Living with someone with Bipolar disorder, and how we helped her through it

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My mom is a sufferer of bipolar disorder. Her condition first developed when I was just an infant, so I don’t really know what she was like before her condition. The disorder has not been too damaging to her health so far, but at times it does make life very difficult. The vicissitudinous nature of her behaviour, due to her condition, makes life for her very difficult. She can be fine one moment, and her behaviour can spiral into a very panicked and fearful state in no time, and for no apparent reason. Once it even got so bad that she tried to attack my dad and run away from home. Her bad days and good days come and go, even till now.

Another issue is that she frequently experiences panic attacks as well, a byproduct of her main condition. However, I and my family know that when she does experience panic attacks, it’s up to us to help her get through it, and not act as though there’s something wrong with her. We help her by giving her a platform to talk it out, and she knows that we’re all there for her, and that she can talk to us about whatever she may be feeling. My father is especially good at this, and whenever she starts to panic or scared, he knows how to calm her down, and does so.

The nature of my mother’s condition makes it so that she requires medication to overcome her ailment. Some mental issues can be solved through counselling methods such as CBT (cognitive-behaviour therapy), but bipolar disorder, which is largely linked to the serotonin levels in the nervous system, almost always requires medication to treat.

However, the taboo that exists in our society, which makes it seem as though anyone who goes to a professional for help regarding mental health is a mad person, or someone who is weak, makes it difficult to seek help openly. Although we never gave any credence to such nonsensical beliefs and sought professional help, it was difficult. The people who are complicit in the reproduction of this taboo make those who seek help for their condition’s outcasts, and look down on them. What’s worse is that there’s not talking to them. No matter how much we try to explain to them what’s what, they remain obstinate, unwilling to change their thoughts even a bit.

But we could not bow down to such baseless taboos, especially since we’ve seen firsthand how helpful medication can be. We have a relative who refused to seek professional help and take medication, and his condition stayed as it is and never improved. So, on his behalf, his spouse went to a doctor and asked him for help. She was given prescription drugs, which she has been sneaking into her husband’s food, and now two years later his condition is better than ever. Although the method with which he gets his medication may be deceitful, sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

Therefore, despite all the taboo surrounding seeking help for mental issues, we did opt to get medication for my mother, and it soon became clear how much medication could help.

Although the medication is very specific, and even the slightest changes in her doses can lead to her condition worsening, medication has been the best way to help her with her condition. When her medication is in order, her condition is leaps and bounds better.

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