You Play an Essential Role
When a person is diagnosed with Bipolar I Disorder or schizophrenia, often a family member becomes the primary caregiver. Being the caregiver of a person with Bipolar I Disorder or schizophrenia is no small task. Family and social support greatly influence the success of treatment.
A diagnosis of Bipolar I Disorder or schizophrenia may be overwhelming not only for the patient but also for the caregiver. But there is hope. As a caregiver, the support and encouragement you give to your friend or relative are very important for his or her improvement. With treatment, counseling, and the right person to support them, people with Bipolar I Disorder or schizophrenia may develop the skills needed to better manage their symptoms.
Here are some ways you can help your friend or relative:
- Be available for comfort and support
- Be understanding during times of depression, negativity, and hopelessness
- Make sure the person is taking his or her medicine
- Watch out for the early signs of their symptoms coming back or getting worse
- Help identify and set reasonable goals
- Find a peer support group for him or her to join
- Encourage a healthy lifestyle
- Talk with the patient's doctor regularly
Consent for caregivers
At times, your friend’s or relative's doctor may want to share patient information with you. Often, the patient must first sign a form that gives permission to do that. This is an important step to take. It lets you be fully involved.