Every day in your life you experience things that may either give you a happy or a sad feeling. Stressors are always present in the environment and within you. It is the ability of the body to cope with it that makes you adapt to the norms. There are instances that the feeling of happiness is distorted to a frantic feeling. On the other hand, the feeling of sadness can be altered to a depressive state. These situations happen when you are suffering from a bipolar disorder. This disorder doesn't only manifest manic episodes but depressive episodes as well.
There are two episodes of this disorder as mentioned above. The manic episode is characterized by verbosity, ostentation, sleeplessness, flight of ideas (shifting from one topic to another), hypersexuality, distractibility, social intrusiveness, and psychomotor agitation. While the depressive episode can be manifested by fatigue, feelings of worthlessness, somatic complaints, diminished hygiene, inability to make decisions, social withdrawal, and suicidal ideations. The episodes can last for hours, days, weeks, or even months. The two can interchangeably occur, but the duration of their occurrence will depend on the type of bipolar disorder the person has.
The first priority for this type of person is safety. As you can observe, safety is almost always the priority when you deal with people who have mental disorders. This is because they lack the ability to decipher things. When the person has a depressive disorder, it is extremely important to assess for the presence of any suicidal ideation. If the ideation is evident in the person, then you'll have to make sure that the environment is safe. Remove all sharp objects, bottles, ropes, or any materials which he can use to harm himself. Have a person watch over him for 24 hours to monitor his actions. You should also provide rest during this episode to compensate for the fatigue he is experiencing. On the other hand, when the person has shifted into a manic episode, you should be extra watchful because he has now enough energy to execute his suicide plan. The person can be hyperactive so there is a higher risk for that person to injure himself. Provide him with diverse activities that can channel his energy, such as ripping off newspapers, and you also need to set the limits for them.
The next main concern would be nutrition. This can be a crucial aspect of their care because both disorders involve existing problems dealing with food. Manic persons have hyperactivity, and they hardly pay attention to food because their attention is focused on other irrelevant things. Since most of the time they are in motion, you can give them high-calorie finger foods such as French fries and sandwiches. It will replenish the energy they've been using and also satisfy their needs temporarily. For a person who has depressive episodes, you may need patience to be able to convince him to eat. Give him time to finish his meal because they even lack energy to eat.
The most important and humane aspects in caring for these types of people are empathy and patience. For manic persons, you can portray the role of a father who protects and controls their inappropriate behaviors. As for the depressive ones, you can depict a mother figure that can be available to listen to them. You have to always be there for them. Assist them to achieve their optimum level of wellness where they can be a functional member of society.