Things that do not help
Try to avoid these common reactions:
- blaming the person for their actions when they are not able to judge correctly
- telling the person to change their behaviour or act normally – instead, explain how their actions affect you.
What happens if the person doesn’t want help?
When someone with bipolar disorder has symptoms of hypomania or mania, sometimes they don’t realise that they are thinking and acting strangely. Some people enjoy the feeling of mania and don’t want it to stop.
They might believe they don’t need their medication, stop taking it, or hide it.
Sometimes a person has to go through several episodes of mania before they agree to take medication.
This can make it hard for families and friends, who can see the benefits of medication. It can lead to disagreements between the person and their family.
Generally an adult has the right to refuse treatment. But they can be treated without their consent to reduce the risk of serious harm to themselves or others, or the risk that their health will seriously worsen.
Support and information for families