There are some diseases that extend their reach beyond the person affected and corrode the very family structure that helps the individual weather all storms. One such disease is bipolar disorder. With its rapid cycles of depression and mania, it can change the lives of those who live with the afflicted person.
One reason could be that bipolar disorder is sometimes not diagnosed in time, or even if it is, some people may shy away from accepting it and seeking help. The reasons for this could be social stigma as well. Nevertheless, one of the other reasons that could affect the whole family of the bipolar individual is the inadequate social support that the family receives.
Children of depressed bipolar sufferers tend to be ignored, and this could very well alter the fabric of their life. Even when the well spouse takes charge of the family, it can be frightening and can cause a lot of anxiety for the family.
What is needed is a holistic approach to treating bipolar depression, not just in the afflicted individual, but the entire family as a whole. Today, there are many support groups for families of people who suffer from bipolar depression. The internet is also a wonderful resource for those who need help regarding depressive bipolar disorder.
There are plenty of support websites where you can seek help not just for the afflicted person, but for the family as well. However, not many reach out and use these services. This is because of the lack of awareness regarding the help that is available to people.
If someone in your family has been diagnosed with bipolar depression, you will have to make it your prerogative to help that person. You cannot stay disconnected from this problem while someone you love or care for is undergoing mental trauma. While supporting the said person, however, you need to remember that you need support and help too.
Fear of social stigma for the person suffering from depressive bipolar disorder and his/her family can naturally affect the treatment process. The family of the person suffering from bipolar depression has to offer unhindered support, but in the face of all obstacles, this can be very difficult.
Immediate family, neighbors, and friends can create their own support system to help a family cope with a bipolar person. However, for this to happen, people need to be well informed about bipolar disorder and believe that a mental illness does not equate to a life of hopelessness.