Information for Those Caring for Someone with Bipolar Depression

It’s difficult to see someone you love struggle with bipolar depression. But learning about the condition, and sharing that information with your friend or loved one may be the best place to start.

Understanding Bipolar Disorder and Bipolar Depression

  • Bipolar disorder affects approximately 5.7 million American adults (or about 2.6 percent of people aged 18 and older in the United States) in a given year and as many as 60 million people worldwide
  • More than half of all patients begin seeing symptoms of bipolar disorder between the ages of 15 and 25, but it can begin at any age
  • The average person with bipolar disorder spends 3 times as long struggling with depression as they do with mania
  • Bipolar depression refers to the lows or depressive phase of bipolar I disorder
  • It could take up to 10 years for people to get an accurate diagnosis

Learning all you can may help you provide your loved one with the support they need. Get more information about bipolar depression.

A Spouse’s Story

Watch how a husband helped his wife deal with misdiagnosis and her journey in finding the right treatment plan.

Watch video
What Were Your Initial Impressions About Bipolar Depression Before Doing Your Research?

Encourage Your Loved One to Get the Right Diagnosis

There are many forms of depression. Bipolar depression is different from other forms of depression. It can sometimes be misdiagnosed or missed altogether. So, it’s important to know the difference and make sure your family member or your friend is treated accordingly.

If you’re seeing that your loved one still seems to be suffering, you may want to encourage them to get reevaluated by a health care provider. In the meantime, it can help to understand the different types of health care providers.

Help provide support for your loved one

1. Noticing the Signs

Providing your loved one’s doctor with insights about their symptoms can be helpful. Use this short questionnaire to guide your conversation.

Go to questionnaire >

2. Prepare for Their Doctor Visits

Get a guide to help you think of questions and topics to discuss at your loved one’s next appointment.

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3. Sign Up for Email Updates

Our email updates offer practical information and resources for people caring for someone with the condition.

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