Our expert says:
Hi LadyJ, It is not surprising that both your sisters suffer from Bi Polar (2 I suppose) because is has been suggested that it can be genetic, however, not all sufferers inherited it. Life style and the influences under which we grow up can also have an impact. There are many other causes as well, like the combination of personality, stress and stimulants etc. I cannot advise about medication and cheaper alternatives but can tell you that there are many things one can do to try and control the moods. For instance through Cognitive Therapy you can learn techniques to calm the ‘ups’ and overcome the ‘lows’. Diet and exercise also contribute to your health and to feeling better. You might think that the person cruised along just fine but in the meantime there might have been many little signs that things were not going well although it appeared that the person coped well. The diathesis stress model also explains way that might happen: every person has a particular level of stress that they can handle and when they continuously are forced to handle more than that there will come a point where the tyre burst at the weak point. Someone’s weak point might be a heart attack, or an ulcer or Depression or BiPolar disorder.
It helps a lot if someone understands what they are suffering from and learns to manage the moods. If they can do that they will be able to be good parents, remember, the bi polar only affects their moods and not their skills and ability to interact with people. It can impact on this ability though and that is why they need to understand and manage their emotions.
Stress most certainly plays a role and that is why they need to firstly manage their stress levels, by not taking on too much, by find work that is within their capability, by being assertive and not allowed to be bullied into working impossible hours etc etc.
I hope this helps.
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