Don’t Suffer – How to Receive Bipolar Help

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Anyone who suffers from bipolar disorder must be aware that there is no “cure” for the illness and that without proper treatment, the symptoms will continue unabated. It is important, then, to be proactive and seek help which is readily available.

Sources of Help

A psychiatrist is the health professional best equipped for providing treatment and aid for those suffering from bipolar disorder. Should this not be a viable option, consider the following sources for additional medical help:

•    Community psychiatric nurses
•    University programs
•    Hospital psychiatric departments
•    Public mental health centres

Understanding the illness is paramount in realising the need for medical treatment. The BBC provides a booklet on their website, The Secret Life of Manic Depression: Everything You Need to Know About Bipolar Disorder. It is a fairly comprehensive guide to the diagnosis, symptoms, treatments, and management approaches of bipolar disorder.

MDF, the Bipolar Organisation, is also an excellent source for help. This user-led organisation aids people who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in dealing with the symptoms and offers support groups for the sufferer, family, and friends. A self-management training programme, advice for legal issues and maintaining employment, and a quarterly journal are just some of the benefits provided by membership in this organisation. There is an £18 or £7 annual membership fee. They can be reached at their website: www.mdf.org.uk , or via telephone at 020 7793 2639 or 08456340540.

Intervention and Support

The importance of intervention cannot be stressed enough. Many people with bipolar disorder are unaware of the extent of their symptoms and how it impairs their ability to lead a normal life. Depending on the severity of the depressive or manic phases, hospitalisation may be recommended. Those with bipolar disorder can become suicidal during the depression phase and present a danger to themselves, or even to others, particularly during a manic episode.

Support for family and friends of those diagnosed with this illness are also an important consideration. This group is most affected by the behavioural problems of someone suffering from bipolar disorder in that they must deal with the consequences of spending sprees, loss of employment, and suicidal tendencies. With proper training and education, family members and friends can offer much-needed support and they are encouraged to join groups comprised of members who are going through the same difficulties.

A diagnosis of bipolar disorder need not be frightening nor cause for despair. With proper treatment and adherence to a medical professional’s prescribed regiment, the illness can be kept well under control.

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