Hi, Do you ever wonder things like: Is my loved one getting any better? Am I really helping them? Does what I do make a difference?
If you do, then consider yourself just as normal as any other supporter, because they wonder the same things.
I can tell you one thing right off the bat: What you do definitely does make a difference.
I had a lady tell me just last week that she has no support whatsoever, and she just can’t get out of her depression because of it. She knows that if she had a supporter she would be doing much better than she is. So as far as the question of, “Does what I do make a difference?” The answer is yes, definitely.
Just the very fact that you are there for your loved one makes a difference. Just think about this lady – she has no one, so she isn’t getting any better. At least your loved one has you, and just that alone makes a difference. So anything you do for them makes a difference, too.
They have you to talk to, to share their thoughts and feelings with… You can help them watch for signs and symptoms of a bipolar episode and catch it before it happens… You can make sure they take their medication and go to their appointments… There are a lot of things you do to make a difference in the management of their disorder.
As far as whether you’re really helping your loved one and are they getting any better, these two kind of go hand in hand. And here’s how you can answer them for yourself:
Look at your loved one today… And compare them to where they were a year ago.
Do you see progress? Are they having less episodes? Do they have less symptoms? Are they less depressed or manic? Are they more productive? Are they getting out of bed more? Are they taking better care of themselves? Are they more medication compliant? Are they more willing to go to see their doctor, psychiatrist, and/or therapist?
You can ask any number of questions to get to the answers we’re looking for here. The main thing is… Do you see progress? Progress indicates growth. And growth indicates that your loved one is getting better on their road to recovery from bipolar disorder.
You can look at outward signs that might indicate this inward growth. For example, maybe a year ago, they were so depressed that they weren’t grooming themselves very often or very carefully. Maybe they didn’t bathe often enough, or wash their hair, or take care in how they dressed.
Today, a year later, things might be totally different. Now they may take great care in how
they look. This would be an outward sign of an inward growth. A definite sign of progress. A sign that they are getting better.
Well, I have to go!