Hold on Tight: Coping Strategies of Persons With Bipolar Disorder and Their Partners

Leeat Granek, Dor Danan, Yuly Bersudsky, Yamima Osher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To explore coping strategies for persons with bipolar affective disorder and their partners. Background: Bipolar disorder poses interpersonal and practical challenges for patients and their partners. Although the divorce rate is high among persons with bipolar disorder, few studies have examined how these people and their partners cope with the condition. Method: 11 persons with bipolar affective disorder and 10 partners of people with bipolar affective disorder were interviewed separately about coping. Data were analyzed using the grounded theory method. Results: Both patients and partners reported that coping strategies included professional help, social support, and emotional, instrumental, and religious coping strategies. Conclusions: Persons with bipolar disorder and their partners draw on similar coping strategies, but the former draw more on social support and instrumental coping strategies, and their partners draw on emotional coping strategies. Both members of the couple are dependent on the use of professional support—psychiatric, psychological, and psychosocial—when it is readily available and easily accessible, and this was a key aspect of coping with the disorder. Implications: Clinical interventions should focus on providing support for partners, who are integral to the health and well-being of persons with bipolar disorder and who experience substantial strain associated with their caregiving duties. Focusing on strategies to strengthen the spousal relationship is an essential aspect of care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-599
Number of pages11
JournalFamily Relations
Volume67
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2018

Keywords

  • bipolar disorder
  • caregiving
  • coping
  • couples
  • families
  • qualitative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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