How’s it going?
Sorry again yesterday that the bipolar news was late.
Today is the day before Memorial Day and I have a friend who really has problems.
Well, at least he thinks he has problems.
He can never get things right with his girlfriend.
That’s because he’s always saying the wrong thing.
And he just doesn’t get that.
But it’s not all his fault, you see.
Like the other day…
His girlfriend asked him, “Do I look as good as when we first met?”
So my friend said, “Sure.”
He thought he was saying the right thing.
So then she said, “Does that mean I didn’t look good before?”
And then my friend just lost it. He didn’t know what to do.
He told me he absolutely does not know anything about how to deal with his girlfriend, and
was ready to give up on women altogether!
Well, after I stopped laughing…
I told him that you have to have a system.
See, I have systems for everything.
For one thing, I told him, you have to remember every special event.
Not just her birthday, but every anniversary of everything – the first day you met, the first time
you kissed, each month (year) you’ve been together, etc.
That’s a system!
Well, you have to do the same thing with bipolar disorder.
Everyone who has bipolar disorder and their supporters have problems.
So you have to have systems.
And there have to be steps in these systems.
Like if you had a little house fire, you wouldn’t call the firemen right away, would you?
First, you would try to contain the fire by yourself…
Maybe use the fire extinguisher?
You would not get all hysterical and call 911 and scream that your whole house was burning
That’s like my friend saying that he was giving up on women completely!
Well, a bipolar disorder system is like using the fire extinguisher first, before the entire house is on fire, before you have to call 911.
So, let’s say we’re talking about a bipolar episode here.
Let’s talk about the parts to a sample system.
The preparation part would be learning all you can about bipolar disorder, so you can be informed.
The very last part (the calling 911 part) would be having to hospitalize your loved one.
So now we have to work on the parts in between.
The next part might be establishing a relationship with your loved one’s doctor, psychiatrist, and
But you can’t do that until your loved one signs a Medical Release of Information form, so that might come first.
The important thing to remember here is what I recommend in my courses and systems: that you do this when your loved one is NOT in an episode, so that they know what they are doing. You also have to get the form notarized.
SUPPORTING AN ADULT WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER?
SUPPORTING A CHILD/TEEN WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER?
HAVE BIPOLAR DISORDER?
So you should sit down with your loved one and involve them in this system. The more the two of you can work out this system together, the better.
It should include:
• Loved one’s patterns & triggers
• Signs & symptoms of episode
• Phone numbers of professionals
• When to call them
• What to do if episode happens
• When to seek treatment
• When to hospitalize
Any other specific things that the two of you can come up with to put in your system can only help your loved one.
The best thing is to write everything down, including phone numbers, and to keep it in a handy place.
What about you?
What kinds of systems do you have in place?
How do they work?