Having diagnosed with bipolar disorder can be one of the most stressful and difficult experiences of a person's life. To learn to manage bipolar disorder better, whether yourself, with families or friends, it is important to build and maintain a strong support system.
A support system is a group of people who come together to offer unconditional emotional support to the person with bipolar disorder, these people must have the desire to understand the struggle and difficulties of living with bipolar disorder. They can consist of families, friends, support groups, therapists, mental health caseworkers, and even doctors.
Having family and closed friends who offer emotional support is an extremely valuable asset to those suffering from bipolar disorder. In times of crisis, when people affected by the disorder feel overwhelmed by suicidal thoughts or feel that their life is spiraling out of control, they need to know who they can rely on for help and comfort. This is where the support group is so important.
A manic depression support group is an excellent source of peer support. Support groups can help many people cope with the emotional aspects by providing a safe place to share experiences and learn from others who are facing similar situations. Within a support group for bipolar disorder, there are likely to be people who have experienced the ups and downs of bipolar disorder and who is the best person to share their experience but them.
A person with a manic depressive illness may feel isolated and secluded in the disorder. They may also feel alone in their struggle to manage the symptoms. Attending a support group can show the person that they are not alone in their journey to recovery from bipolar disorder.
Support groups for bipolar disorder are often not specifically for bipolar disorder, and usually designed for those who have any mood disorders, including bipolar disorder and clinical depression. If you need more information about such support group, your therapist or psychiatrist should be able to give some advice on some of the local support groups that are available.
When joining a support group, someone with bipolar disorder should try to attend whether they are in crisis or doing well. If someone new attends the group and only sees others who are in crisis, it may give the new person a sense of despair and hopelessness. The idea is to support each other through the journey of recovery. During a normal period between episodes, someone can be a light of hope to members who are having difficulty coping with the disorder.
In the current age of technology, one can find many Internet support groups and chat rooms designed as manic depression support groups. These can be a good resource for those who suffer from the disorder. Nevertheless, being active in Internet support groups is not enough and should not replace the attending of local support groups. This is because someone with bipolar disorder can have an inclination to isolate himself. Attending a local support group provides positive social interactions with people who understand the difficulty that the manic depressive person is facing and help prevent him from isolating from society.