For some individuals bipolar affective disorder can place a huge strain on relationships, partner need to be included into the education progress, as this will help them cope and understand. Interpersonal relationships with friends and work colleagues may be put under pressure, it is encourages for carers to prevent contact with people who may not cope or understand with this disorder, thus putting less strain on the relationships with others. Other problems include unprotected sex during a manic episode; this is due to loss of judgement that occurs. It is important for individuals to gain sex education to reduce the possibility of STD’s.
Impacts from Depression Some sufferers may loose weight due to depression, means their clothes look ill fitting, this added to the lack of effort in grooming means a very unkempt person! They may not wash, tidy their hair, wear clean clothes or clean their hands/nails. People suffering from depression move very slow and tend to hunch their shoulders and give little eye contact. They may also talk in low tones or in a depressed monotone.
These impacts on self-care also impact on relationships because where people are concerned and helpful suffers feel that people are a nuisance and interfering. Sever depression may lead to feelings that the world is hopeless and helpless for themselves and others, this may lead to an attempt of homicide and suicide. An example of this could be a 42 year old lady with two children, she felt that if she left this world there would be nobody to protect her children, so she thought it best to kill her children and herself.
Impacts from Mania The behaviour of a person experiencing a manic episode is basically the opposite of a depression. So sufferers would wear too bright and colourful garments and be excessively self confident – appearing to others cocky. Many sufferers experience delusions that reflect perceptions of power, prestige, position, self worth and glory – these may affect relationships with others. Many sufferers are openly aggressive towards people, as they have no patience or tolerance of others. They are violently assertive, highly irritable and have a seriously impaired judgement in terms of work and family. For example they may decide to invest the families fortune in a very questionable programme.
Is There Anything I Can Do To Help? As bipolar affective is a lifetime illness you should get as much background knowledge as possible. As well as this you should learn the warning signs of the individuals episodes, and take any warning signs of suicide seriously. You need to be able to tell the difference between a good day and hypomania and between a bad day and depression. If the sufferer is prone to mania you should take ‘stable periods’ to discuss ‘advance directive’.
These are plans such as, when to institute safe guards, such as holding credit cards, banking privileges and car keys, and when to go to hospital, if the need be. Not only should you encourage the individual to stick to his/her treatment, but you should also demonstrate belief in this person too. Remember that a rejection of help during an episode is only a symptom, this is not his/her fault. Lastly, you should work with the sufferer to build strength instead of weakness, to gain a full recovery, and to believe in them selves.