What to Know?

So I’m no expert on what all being bipolar is, but being in an education class, I just want to know what are the big 3 things that people need to know about a bipolar person? Going into teaching, this is always a possibility to have a student who is bipolar, so apart from swinging moods, what’s important to know?

Hi! Thank you for asking and being sensitive to those who you may run into that have Bipolar Disorder. I am going to tell you what I think are the three most important things to know about a person with this disease. Remember, this is my opinion and somebody else may have another one. I am not always right but I believe these three to be the most important.

  • The Bipolar person needs compassion and understanding. Too many times we are judged and labeled things that we are not.
  • The person who you think may be Bipolar needs to be told lovingly what it wrong or through a parent or caregiver. Sometimes it is very difficult to approach the person.
  • Be understanding. Try to remember the person with the disease doesn’t like it and often do not like the way they are acting.

These are three things I wish people had done with me. I was way out of control in my teens and my parents punished me instead of tried to help me. I suggest helping before judging in any matter. I got help in my early twenties and have been medicated since. This last year has been the worst I have ever had with four hospitalizations and medication issues.

I hope in your teaching career that you can have compassion on these people and take the time to listen and help them.

4 thoughts on “What to Know?

  1. Another thing that may be useful is to have a crisis intervention plan. If your student were to have an extreme episode in the classroom, it is good to have a plan in place. How these are set up will vary from school to school, but within one, you might find yourself in a stressful situation without a strategy for how to deal with it.

  2. Hopefully, some psychology classes are required for a teaching certificate. Providing teachers with information on how to understand their students – #1 priority.

  3. #1 – I would say “educate yourself” on what the signs and symptoms of bipolar are. With a focus on child/adolescent bipolar because kids often present much differently than bipolar adults.
    #2 – Provide as many choices/alternatives to the student to help accomodate their academic needs, realize what their strengths/limitations are and give them lots of encouragement and support. This is where compassion and understanding fits in as well. It is also important to be “patient” with the student.
    #3 – Communicate with parents, other teachers/counsellors, and other caregivers to gain a better understanding of the student’s individual needs.
    For me these are the biggest 3 things that can be done to help a student with bipolar disorder.

  4. Daniel I am glad that you mentioned having a crisis intervention plan in place, that is also another important thing to have especially for safety reasons.

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