“A familial support system can be between immediate family members, or a mix between extended and immediate family members.” – Brent Blaisdell, PsyD
Yes, it is hard for the people around to handle someone with bipolar disorder. Sometimes, there are lots of complaints, and that is normal. There are instances that both people around and the individual with mental illness can go along without any hassle. But what if the person is a child? How can an individual measure the amount of patience, determination, and empathy he needs to invest in taking care of a child with a bipolar condition? If in any case there are tons of individuals and parents who want an answer, they might as well pay attention to a psychologist’s recommendation and advice.
Never Assume Bipolar Disorder Defines A Child’s Personality
Bipolar disorder is nothing but a condition. It is only a part of a child’s personality and not the totality himself. The kid does not go in front of people and introduce himself along with the mental condition. Not ever. So the way people should handle the child is to look and treat him like everybody else. That is because he is no different from those other children. Well, the only thing that separates him from them is the unwanted condition. But rather than that, he is still a kid who can function and think well most of the time. Therefore, it is fundamental to recognize the difference between being a bipolar and having a bipolar disorder.
“The first line of intervention for bipolar disorder is medication,” says Simon Rego, PsyD.
A Kid Does Not Use The Condition As An Excuse
The unfortunate thing that most people often don’t realize is that a kid does not validate his actions only because he has a bipolar disorder. It is inappropriate to assume that a person’s action gets exempted because he uses it as an excuse. No one wants to suffer from a mental condition, and that is a fact. People and parents should be mindful that the things and feelings a kid experience as real as it gets. No child will ever say that he is making those mistakes because he’s bipolar. So it is much better to understand it as a serious, incurable life-threatening mental illness.
Know-How To Help Specifically
Helping a kid with a bipolar disorder is way more important than just showing him love and affection. The desire to help requires a minute to check on the kid’s current state. When he is feeling well, be polite to ask things that can assist the child with his needs. Always remember that it is as important to note what not to say to the child. Put in mind that since the kid is emotionally and mentally fragile, he is more than capable of feeling all the beyond measure levels of intensity. Everything about the child’s environmental and social experience is unnerving, and it can negatively affect their mind and body.
“Once you figure out a method that works for you, try to notice how you respond emotionally” – Deborah Serani, PSYD
Be More Understanding
There are times that parents and other people will not understand a child with bipolar condition because of his attempt to push people away. It might seem counter-intuitive, but the truth is, that is genuinely the moment that the kid needs someone the most. Therefore, be mindful to read between the lines. Not because the kid wants to be alone or want nobody by his side, does not mean he entirely wants it. The child is having a hard time asking people to stay around, and that is for sure. Yes, it will be hard to determine whether the kid needs help or gentle loving. But please try to know and understand that the child’s disturbing emotions are only the representation of his desire to be with someone at the moment.
Recognize The Child’s Disorder As A 24/7 Fight
One misconception about bipolar disorder is that a lot of people assume that when a kid seems okay, he no longer needs attention. However, on the contrary, what some individuals don’t know is that the mental illness is an ongoing battle no matter how normal a child looks. The kid is fighting and trying his best to stay well and function. But that does not mean he appears cured at the moment. What people and parents should do is to always consider a child’s action, behavior, and response.
Trying to handle someone with a mental illness is hard. There are lots of sacrifices and considerations to do. But if it creates an uncomfortable feeling to those people who don’t have a mental disorder and just taking care of someone who has it, what more if a child struggles with it? Think about it.