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Don’t Wait for Someone to Notice Your Symptoms

There were a lot of warning signs that I had a mental illness, long before my first diagnosis. 

My mother was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was a child. 

I would have massive mood swings and extremely violent temper tantrums that often resulted in the destroying of objects or attempts to physically injure someone. This resulted in me going to therapy as a young child. To my knowledge, mental illness was never discussed with my parents, and it was never mentioned to me that I can recall. 

I Think I Have Bipolar Disorder

Emotions and moods fluctuate for everyone. When life is going our way we are happy and when things are rough we can be down. This ebb and flow of moods is normal; it is what makes us human. 

So what is the difference between ‘normal’ and ‘bipolar’? 

What To Do If You Suspect Someone Has Bipolar

Recently a friend asked me what to do about someone that he suspects has bipolar. It was not someone I knew and as he was back in his home country, I could only give some pointers over Facebook message. 

Firstly, I asked him to read up about the condition, especially how to recognise possible symptoms. That’s the easy part. The difficult part comes when deciding if, when and how to approach the topic. Often people can be in denial, or because of stigma, they can react strongly against suggestions that they have a mental health issue. 

Encouraging a Loved One to Get Help

When to Bring It Up

It’s important to find the right place and right time. Don’t bring it up when either of you are angry or emotional. Try to be as calm as possible. You should both feel safe and comfortable. Choose a place where the person you are speaking to doesn’t feel threatened or caught off guard.

Getting Help

Getting help for my bipolar disorder was one of the hardest and best things I’ve done. I’m a pretty proud and independent person so opening up and making myself vulnerable was extremely daunting.