A person with bipolar disorder may need different support at different times. Timely support can make things easier for the person, help to prevent relapse and reassure the person that they are valued. However, doing things for the person that they can manage themselves may undermine their confidence and independence. If a caregiver constantly intervenes in the person’s life or repeatedly tells them what to do, the person might experience this as an intrusion, and refuse to ask for help when they really need it.
Factors to consider when working out how involved to be in caregiving include:
- What support is realistic for you to provide (e.g. to consider your other commitments and your own health)?
- How can you take care of yourself when providing this caregiving ( e.g. respite or protecting your finances)?
- What support do you prefer to give?
- What support does the person need and want ?
- Is the person severely ill or suicidal and in need of urgent support?
- Who else is available to share caregiving tasks ( e.g. mental health and community services, family and friends)?
How involved to be in helping the person to manage their illness