tips on how to deal with bipolar patient

by Ann Gibson
(Pinole, Ca)

I don't know the right things to do and say if my son is having an episode, like agitation or psychosis. What can I say to make him feel better? What if he wants to imagine that he has power because he wishes he did have power to change his circumstance?

Ben's Answer:

You have to understand that in a state of mania (which could involve feelings of agitation, or could have psychotic features, like hallucinations or delusions), a person is not simply imagining or wishing or pretending. They are really experiencing intense feelings of energy and power. Once a person crosses a certain line, those experiences are as real to them as anything. In fact, in that hightened state, sometimes people experience a deeper insight into the nature of reality, and stronger intuition. The problem is that they are also likely to have distorted thinking, grandiose ideas, and emotional instability. It never works to deny a person's reality or to disagree with their experience. It's more important to empathize and try to reach some common understanding. Then he might be more open to change. Once a person is manic, it is best to just empathize with their emotions rather than try to rationalize too much.

Keeping stress and stimulation low and encouraging rest is sometimes the most you can offer at those times.

What is far more important is what to do to prevent a future episode of mania or psychosis. Bipolar moods can be minimized with the right approach - which should include weekly psychotherapy or a bipolar support group or both.

Take Care,
Ben Schwarcz, MFT

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May 09, 2012
This might help you and your son
by: Mike Norton

I agree with everything Ben said and I am Bipolar Type 1 with rapid cycling and have experienced directly some or all of what your son is going through. I'm also one of Ben's patients that is doing great 7 months after the diagnosis in August 2011. I absolutely recommend trying the True Hope micronutrients program, working with a therapist who has experience working with Bipolar patients and getting your son involved in a Bipolar Support Group. By following Ben's professional advice and supporting your son with empathy he will appreciate you as an ally. And that's what your son needs most right now, allies and true support. You can't do it all on your own, so start evaluating the allies worth adding to your son's support team.

Below is something I posted on Facebook today. This will give you some great places to start building your support team. You might even want to let your son check these links out on his own so he doesn't feel like you are imposing them on him.

If you or someone you love suffers from any type of Mental Health issue you might want to check out True Hope I've suffered from periodic bouts of Depression and Social Anxiety most of my life and was diagnosed with Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling in August 2011. It's 7 months later and I've never been better. Your success doesn't have to take 7 months. If you are willing to quit all street drugs and reduce your alcohol, caffeine & nicotine intake to a minimum. It could take as little as 3 or 4 months. It's a micro-nutrient supplement program that supports your brain and CNS. I also joined a local Bipolar Support Group and starting eating healthier. Two other methods I'd recommend are "Tapping" (EFT) You can get totally free access to the event going on for the next 8 days. There is definitely a bit of hype and encouragement to purchase the course but you don't need to do any of that. Just jump in and participate in all of the tap alongs and you'll start getting results and soon you'll empower yourself with another self-actualization tool. Lastly I'd recommend The Sedona Method which totally works also but it does cost around $350 for the Basic/Intermediate combo course Blessings on your journey of Self-Healing as well as helping to heal Planet Earth and the Mass Consciousness of Humanity! We're all in this Together : ) ♥ ( :

Oh yeah and if you live in Sonoma County... Benjamin Schwarcz, MFT is hands down the best Therapist I've ever come across and he is the one who taught me Tapping (EFT) and encouraged me to give True Hope a try! His rates are $120/hr and he also facilitates the Bipolar Support Group I attend weekly. You can reach him at 707-326-5566 or check out his website:

Sincerely, Mike

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