When you are close to someone who has bipolar disorder, it can be a challenge to keep yourself healthy. Symptoms of bipolar disorder vary greatly depending on the person. However, phases between ups and downs are stressful for all involved, and can take a toll on any relationship. Bipolar disorder threatens relationships by adding complications and disrupting consistency.

Seek Professional Help
Despite what people may say, there is absolutely no shame in seeking a professional for mental health problems. Society tends to hold an unfair stigma against people who struggle with mental health conditions. However, mental health problems are just as real as broken bones, migraines, and sicknesses. Therefore, there is no shame in what you and your loved one are facing. Just as a typical hospital offers aid to physical ailments, organizations like The Genen Group give help to those affected by mental health problems. The therapy and/or medication provided by mental health professionals may help out immensely.

Identify Triggers and Patterns of Behavior
It will be helpful for you and your loved one to become more familiar with his or her bipolar cycles. With bipolar disorder, identifying patterns makes the behavior more predictable, which can bring back a sense of consistency and control. Instead of helplessly waiting for the mood changes, it may be possible to be more proactive. Work on identifying factors that tend to trigger particular mood changes. A professional mental health care provider can also help you and/or your loved one in this process.

Seek a Supportive and Understanding Community
Perhaps the most important piece of advice is to remember that you are not alone. Seek a support group in your community or online that understands bipolar disorder. Sharing and hearing stories is a powerful reminder that there is hope and you are not alone. Bipolar disorder is by no means a rare condition. In fact, according to the Treatment Advocacy Center, bipolar disorder affects over 5 million American adults.

Unfortunately there is no definite cure for bipolar disorder. However, with some support, it is possible to be proactive in coping with this disorder. The process may not be easy, which is why it is so important to seek support from professionals and others who understand what you are going through. Maintaining a relationship with someone who has bipolar disorder is challenging, but don't lose hope that it is possible.

Author's Bio: 

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure.