Bipolar disorder

What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that affects your moods. Also known as manic depression, the disorder brings severe high and low moods. It can also lead to changes in sleep, energy, thinking and behaviour.


Symptoms list:

  • Patterns of depression and mania

  • Low energy

  • Eating too little or too much

Did you know?

Did you know?

Did you know?

The NHS Digital survey reports that 2% of the population screened positive for bipolar disorder.

Learn their triggers

By putting pressure on your loved one, you could push them into an uncomfortable situation. So, much like holding back judgement, it’s important that you go easy on the pressure. Let them heal at a pace that is comfortable for them to keep their moods at a steady level.

Listening is so simple, yet such a helpful tactic. Sometimes when an individual is suffering, all they want to be is heard. So why not lend a sympathetic ear to your loved one – you may help ease a burden that they have been carrying on their shoulders.

Supporting those with bipolar

Be non-judgemental

By better understanding bipolar disorder and spending time with a loved one living with the condition, you will soon learn the triggers that lead to a depressive or manic state. Be sure to look out for trigger signals. That way you’ll be able to provide support and alleviate any suffering they might endure.

Providing a shoulder to cry on or a sympathetic ear for your loved one is a simple yet extremely effective way of offering support. Offering non-judgemental support is priceless for someone who is suffering with a condition, so make sure you avoid all judgement and be patient with the pace of their recovery. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so be prepared for setbacks. It’s all part of the process.

No pressure



Supporting yourself - how to cope with bipolar

Stay active and eat well

By paying attention to your physical health, you are automatically benefiting your mental wellbeing. Take simple steps to stay active, such as taking the stairs instead of the lift, or walking to the shops instead of driving. Fuelling your body with nutritious food instead of takeaways or high calorie meals will work wonders on your mood too. You could start by keeping a food diary and keeping one eye on your food consumption and exercise. With these simple changes, you are bound to reap the results in no time!

Self-management techniques

While visiting a therapist and counsellor can be hugely beneficial for your condition, you may want to look at some self-management techniques so that you can help yourself on a daily basis. Along with getting more exercise, finding a hobby can be an excellent way to alleviate your symptoms. Painting, drawing, dancing, writing and cooking are all great routes which could start your next hobby or adventure.

Talk about it

The thought of talking about your feelings may fill you with dread, but in actual fact talking may relieve built-up tension and help you get answers to your concerns. Try talking to a friend or family member in the first instance and see how you feel. Remember you are not alone in this. If talking to a non-family member is more comfortable for you, you can contact your GP to be referred to a councillor who will provide you with tailored support.

Avoid drugs and alcohol

It goes without saying that drugs and alcohol can be damaging to your health or mood. But when you have bipolar disorder, drugs and alcohol can trigger hypomanic and depressive episodes and cause your condition to significantly worsen. Our advice is to avoid the overuse of alcohol and steer away from illegal drugs.


If your bipolar disorder is beginning to take over your life to a debilitating degree, you may be suffering with an acute condition which your GP can help you with.


Our one-to-one Support Workers can help in many ways too, so if you have been diagnosed with an acute bipolar condition, which is preventing you from leading a normal life, support is available from Independent Living West Country. You can find out more about how we can help here.

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