Bipolar Disorder: Helping Someone During a Manic Episode
You may feel frustrated around a person with
bipolar disorder who is having a manic episode. The high
energy level can be tiring or even frightening. The person may also actually
enjoy the mania and may not take medicines, which can prolong the episode. Also, the person may say and do unusual or hurtful things. You can help
during a manic episode by doing the following:
Spend time with the person, depending on his or her
level of energy and how well you can keep up. People who are manic often feel
isolated from other people. Spending even short periods of time with them helps
them feel less isolated. If the person has a lot of energy, walk together,
which allows the person to keep on the move but share your
Answer questions honestly. But do not argue or debate
with a person during a manic episode. Avoid intense
Don't take any comments personally. During periods of
high energy, a person often says and does things that he or she would not
usually say or do, including focusing on negative aspects of others. If needed,
stay away from the person and avoid arguments.
foods and drinks (such as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, apples, cheese and
crackers, and juices), because it is difficult for the person to sit down to a
meal during periods of high energy.
Avoid subjecting the person to
a lot of activity and stimulation. It is best to keep surroundings as quiet as
Allow the person to sleep whenever possible. During
periods of high energy, sleeping is difficult and short naps may be taken
throughout the day. Sometimes the person feels rested after only 2 to 3 hours
Call a health professional if you have questions or concerns about
the person's behavior. Always call a health professional (or
911 or other emergency services) if you
think the person with bipolar disorder is in danger of causing any harm to
himself or herself or others.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.