If the person refuses to take responsibility for managing their bipolar disorder

Consider the following options if it becomes clear that the person refuses to take responsibility for trying to manage their illness (i.e. when their refusal is ongoing and not explained by a temporary loss of insight due to severe bipolar symptoms):

  • Talk to the person about the way the illness is affecting the person’s life (e.g. their goals, aspirations, relationships or finances).
  • Let the person know your concerns about how the illness is affecting yourself and others (e.g. your relationship with them, your health, work, or the family’s financial situation).
  • Discuss with them how the negative consequences could be reduced or prevented in the future.
  • Request that the person carries out certain illness management strategies (e.g. consults a clinician or cuts down on their alcohol or other drug consumption), and let them know how this could benefit them (and possibly yourself too). If possible, give the person a choice of illness management strategies to carry out (e.g. “You could see your doctor about your medication or contact the community mental health team”)
  • Contact your own clinician to get professional advice.
  • Contact support people you trust (e.g. friend, caregiver advocate or support group).

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