Millions of people suffer from bipolar disorder, a condition that affects the mental health of a person and causes extreme mood swings that can happen at any time. People with bipolar disorder often experience a quick swift in mind, that may cause them to experience a depressed mood state or an emotional “high”, also sometimes called mania. Figures show that bipolar disorder affects 5.7 million adults in the US or 2.6% of the adult population each year. Dealing with bipolar isn’t easy for both an affected individual and his/her family.
What causes bipolar disorder in deaf or blind people?
Everything that affects our body and physical health also has an impact on mental and emotional well-being at the same time. It is not uncommon for people who are deaf or blind to experience mental distress. In fact, the relationship between the two was confirmed by many studies.
A study whose findings were published in the journal European Psychiatry discovered that patients with deaf blindness are prone to mental distress, especially symptoms of depression. These results also lead to a conclusion that being blind or deaf can also induce mental disorders as well. In all honesty, this isn’t a shocking discovery. Suffering from deafness or blindness takes away an entire dimension of life for patients and deprive them of so many opportunities that healthy individuals experience on a daily basis.
Realizing there are so many things one can’t do and acknowledging you depend on someone’s help can make a person anxious and depressed. When left unresolved, these feelings only amplify. Now, when you take into account that bipolar disorder is a combination of genetic and biological factors and can be induced by a trauma or stressful event, it comes as no wonder your loved one may also suffer from this (or some other) mental health problem.
It is not uncommon for people who are deaf or blind to develop bipolar disorder at some point in their lives since these two particular conditions can have a severe negative impact on their mental health. Some people are born deaf or blind while others develop these disabilities later on. Family members of affected individuals face many challenges. All you want is to help your loved one, make him/her feel better but it is not easy.
As an example, let’s consider a scenario where a person is both blind and suffers from bipolar disorder. The person could have a family history of bipolar disorder his father, for example could have also suffered from this mental health disorder. In addition to his family history affecting his risk of developing the disorder, the fact that he is blind would also contribute greatly to the development of bipolar disorder. Perhaps the person was not born with the bipolar disorder, but suffered an accident which he survived, but went blind in the process. The person would then struggle to adapt to the reality that the accident left him in, and being affected by his genetics as well, develop bipolar disorder.
Despite their disabilities, people who are deaf or blind still need to feel the sense of independence. They want to know there are some things they can do on their own without help or assistance. Realizing some things do require someone else’s help can only aggravate their mental health.
The challenges that family members of deaf or blind people with bipolar disorder face revolve around helping their loved one while finding a way to improve their mental health at the same time. It is a big disadvantage that patients with disabilities rarely receive much-needed mental health treatment primarily because there aren’t many resources on this subject.
In the previous example, while the person was suffering from both blindness and bipolar disorder, his family could have been just as concerned with him and his condition may also be affecting his family in a severely negative way. Maybe they weren’t able to find any solution as to provide proper assistance to his father, and now advancements in medical care still are not able to offer effective solutions to the person who is now, again, affected by the same issues. The person’s family would still look for ways in which they could assist the person who is affected by both blindness and bipolar disorder, and often go out of their way to make him feel more comfortable and more independent.
How can you help?
- Get educated about the disability in question in order to understand an affected individual
- Avoid using tone or behaving like a person is entirely helpless, it all comes down to your approach
- Listen, observe without judging or trying to fix their problems
- Let them know you are there for them and they have your support no matter what
- Ask what they need help with to give them a sense of control
- Understand when your loved one needs some space at least for a few minutes
- Connect with other people whose loved ones are in the same situation and trade experiences
- Reassure them that they are still valuable participants of society by consulting a doctor about tasks your loved ones can do despite the disability
Bipolar disorder affects a person’s quality of life. It is not uncommon for persons who are deaf or blind to experience mental health distress due to the unique situation they’re in. Caring for a loved one who is deaf or blind and has bipolar disorder is a major challenge but not impossible. It is important to get educated and learn about bipolar disorder, offer support, and ensure your loved one knows you’re there for them.
About The Author:
Ben Arnold is a freelance writer and a health adviser. He has been giving fitness advice to thousands of people all around the globe. Through his advanced studies, he has gain enormous experience in nutrition and healthy diet. His articles have a source on personal and practical experience. Apart from health, he likes reading books and listening music in free time. You can follow him on Facebook, Google +, Twitter, StumbleUpon and Pinterest