Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue


Five Things a Loved One Should Know About Bipolar Disorder: An Interview with Bruce Cohen, M.D., Ph.D.

posted by Beyond Blue

Bipolar Disorder book.jpgToday I have the pleasure of interviewing Bruce Cohen, M.D., Ph.D, who is Director of the Harvard University McLean Psychiatric Hospital and Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He is also the coauthor, with Chelsea Lowe, of the recently released book, “Living with Someone Who’s Living With Bipolar Disorder: A Practical Guide for Family, Friends, and Coworkers.” Cohen lives in the Boston area.

Question: I have always maintained that the best thing a person can do to support a bipolar loved one is get educated. But if you could offer folks a crash course, what are the five most important things you think a loved one should know about bipolar disorder?

Dr. Cohen: Getting educated is good advice. Here are five important things everyone dealing with bipolar disorder should know:

1. Bipolar disorder is an illness, with risk determined by genes and environment, like other medical illnesses. All medical illnesses affect mood, thinking and behavior, but there is always much more to the person than the illness.

2. Bipolar disorder usually responds well to a combination of appropriate medication and targeted psychosocial therapies. Untreated or inadequately treated bipolar disorder can lead to many personal, career and life difficulties or even death.
3. There is great strength and insight available in relationships, and problems that arise due to bipolar disorder, as well as evaluation of symptoms and treatments, are best handled together with your loved one. Talk with one another about bipolar disorder, privately, and go together to some doctor’s appointments.
4. An increased risk for bipolar disorder is lifelong, so it is wise to evaluate whether new concerns or difficulties experienced by someone who has had an episode of bipolar disorder are due to a recurrence of illness.
5. In addition to professional treatment, many other lifestyle factors help, including: Support from family, friends and community; regular exercise, a good diet, and healthy sleep; and planning ahead to reduce stress.

Question: Suppose a mentally ill loved one or friend doesn’t want to get help, then what do you do?

Dr. Cohen: Don’t give up. At appropriate times, kindly and patiently talk with your loved one or friend about what you are seeing and why it is worrying you and remind them that getting an evaluation doesn’t mean deciding on treatment. If your loved one or friend is in immediate danger from illness, don’t be afraid to call for help from professionals, including the police.

Question: Can you offer any guidance to folks regarding how they should approach so many choices with medication? For example, I found that the older drugs worked better for me, but many of the psychiatrists I saw only wanted to work with the newer ones. Do you have any insight with regards to how to get the best treatment?

Dr. Cohen: Each person responds differently to medications, and it is important to find an expert who knows the options and will spend the time to work with you to find the right personalized treatment. An appropriate expert in bipolar disorder will know how to use both old and new drugs. If you are not satisfied with your treatment or comfortable with your doctor, seek a consultation or find another doctor.

Click here to subscribe to Beyond Blue and click here to follow Therese on Twitter and click here to join Group Beyond Blue, a depression support group. Now stop clicking.



Advertisement
Comments read comments(24)
post a comment
Tanisha

posted March 11, 2010 at 6:32 pm


Enternal Love
Grab hold of the utmost love,
gaze upos its eternaty.
Passionate images enclose you in a dream.
Chosing illusion over reality.
Dreams over life.
Pleasure over freedom.
Your desires take hold where you’re sheltered.
Only to get a glimps of a healing wish.
Leaving unheard echoes behind.
Waiting for the miracle that will embrace your soul.
You’re touched by the unblemished angel.
Your ambitious heart is betrayed, lost and wretched.
Invisible to the eye,
controling over your mind,
Precious memories will stay at ease.
Intertwined into a collapsed promise.
Only to remember your unconditional detemination.
So the fragile body has warmth.



report abuse
 

Prayerwarrior09

posted March 12, 2010 at 10:34 am


Hello Everyone, ONLY THE LIVING WORD OF GOD CAN SET PEOPLE FREE OF ANY AND ALL MENTAL AND OR PHYSICAL ILLNESSES !!! THE LIVING WORD OF GOD MUST BE READ IN FAITH OR READ IN FAITH TO THE PERSON WITH SAID ILLNESSES, FOR THE LIVING WORD TO HAVE ANY EFFECT ON THE PERSON’S LIFE. WE MUST BELIEVE THAT JESUS CHRIST IS STILL THE SAME HEALER TODAY AS WAS IN THE PAST !!! (THIS IS BY FAITH) NOW FAITH IS THE SUBSTANCE OF THINGS HOPED FOR, THE EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN, IN THE NAME OF JESUS (HEBREWS 11:1) SO THEN FAITH COMES BY HEARING, AND HEARING BY THE LIVING WORD OF GOD, IN THE NAME OF JESUS (ROMANS 10:17) BUT, FAITH WITH OUT WORKS IS DEAD, IN THE NAME OF JESUS (JAMES 2:26) AND THIS IS THE VICTORY THAT HAS OVERCOME THE WORLD – OUR FAITH, IN THE NAME OF JESUS (1JOHN 5:4) THEREFORE SUBMIT TO GOD, RESIST THE DEVIL AND HE WILL FLEE FROM YOU, IN THE NAME OF JESUS (JAMES 4:7) DO NOT BE AFRAID; ONLY BELIEVE IN THE NAME OF JESUS (MARK 5:36) ALWAYS PRAISING GOD THE FATHER, THANKING HIM FOR HIS SON JESUS CHRIST. AMEN & AMEN



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted March 12, 2010 at 11:26 am


Jesus is the answer.Most people dont whant to know Jesus because they dont want to give up doing wrong.



report abuse
 

manicdaze

posted March 12, 2010 at 9:03 pm


I have had bi-polar for 10 years. This is a hereditary and genetic disorder. No jesus is not the answer. And having faith or not is the persons choice with bi-polar. To post on something you know nothing about. It states in the bible “judge and you will be judged also.”So believing that a person has this mental illness just so they can do wrong is irrelevant. The bible was written by man not god or jesus.And to futher burst your bubble, Mary was not a virgin. A Pope entered that in the Bible to enpower the catholic faith. So no my bi-polar is a illness not an excuse.



report abuse
 

MANIC MOTHER

posted March 13, 2010 at 8:12 am


PRAYERWARRIOR09
YOU OBVIOUSLY AREN’T DEALING WITH A LOVED ONE WHO IS BIPOLAR



report abuse
 

petunia1224

posted March 13, 2010 at 2:46 pm


PrayerWarrior09 You are very intimadating with all your capital letters. I don’t see anything humble in your personality. Now, what would Jesus say to you with your haphazard way of throwing random scriptures out at people? My son died because he was bi-polar and my best friend is Bi-polar. It is as much of an illness as diabetes or heart disease, frequently running in families due to heredity. I believe in Jesus, read the Bible everyday, go to church and Bible study. But, I also use the brain God gave me to seek the truth in all I do including mental disorders which were present from the day man was put on this earth. I will pray for you!!!



report abuse
 

blanche

posted March 13, 2010 at 4:46 pm


Prayerwarrior09, I feel sorry for you. You’re obviously an unhappy person. If you know so much about the Bible, God, and Jesus, then why are you even on this site? Just to insult the mentally ill? Do us a favor: read your Bible, but keep your fingers out of this site.
Petunia1224, I’ll pray for you as well as Manic Mother, Manic Daze, and all of us. I believe my mother was bipolar undiagnosed, when I look back on my childhood, and looked into information on bipolar, which I have. Looking back on my own childhood as to my behavior, I believe I was bipolar as a young teenager. I became an alcoholic 10 yrs ago when my mother became ill and died 6 yrs ago. My father became verbally abusive which I believe aggravated both my mother and me as to the bipolar. With the help of meds, I’m on 4 scripts, and therapy in addition to AA, I’m hanging in there. For me, managing my bipolar and alcoholism is a full time job, and I realize it will be for the rest of my life. But for the grace of God, go I.
Blessings to all.



report abuse
 

petunia1224

posted March 13, 2010 at 11:08 pm


Blanche, Thanks for sharing. I will pray for you also as I believe we can not get too many prayers. I also feel that I am bi-polar, even though I was diagnosed with major depression and post traumatic stress diorder. I also knew this since I was a young teenager, becoming an alcoholic after years of abuse in every form by my father. I was sober 14 years but relapsed when my son and later my fiance of 10 years committed suicide(bipolar), one in 1998 and the other in 2005. In between I lost my mother to pancreatic cancer at age 60. Now it has been 8 months with AA beliefs and my belief in God along with lots of faith. I agree it is a full time job and I also take several medications. With lots of effort I let go and let God and it works for me! With many blessings to you with your journey in sobiety.



report abuse
 

Vanessa Estrada

posted March 16, 2010 at 9:05 pm


I was diagnosed in 1991 and didn’t get the right medication until 2010. That was a long time for trial and error. My family wasn’t very supportive and I thank God for the friends who took the time to educate themselves. Bi-Polar people aren’t “crazy.” I’m very intelligent, articulate, humorous and, for the most part, positively upbeat! I encourage those of you who have Bi-Polar people in your family to do everything you can to be more supportive. We hear enough garbage and don’t need to be unfairly judged or ridiculed.



report abuse
 

Luke

posted March 19, 2010 at 4:05 pm


One thing that can make it reall yhard to deal with a loved one who has bipolar is when they absolutely will not admit that they have the illness.
The medical/psychiatric profession has labeled this “anosognosia” and it goes way beyond the “usual” denial – The sufferer absolutely cannot see tha anything is wrong, they sail along quite oblivious to the trail of hurt and destruction they leave behind and around them.
How can you talk reason, treat or support someone who is in this state?
All the NAMI “right things to say” don’t mean a thing when that person sees/hears only what the condition allows them to hear. It really is a no-win situation. Getting them on medication is not an option because they simply bon’t see the need, will not comply and in most states you can only force them into treatment under very extreme conditions and then only for 72 hours – not much use when most medications take 4-6 weeks to work.
I know it all to well because I am married to one and if it were not for our children, I would have had to cut and run many years ago.



report abuse
 

Luke

posted March 19, 2010 at 4:10 pm


One thing that can make it really hard to deal with a loved one who has bipolar is when they absolutely will not admit that they have the illness.
The medical/psychiatric profession has labeled this “anosognosia” and it goes way beyond the “usual” denial – The sufferer absolutely cannot see tha anything is wrong, they sail along quite oblivious to the trail of hurt and destruction they leave behind and around them.
How can you talk reason, treat or support someone who is in this state?
All the NAMI “right things to say” don’t mean a thing when that person sees/hears only what the condition allows them to hear. It really is a no-win situation. Getting them on medication is not an option because they simply don’t see the need and will not comply. In most states you can only force them into treatment under very extreme conditions and then only for 72 hours – not much use when most medications take 4-6 weeks to work.
I know it all to well because I am married to one and if it were not for our children, I would have had to cut and run many years ago.



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted March 25, 2010 at 8:29 am


My edaughter was hit with manic bipolar after she had her daughter in 2000 she had gained a little weight and it wasn’t coming off fast enough for her so she went for a over the counter diet medicine and that’s when the bipolar kicked in she is doing fine now she takes serquill to control her manic bi polar we are christians and believe in our Lord Jesus Christ but we also know and our Preacher tells us that God heals us in many ways and one of them is the knowledge he gives doctors so if your medicine works take it and Thank God for giving the doctors knowledge. The only problem we have with my daughter taking serquill is she and her husband would love to have just one more child but there have beeen no studies done on this medicine and we continue to pray that someone will study what this medicine would do to a fetus. Bipolar is treatable



report abuse
 

bipolar social anxiety treat

posted May 3, 2010 at 4:07 pm


It’s a nice article, thanks. I also used to suffer bipolar disorder, managed to overcome it with help of psychiatrist.



report abuse
 

Sherlin

posted June 18, 2010 at 1:36 am


The first step of treatment for bipolar disorder is to combine medication and counseling, although electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is often successful for people who don’t respond to traditional therapy or who can’t take the medications.
To find more on bipolar disorders visit:
http://www.simplehealthguide.com/bipolar-disorder-2



report abuse
 

Bipolar Disorder

posted August 3, 2010 at 7:54 pm


Bipolar ddepression_conceptisorder, also known as manic depressive disorder or bipolar affective disorder, is a psychiatric diagnosis that describes a category of mood disorders defined by the presence of one or more episodes of abnormally elevated mood clinically referred to as mania or, if milder, hypomania…



report abuse
 

Social Phobia

posted August 4, 2010 at 3:05 pm


Thanks for this info on bi-polar, I have not yet looked into bi-polar disorder in great detail but the more I do, the more I see the inter-relationship with social anxiety disorder.
What is your view on this?
Thanks,
Steve



report abuse
 

Alex

posted September 29, 2010 at 5:46 pm


Thank you for the nice article. I wonder if hypnosis can do anything for bipolar disorder. Everyone calls me crazy for asking that, bot no one does any tests…
I guess that we’re not gonna get very far in therapy by being so closed-minded



report abuse
 

Bipolar disorder treatment

posted October 26, 2010 at 5:24 am


If you spot the symptoms of bipolar depression in yourself or someone else, don’t wait to get help. Ignoring the problem won’t make it go away; in fact, it will almost certainly get worse. Living with untreated bipolar disorder can lead to problems in everything from your career to your relationships to your health. Diagnosing the problem as early as possible and getting into treatment can help prevent these complications.
I am regular reader of http://www.disorderscentral.com and it has good information about all disorders including Bipolar. Do consider it!



report abuse
 

Elvin

posted February 3, 2011 at 3:02 am


Bipolar disorder is different for everyone, there are four types of mood episodes in bipolar disorder: mania, hypo-mania, depression and mixed episodes. http://www.inspiringmothers.net/



report abuse
 

Elvin

posted February 3, 2011 at 3:10 am


Bipolar disorder is different for everyone, there are four typres of mood episodes in bipolar disorder: mania, hypo-mania, depression and mixed episodes. http://www.inspiringmothers.net/



report abuse
 

mark

posted February 27, 2013 at 2:08 am


My girlfriend has bipolar and I love her so much and need help understanding. Doctors cost more than we have so no meds are being taken and I need to know how to keep our love but get her the help she needs and deserves! Thanks for any help.



report abuse
 

esther

posted April 17, 2013 at 7:53 pm


MY NAME IS ESTHER WALLACE FROM HOUSTON,TEXAS.I NEVER BELIEVED IN LOVE SPELLS, MAGIC, OR MAGIC MONEY UNTIL I MET THIS SPELL CASTER ONCE WHEN I WENT TO AFRICA IN DECEMBER LAST YEAR ON A BUSINESS SUMMIT. HE IS REALLY POWERFUL AND COULD HELP CAST SPELLS TO BRING BACK ONE’S GONE, LOST, MISBEHAVING LOVER LOOKING FOR SOME ONE TO LOVE YOU, BRING BACK LOST MONEY AND MAGIC MONEY SPELL OR SPELL FOR A GOOD JOB, BEAUTY SPELL, AND SO MANY MORE.I’M NOW HAPPY & A LIVING TESTIMONY COS THE MAN I HAD WANTED TO MARRY LEFT ME 2 WEEKS BEFORE OUR WEDDING AND MY LIFE WAS UPSIDE DOWN COS OUR RELATIONSHIP HAS BEEN ON FOR 2YEARS… I REALLY LOVED HIM, BUT HIS MOTHER WAS AGAINST US AND HE HAD NO GOOD PAYING JOB. SO WHEN I MET THIS SPELL CASTER, I TOLD HIM WHAT HAPPENED AND EXPLAINED THE SITUATION OF THINGS TO HIM..AT FIRST I WAS UNDECIDED, SKEPTICAL AND DOUBTFUL, BUT I JUST GAVE IT A TRY. AND IN 7 DAYS WHEN I RETURNED TO TEXAS, MY BOYFRIEND (NOW HUSBAND) CALLED ME BY HIMSELF AND CAME TO ME APOLOGIZING THAT EVERYTHING HAD BEEN SETTLED WITH HIS MOM AND FAMILY AND HE GOT A NEW JOB INTERVIEW SO WE SHOULD GET MARRIED..I DIDN’T BELIEVE IT COS THE SPELL CASTER ONLY ASKED FOR MY NAME AND MY BOYFRIENDS NAME WITH PHOTO AND ALL I WANTED HIM TO DO THE MOST WONDERFUL THINGS..OH MY GOD, WE NEVER BELIEVE I WILL BE SO RICH SO FAST AND SIMPLE. I APPRECIATE YOUR cocoma SHRINE AGAIN AND AGAIN. THANKS FOR THE POWER OF WEALTH YOU GAVE TO US.. THE RICHNESS MANIFESTED LESS THAN THE 7DAYS HE GAVE US. WE BECAME RICH ON THE THIRD DAY. NOW WE HAPPY AND GLAD … WELL WE ARE HAPPILY MARRIED NOW AND WE ARE EXPECTING OUR LITTLE KID. IN CASE ANYONE NEEDS THE SPELL CASTER FOR SOME HELP, HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS ayokospellcaster@gmail.com ……HOPE HE HELPS YOU OUT.



report abuse
 

julite

posted April 17, 2013 at 7:55 pm


how i got my cheatin husband back
My name is MR JULITE wood I married with two wonderful kid and I am a Canadian.My husband and i have been married for 10years and we were such a big happy family.But he started changing ” for the worse ” he looked at me like a stranger and he treat the kid like they weren’t even his.I knew at ones that he had another woman.I hired a private investigator that cost me a lot.It turned out that i was right all along.I couldn’t just believe it so I confronted him with the pictures I had but he denied it bluntly.He said she just just a girl he has some working project with and foolish of me i so believed him.But on bad day i caught them red handed at that moment my heart stopped for a while as i bust into tears.I was furious that i hit the whore so hard before I could ask why with my shaking voice my husband
hit me so hard.I have never seen in his eyes so much hate before.I fell to ground crying my heart out it was so hurtful.He was no longer living with me and our kids I still remember his words ” keep the house and your sick kids “.I wanted to drop dead but my lovely kids gave me strength to fight for what was my.He was asking for a divorce but i wanted to my husband back so i had to delay the process to buy time for myself so as to figure out a way to get him back.On a good day “god bless the internet “i stumbled on an ad of how a girl got her boyfriend back after he broke up with because of some girl with the help of a witch doctor or a spell caster at first I told myself it’s scam but as pressure from my husband lawyer increased I became desperate and gave it try .I contacted him with his email address she left in her ad.His mail were so had to his English was not so clear but he helped me any way off course not for free he charged me and i pay every cent. thank the stars it work.I paid for the material which he used for the rite And when he claimed to have finished whatever he was doing i paid for his services.He sent me a hand written enchanting words and asked me to recite morning and night for seven day ” as he said seven is the perfect number “I did just that but at first nothing happened out of frustration i sent all kind of insult to him even calling a low life scam.He said he could destroy the entire thing he did but he wouldn’t so I can see how wrong i was.he said those enchanting words he gave me will make my husband see the demon in his new lover and its going to make him hurt badly.just a
week later my husband was sued for physical abuse on his so called New girlfriend.he gave a black eye and didn’t show remorse in the court house.just what the spell-caster had said ” he would hurt her badly “.he literally confessed that he hated her all of a sudden.All the witch dr peter did worked.Thank the stars she only wanted him to stay away from her so the judge asked him to pay $5000.after all this is trouble my husband came back asking for my forgiveness and I did without thinking it was all I wanted for him to come back to me and the kid.My husband and i have never since this kind of happiness before.He his as faithful to me and as a saint.I know cos I hear his friends say “what happened to the fun guy we know “.so if you have a similar problem just contact ayokospellcaster@gmail.com i bet you this one is know fake.You can only choose to believe me cos i haven’t tried this spell thing before and now that I have i can only happily share with who ever is reading this.



report abuse
 

trace

posted April 17, 2013 at 7:58 pm


Anonymous writes: Hello every body out there my name is trace am from uk i want to share a testimony with every one on how God used a man named Dr peter to help me in retrieving my love i was in love with a boy and both of use where living happily suddenly i did not know what happened my love started developing hatred towards me one day which was on Monday 6/10/2010 my love just came back from work and told me that first thing tomorrow morning am living his house i was so shocked and i was so surprised because i did not offend him in any way, i did not know what to do next i decided to plead with him but he insisted not to see me around him again, so the next morning he parked my things out and told me to go, i pleaded with him and ask him to forgive me if i have wrong him unknowingly but he never agreed with me so i decided to go to my sister’s place and stay, i love this boy so much even when i was in my sister’s house i was still call him and plead with him all the time he told me to live him alone he even changed his line just because of me. That was how we brooked up but i still love this guy so much i have been looking for solution on how to get him back for years, one day i was going through the internet when i saw how great dr peter help a girl in getting back her love so i decided to contact him because i have been looking for help for years just to get him back when i contacted him i told him everything and he told me not to worry that my love will be back in just 2days i did not believe him at first because i said how could you just bring back somebody that has gone for 2years, he said that is very possible that he is the one that is going to do it that i should not worry that my love will be back in just 2days that he promise, so i said ok then he told me what to do and he casted the spell, in the next 2days after he has casted the spell which was on Sunday morning on the 10/2/2013 i heard a knock on my door i did not even think if he would be the one, that was how i opened the door and i saw him he went on his knees and started pleading begging me to forgive him i was shocked and was full of surprises and at the same time filled with happiness and i accepted him without wasting anytime because i love him so much, and we celebrated the valentine together and now we have gotten married and now we are living happily than ever after. Thanks be to you the great dr peter can contact him through his private mail: ayokospellcaster@gmail.com
Once again thank you sir. Name trace Country UK



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

Seven Ways to Get Over an Infatuation
“Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered am I” wrote US songwriter Lorenz Hart about the feeling of infatuation. It’s blissful and euphoric, as we all know. But it’s also addicting, messy and blinding. Without careful monitoring, its wild wind can rage through your life leaving you much like the

posted 12:46:43pm Feb. 19, 2014 | read full post »

When Faith Turns Neurotic
When does reciting scripture become a symptom of neurosis? Or praying the rosary an unhealthy compulsion? Not until I had the Book of Psalms practically memorized as a young girl did I learn that words and acts of faith can morph into desperate measures to control a mood disorder, that faithfulness

posted 10:37:13am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

How to Handle Negative People
One of my mom’s best pieces of advice: “Hang with the winners.” This holds true in support groups (stick with the people who have the most sobriety), in college (find the peeps with good study habits), and in your workplace (stay away from the drama queen at the water cooler). Why? Because we

posted 10:32:10am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

8 Coping Strategies for the Holidays
For people prone to depression and anxiety – i.e. human beings – the holidays invite countless possibility to get sucked into negative and catastrophic thinking. You take the basic stressed-out individual and you increase her to-do list by a third, stuff her full of refined sugar and processed f

posted 9:30:12am Nov. 21, 2013 | read full post »

Can I Say I’m a Son or Daughter of Christ and Suffer From Depression?
In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we read: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” What if we aren’t glad, we aren’t capable of rejoicing, and even prayer is difficult? What if, instead, everything looks dark,

posted 10:56:04am Oct. 29, 2013 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.