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Bipolar Disorder Contracts
The bipolar disorder (BP) is extremely hard on families, especially during times where the consumer is out of control in a manic episode or mixed episode. Asking the person with BP to get back into control usually does not work. Imagine premenstrual syndrome taking control over a person. They simply can't just "get it together" even if they are aware of their behavior and desire this behavior to stop.
It is important to remember that the bipolar disorder is a biological disorder with the brain involved, not a psychological disorder. You cannot simply ask someone with epilepsy to stop their seizures for example.
1) However during those scary and very difficult times dealing with your loved one's episode, it is helpful to make a contract with them ahead of time that will be followed during their episode when they are out of control.
Here is an example of such a contract. Feel free to print it, revise it to meet your needs, and use it yourself.
2) The book "Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder" talks about having the family and consumer create a "What Works" list. Together, they discuss what helps during a bipolar episode and when an episode comes, they refer to that list to help deal with that episode.
Before making this list the book (I highly recommend it) states:
On page 54, the book "Loving Someone With Bipolar Disorder" discusses making such a list. I encourage this book for more detail. Basically in making such a list it says, "1. Learn What Your Partner Wants and Needs...2. Learn to Respond Instead of Reacting... 3. Help Your Partner Make Wise Relationship Choices...Promote Physical Well-Being...5. Seek Alternative Treatments...6. Help with Medications
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Copyright © Patty Fleener, M.S.W. All rights reserved.