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Family Life with Bipolar Disorder

Updated on July 24, 2015

Being a mother of a two year old, having to work full time, having a husband and another family member at home is stressful on its own, now I've added on Bipolar Disorder to my list of things I have to deal with. I decided to do a little research and find out what this is all about, which you read in my last article and now I will share with you what I found for us parents. Is there a way to do it all and still keep us in track?

Yvonne Banks has some great words for us "The fact that you are bipolar does come with some obstacles that parents without mental illness won’t experience. Though it can be a significant obstacle, parenting can also be a great motivator for a person who is bipolar to stay on medication. The reason for this is that you want to be at your best when you are being a mom or dad to someone who relies on you"

Effects of Bipolar Disorder on Families

Families get stress too over your "mental condition". Well even though they don't mean to disturb you they do get stressed out. Here are some ways your family gets affected by Bipolar Disorder. So keep track of these so you can help them alleviate those stressful thoughts.

  • They may feel grief, guilt and worry
  • Their routines may be upside down at some point
  • Changes in Family Roles
  • Strain in your marital relationship or friendships
  • Financial stress
  • Having to deal with bizarre behaviors


Anyone given you any tips?

As a family member living with the disorder or a family member of someone living with the disorder, has anyone given you any tips? Have they worked out for you?

Have you gotten tips on how to cope with Bipolar Disorder in your family?

See results

What can family members of a Bipolar person do for them?

Educate yourself! There nothing more important at this point than education. Its a way to learning what really is going on, what to expect and how to manage any situation. Something I can tell you from my experience is that there is nothing more valuable than knowing that your have these three things from your family: support, unconditional love and belief. The fact that no matter what I am going through my husband, father, sister, baby and best friend are supporting me is the best, I have someone to talk to about the stuff that stresses me out and that alleviates some of the symptoms. Their love for me is greatest gift and motivation of all, what else do I need but knowing that I have a little me running around the house saying I love you mommy! And they believe in me, they believe that I will comply with treatment and wont go crazy and chop their heads off, just kidding, but that is greatly appreciated.

How to deal with Bipolar Loved Ones

Bipolar Families Facts

  • It is a mental illness
  • With proper medication the person will have less recurrences
  • If you and your family educate and support one another it will be less of a tense situation
  • Just read, listen, love and support!

Your role while living with a Bipolar Loved One

Learn the symptoms
Educate yourself
Support and Love
Bipolar Mania
Find a book about the disorder
Do not judge
Bipolar depression
Ask your primary care physician
Love them, it is still them
Rapid Cycling
Get counseling
Help out!

It is going to be okay...

To sum it all up I will be adding this quote that I find very true and insightful.

"Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder that can have periods of wellness between episodes. Families often breathe a sigh of relief when symptoms are stabilized, but it is important to support the family member to continue with their medical treatment as well as watching for any signs of possible relapse. Early intervention can often ward off a full-blown relapse. With today’s modern day treatments, there is considerable hope for individuals and many, in spite of having a mental illness, go on to be very successful in their lives. Believing in your family member’s recovery can make a big difference. The stress and emotional burdens of bipolar disorder can take their toll on families. Families caring for a person who has an ongoing mental illness are more susceptible to health related problems. Learning how to take care of yourself is a priority for anyone who is providing support to a person with bipolar disorder."

-Author: Mood Disorders Association of BC-

- See more at:


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      Kevin Goodwin 2 years ago

      I may not have as many stresses in my life as you but I also suffer from Bi-polar and I actually go through rapid cycling. It is tough waking up in the morning not knowing who you are going to be. When I am depressed I isolate myself and do not do anything. I don't even enjoy going outside its that bad. When I cycle out of depression I have no idea of what the words fiscally responsibility means. I have bought cars, I bought a dog and just spend as much money that I have.

      I am on many different medications and have been on so many that I can not even begin to remember which ones that I have been on. It is an awful disease and I wish you all the luck with it.