Manic Depression, often referred to as bipolar disorder, can cause strain and difficulties on and for family members, friends, and other relationships. These strains or effects can range from stress, financial difficulties, isolation, health problems, and emotional strain.
Although manic depression can be treated and individuals with this disorder can lead normal productive lives, these individuals are still susceptible to mood swings and depressive episodes. When these occur, many aspects of their lives as well as their family and friends are affected. The most prevalent of these difficulties rises as a result of emotional strain.
Emotional responses from family and close friends of individuals with manic depression are often a result of their inability to understand or help during the individual’s depression state. For instance, children who do not understand what is occurring with their parent can feel guilty or responsible for causing the change in behavior.
Additionally, spouses, parents, or other adult family members can experience anger, frustration, and fear when faced with the manic depressive individual’s mood changes. Often these emotional responses can be addressed with knowledge, understanding, and support for the families who have a manic depressive member.
Other effects on family members include health problems as a result of stress and strain, and financial difficulties as a result of medical bills, loss of wages by the manic depressive individual, or an inability for the manic depressive person to control spending. Finally, family members may experience other affects such as isolation from friends and the community, relationship challenges between family members, and grief or loss resulting from the feeling that they have lost the individual they once knew.
Although handling manic depression can be challenging for the individual and the families, support, guidance, and knowledge can be obtained by family members. Family members struggling with affects from this disorder should speak to a professional and seek out resources or informational materials to guide them in the changes occurring within the family.