Hi, how are you doing? Hope you’re doing ok.
Today I want to talk about something we don’t usually think about, and that’s the GOOD that can come out of a bipolar episode.
I know, you’re probably sitting there right now thinking, “Dave’s really lost his mind this time!” But really, it’s true! Depending on how you look at it, there ARE some good things that can come out of a bipolar episode.
You just have to look at it objectively, which I know is really hard to do, but try it with me. Ok, let’s think about this as if you were someone else looking in on your situation. They might see two people, one of which is really sick. And they would see one of those people (the supporter) trying to help the other person. Well, that’s an admirable thing, isn’t it? A positive thing? Ok, see where I’m headed with this thing?
So, let’s try to think of a few more examples. A bipolar episode is a very heavy thing, and can sometimes go on for some time. So, by having to “live it,” it can the two of you closer together, just by having to “fight it out” together, by having to depend on each other.
A bipolar episode can also “weed out” bad friends – it’s a time when you really find out who your real friends are, isn’t it? You find out who you can really depend on, instead of just “fair-weather” friends who say they’ll be there for you, but aren’t there when it comes down to it.
One good thing about how one good thing about a bipolar episode is how it can force yourself to get more serious about your treatment, so that’s another good thing:
Another good thing about a bipolar episode is that it can show you where your treatment is failing you. It can help you see where maybe your medication needs to be adjusted, where maybe you weren’t seeing that before.
Mostly, what I’m trying to get you to see is that you can either have a negative view or a positive view toward the bipolar episode. Having a positive view, you can make the episode work FOR you, by examining it, and trying to look for the good points to it.
Face it, the episode may happen no matter what you do to try to stop it. You may as well put a positive spin to it. This is one way you can master the disorder instead of it mastering you, which is another good thing.
Another thing you can do is what I call a “Post Episode Analysis.” With this, once you or your loved one is out of the episode and is rational again, you sit down and talk about it.
What caused it? What could each of you have done differently? What can you do to prevent it from happening again? What can you do to keep the stress levels down? How can you work together for your loved one to maintain stability? Where do you need to work on your relationship? How can you improve things in your financial situation (which is a means of stress for many people with bipolar disorder and their supporters).
Is your communication working? How can you make your communication work better?
What I’m saying is to sit down after an episode and discuss these things (and any others that you can come up with) and how you can keep them from happening again.
Well, I have to go!