Developing a good support system

Many people with bipolar disorder recommend developing good support networks.1

These networks may include:

  • Certain family members and friends for companionship and to help with the illness when necessary. Research has shown that these caregivers can assist the person to reduce manic and hypomanic relapse, and appropriate support may help with depression.2, 3
  • More distant acquaintances may also help out at times (e.g. a neighbor may give the children a lift to school).
  • Selective work colleagues or people who share the person’s hobbies.
  • Peer- support groups give the person the opportunity to communicate with like-minded people.
  • A good relationship with a clinician or mental health team can help the person to deal with the illness and get the best from treatment.

References

  1. Suto M, Murray G, Hale S e al. What Works for People with Bipolar Disorder? Tips from the Experts. J Affect Disord 2010; 125(1-2):76-84.
  2. Reinares M, Colom F, Sanchez-Moreno J, et al. Impact of caregiver group psychoeducation on the course and outcome of bipolar patients in remission: a randomized controlled trail. Bipolar Disord 2008; 10:511-19.
  3. Johnson SL. Meyer B, Winett C. Social support and self-esteem predict changes in bipolar depression but not mania. J Affect Disord 2000; 58, 79-86.

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