic Tuesday // Tues, 22 March, 7pm AEDT // Caring for someone with bipolar

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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