Psychiatrist Questions Psychiatrist

How can I help someone with manic depression?

My 30 year old sister has manic depression. How can I help her?

7 Answers

Most people are able to accept help from someone that they know loves and cares about them. It is important that you share your concerns with your sister in a loving way and reassure her that you will be there to support her in any way that you can. If your sister truly is bipolar, she should be seen by a professional to substantiate this diagnosis and recommend appropriate treatment options.
The first thing to do is to find a psychiatrist that you trust and talk to them and explain exactly how she is feeling. What makes it better? What makes it worse. I am on a medication called Latina, it is an anti-psychotic med, not an antidepressant. Those meds work differently. If she tries an antidepressant, it will take about 2-3 weeks before she can tell if she is feeling better, if it’s not enough they can always go up a little. Sometimes the 1st one doesn’t make a difference. Tell her to be patient, it may take several different medications to get just the right one; sometimes you get lucky and the 1st one works great. If none seem to help, they may need to try an anti-psychotic med instead. Patience is a virtue here, I went through many meds or cocktails of meds to find what worked for me. God bless you for helping her. Keep your head up and keep reminding her she is taking the first steps to feeling better.
Encourage her to see a psychiatrist.
Hello and thank you for your question,

The best way to help someone with a diagnosed mental illness is to encourage them to take any prescribed medications and follow through with the treatment plan made by her physician. If she has a mental health therapist encourage her to attend the therapy sessions on a regular basis. Being that she is your sister, she can also benefit from maintaining a good relationship with good communication as well.

Thank you,

Patricia Harris | MA, LPC
Support her in finding a therapist.
Hello and thank you for reaching out. Since you are stating your sister has manic depression, I am going to assume that she has been diagnosed with Bipolar. If not, I would recommend that she first get a physical to rule out any medical causes for the depression and then seek professional help. Bipolar disorder is typically a chronic and debilitating condition, but it is a treatable one. Medication is the first-line treatment with psychotherapy recommended as a critical adjunctive treatment. You can help her out by making sure she has set up a self-care plan. For example:

* Actively participate in her treatment.
* Monitor her mood, sleep, stressors, cognitive function, and her overall
quality of life. This will help her identify if her medications are working, and
understand what triggers her episodes.
* Establish a daily routine that includes good sleep hygiene as sleep
deprivation triggers manic episodes.
* And most importantly, have a safety plan with warning signs, coping
strategies, and support resources.
See this link for some advice.