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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.

  Family Contract

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:

  • "Bipolar disorder thinking is always unreasonable and unrealistic. Always...

  • Bipolar disorder doesn't simply go away one day. You must be ready for it to reappear...

  • Like people with any illness where symptoms can be triggered by outside events...,people with bipolar disorder can learn how to avoid and minimize certain triggers...

  • You can never talk to, cajole, or reason with someone who is in a bipolar disorder mood swing. The person is temporarily gone and the bipolar disorder has moved in..."

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

  Example of a "What Works" list.

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Amazon Related Books

NEW! The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide: Excellent material with self management information, cause, diagnosis and treatment of BP.

Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder: Again, excellent book where you and your partner can work through this disorder together. It may just save your relationship!

The Bipolar Child: "...Finally, parents of .."BP" have a book that will help them find hope!"