How to help your bipolar spouse

Commented on By Trix O’Callaghan (Counselling Psychologist) - Intamicy 4 Us, Article by LIZE GROENEWALD

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Trix O’Callaghan, Counsellor and Psychologist from Johannesburg says that it is most definitely not easy living with someone that suffers from bipolar disorder. She offers the following tips:

1. If possible, get to know the treating Psychiatrist better and be available to provide additional information and offer support during treatment.
2. Encourage the sufferer to push through with the treatment and to rather discuss concerns (such as side-effects of medication) with the treating doctor as opposed to quitting their medication.
3. Get to know the warning signs for manic episodes or depression. When the person is stable, plan how you will both handle future episodes together as a couple.
4. Come to an agreement with regards to safety measures, such as withholding credit cards or vehicle keys should a manic episode arise. Keep a record of it. Get to know the warning signs of suicide and take threats seriously. Hospitalisation can save lives in cases where manic episodes or suicidal risks are uncontrollable.
5. Build a support network. Ask other family members to take over from you on occasion when it comes to treating the patient. Join a support group to exchange information and to better understand the disease and feel empowered. Also encourage the patient to manage their own disease and respect their wishes as far as possible.

It’s a disease that needs to be taken seriously and you as the spouse needs all the support that you can possibly get. With the right assistance, a marriage can survive bipolar disorder.

Should you reunite with your ex?

Commented on By Trix O’Callaghan (Counselling Psychologist) - Destiny Magazine, 23 March 2010

You may still love your ex, but have you dealt with the problems that caused the break-up?

If you’re considering getting back together with your ex, you need to think about a couple of factors before diving back into the deep end. The harsh reality is that your previous attempt failed, so in order to make it right the second time around, you’ll need a fresh start. Trix O’Callaghan, a psychologist , advises us how to start over with an old lover: Continue reading

The good news about frustrations in relationships

Written By Trix O’Callaghan (Counselling Psychologist) 

When couples find love and romance they often describe it as one of the happiest times
in their lives. We feel like we are with the perfect person, finally someone who make us
feel loved, who appreciates us and who we can feel safe with. We feel relaxed joyfulness
and full aliveness. Since it feels so good, we decide to make a bond. Continue reading

Bipolar Mood Disorder

 Written by Dr Barbara Pierce (Adult Psychiatrist)

Bipolar Mood Disorder (BMD), also known as manic depression, is a mental and physical illness characterised by extreme mood swings with changes in energy and behaviour that seriously impedes your ability to function normally.

There are many illnesses in which mood swings can be prevalent, but not everyone with mood swings has BMD. This is why it is so important to see an experienced clinician so that you can be properly assessed and an accurate diagnosis be made. Continue reading