Telling a loved/trusted member of your life can be the first step of working with your Bipolar diagnosis. In doing so, you may be asking for help; you may also be seeking support, a listening ear, and acceptance. Sharing your story as well as asking for help are powerful moments of vulnerability. Those moments are never easy, but can be immensely rewarding. Introducing a confidant into your experience is your choice but allows you to be honest and open about what you need as you begin or continue to manage a Bipolar diagnosis.
This article encourages those who can to share their story with a confidant – but we also recognize that for innumerable reasons, that may not be possible for everyone to experience. For those who are looking to build a community, many online tools, services, and communities may serve as a support system.
- Do some research – find some articles or personal blogs or something that speaks to something you are feeling or experiencing. Consider sharing those with your confidant, and ask them to read them. If you have not shared your diagnosis with that friend, this can be an introduction to what you are learning about yourself. If it’s time in include your confidant in your journey towards help, then information or articles about getting help can help guide your discussion.
- Use a tool to track your information – helping a confidant see what you personally are experiencing opens a door to sharing your story. A pen and paper journal, notes on your phone, or even an app like eMoods can help show how you’re feeling, what symptoms you’re experiencing, and other helpful personal insights.
- Ask for specific requests for what you need – people want to help, and asking for what you need can be powerful. A ride to the doctor or pharmacy, a good morning text to check in, a walk in the evening, someone to watch your kids so you can exercise. Think about what helps you stay balanced and feeling empowered so that you can take care of yourself.
- Invite someone to hold you accountable to a treatment plan – ask your confidant to help you make and keep appointments if that will help you get into a routine with a care provider. Ask for periodic check-ins over the phone or in person.
Engaging someone new in your journey towards wellness with a Bipolar diagnosis can be scary – but it can be very rewarding. Bringing a confidant with you can increase your success with accountability, and they can provide emotional support and guidance. Therapists or counselors can serve as incredible advocates for Bipolar disorder management, along with your confidants, or as your primary source of support. BetterHelp, an online counseling service that aims to provide discreet, accessible and affordable counseling services to individuals, provides patients with a bi-polar diagnosis the opportunity to access counseling, support, and intervention. BetterHelp has modernized the way therapy can be provided by connecting users with licensed, accredited care providers through phone conferences, messaging conversations, or video appointments. Finding a provider to help you on your journey is an important step towards managing your diagnosis and life.
Whether you choose to share your story and ask for help now, or are planning to in the future, you may find that finding someone to walk with you on your journey will help along the way. Whether that’s an online therapist, local care provider, a friend/family member or any combination of the above, you are taking a brave step in the direction of your mental health.
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