Seeking Support: A Guide for Parents of Bipolar Adults

Treatment is critical for someone with bipolar disorder. If you’re a parent, what are the steps you can take to help your adult child get the help and support they need? You also need guidance and support along the recovery road so that you can help to reinforce your son or daughter’s system of comprehensive support.

Countless families miss the signs that someone is struggling with bipolar disorder. They may not know what warning signs to look for, or they may not want to see them. Other families are aware of their son or daughter’s bipolar disorder but have no idea how to help. Informed family support is one of the most important things as someone begins to build a life in recovery.

It is no longer a reasonable excuse to say that you don’t know how to help them because there is accessible support for parents of bipolar adults always within easy reach. If your child is suffering the challenges of bipolar disorder without treatment, it’s time to get them the help that could turn their life around. With comprehensive clinical care, you too can receive the help and guidance you need in order to be a powerful support for your child.

How Parents Can Best Support Bipolar Adults

There are right and wrong ways to help your child with bipolar. The most critical step is to help them access sufficient treatment. What small steps can you take now toward healing therapy and comprehensive support?

Prioritize an Accurate Diagnosis

Treatment strategies are specifically geared to each mental health disorder. If your daughter or son has bipolar disorder, only an accurate diagnosis can pave the way for complete and appropriate treatment. It is possible for bipolar to be misdiagnosed as depression, a learning disability, or other mental health condition. In such cases, treatment will be inadequate or even risky. A complete diagnosis may include other co-occurring disorders, and only an experienced clinician can make a reliable diagnosis. You can connect with a compassionate psychiatric specialist at a mental health treatment center.

Learn About Bipolar Disorder, Recovery, and Support

It is understandable to feel uncertain and overwhelmed, at first, by your child’s bipolar diagnosis. But bipolar disorder is very manageable, and whether your son or daughter lives with you or not, you can offer very significant support. It starts with learning more about what they are going through, why, and the treatment options available to someone living with bipolar.

For family members, interactive programming during treatment keeps you informed and involved. Therapy sessions and communication skills help to strengthen family bonds; educational groups help you to feel more knowledgeable and prepared; and clinical guidance can help you to understand your supportive role into the future. Support groups exist for parents of bipolar adults, just as they exist for people with bipolar.

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Reinforce Your Child’s Support System

When someone is struggling with a depressive or manic episode, it can be difficult to remember all the support available. Especially when you’ve been actively involved in their treatment path, you’re very aware of all the help that is available. You know they your daughter or son never needs to feel isolated in their distress. Whether they need a boost of support from clinicians, peers, family, or all of the above, you will be prepared to help them stay connected and feel supported.

Get the Help You Need

Likewise, you never need to feel alone in this challenging journey of recovery. It is important to take care of your own needs for your own sake—but also because, in this way, you will be best prepared to support your child with bipolar and the rest of the family. Even through your son or daughter’s treatment program, you can connect with an individual therapist to help you process these challenges. Reinforcing your own support system is just as important as your child’s.

What Is Your Role as the Parent of Someone with Bipolar Disorder?

It is okay to feel nervous and uncertain about the future. With help, you and your family will be able to navigate the challenges with grace and resilience. There will be difficult times, and bipolar relapse is common even when treatment is in place. The best thing you can do is to always maintain a connection with your child’s treatment team so help is there when they reach for it. In this way, you can care for your bipolar child by allowing them to live their own life—a life strengthened by unconditional support.>

BrightQuest offers comprehensive residential treatment for people struggling with mental health disorders. We also treat co-occurring substance use disorders. Contact us to learn more about our innovative program and how we can help you or your loved one start your journey toward recovery.