If you’re a bipolar supporter, I have some good news and some bad news (don’t you hate when people do that?). The good news is that your loved one can get better. The bad news is that the bipolar disorder they have, works to try to prevent you from helping them get better.
Take a look at this: Someone with the screen name “tried them all” wrote the following:
“For over six years, I have been lying to myself. I have been hurting myself emotionally and
physically. I seek help, but I am really lying that I want help at all. I’ve seen at least a dozen
professionals, none of whom have helped me. Although each and every one had a fault, I could
not overlook their deficiencies to see my own.
I am angry, but won’t admit to my anger. My anger is at myself…anger turned inward. I do
harmful things to ‘act out’ my anger, but I only hurt myself and those around me. I have done nothing to help myself and all my efforts to seek help thus far have been in vain. I have lost the love of many. I no longer have the people and things that have meant most to me.
I have found that instead of working with these professionals, I have worked against them. Instead of trying to make things better, I have only made them worse. I have only thought negatively, rather than positively. Instead of saying “I can,” I make excuses for why “I can’t.” I don’t try now because I fear failure. I have failed because I have been lying to myself.”
You can see how this person is struggling with a battle against bipolar disorder. On the one hand, they want help. On the other hand, the bipolar works to stop the person from getting help. It is complicated indeed!
I find that in these situations, supporters have to make huge efforts to get their loved ones into the right treatment. It’s like bipolar disorder is your enemy, fighting against you all the time, and doesn’t want you to win, so in order to help your loved one, you have to step up your efforts every time the bipolar does (which seems to be all the time sometimes).
You can just feel the pain that this person in the post is going through. All the “on the one
hand” and then “on the other hand,” whether they say it or not. They are so confused! I bet your loved one goes through the same thing. The most important thing is not only that they get
treatment, but that they get the right treatment. Not only that, but they have to be cooperative with their treatment.
This person talked about the many professionals they sought for treatment. But then they said, “I have found that instead of working with these professionals, I have worked against them. Instead of trying to make things better, I have only made them worse.”
One of the ways you can help your loved one is to encourage them to work with the professionals trying to help them. Tell them that they need to be part of their own treatment, or it won’t work, and they can’t get better – that they have to be HONEST with their treatment team.
First of all, if they don’t go to their appointments, they will NEVER get better, because how can they get ANY help at all? Tell your loved one that as much as you love them, that you can’t help them all by yourself – that they need these professionals to help them, too.
Maybe you can even show your loved one this email and let them read the post from “tried them all,” so they can see how they might end up if they don’t cooperate with their own professionals.
Let them see some of the things that this person said.
I’m sure your loved one doesn’t want to hurt themselves emotionally and physically like this
person says they’ve done. I’m sure your loved one doesn’t want to do hurtful things in “anger turned inward” to hurt themselves or you.
Or to be like this person who goes on to say, “I have lost the love of many. I no longer have the people and things that have meant most to me.” Maybe you should tell your loved one that you
don’t want them to turn out like that. That you don’t want them to lose you, but that if they
continue not to seek help for their bipolar disorder, that they might lose you anyway.
I know that seems harsh, but many supporters have left their loved ones because, without
proper treatment, their loved ones got worse, not better. I know you want your loved one to get better. I know that you love them, or you wouldn’t be with them.
One of the hardest things, supporters tell me, is getting their loved one into treatment. This post shows what happens when a person with bipolar disorder doesn’t get the treatment they need, or the right treatment.
Well, I have to go!