How Supportive Housing Benefits People with Bipolar Disorder

June 4, 2024

Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder that requires stability and routine. Supportive housing is a living arrangement provided by some mental health centers. It offers affordable housing within the structure of professional treatment. The goal of this housing option is mental wellness. What are the benefits of supportive housing? During their stay in supportive housing, people have the opportunity to befriend other users of this program who have similar mental health issues. This can be beneficial for people with bipolar disorder because it encourages them to lead stable, predictable lives to offset the unpredictability of their disorder.

An image of black blobs used for diagnoses, the diagram of a brain and a black pen.
Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder that affects around 7 million people in the US

Understanding Bipolar Disorder

The main symptoms of bipolar disorder are unpredictable mood swings between episodes. They include manic or hypomanic episodes, depressive episodes, and mixed episodes, which combine characteristics of both.

Bipolar Disorder type I features manic episodes, while Bipolar Disorder type II features hypomanic episodes. Manic episodes are more severe in nature and may lead to hospitalization. The delusions they have during manic episodes may not lead to a functional life. This condition is something that one of the top mental health centers in Arkansas can assist with.

Characteristics of Bipolar Episodes

Hypomanic episodes are similar to manic episodes but less severe in nature. Manic episodes also last longer; they can last up to a week, while hypomanic episodes last up to five days. Hypomanic episodes do not generally require hospitalization, though they can turn into manic episodes if unchecked. During hypomanic episodes, the frantic activity characteristic of both manic and hypomanic episodes can be beneficial for goal-oriented tasks. Some people deep clean their houses or overly focus on work or school during hypomanic episodes. This can make them more functional in their adult lives, even if the hypomanic events are both taxing on the body and distressing in nature.

Depressive episodes often get mixed up with major depressive disorder. However, it can be dangerous for the person’s well-being to misdiagnose their disorder during a depressive episode. For instance, if a person with bipolar disorder takes only antidepressants, this can elicit an unwanted manic or hypomanic episode. Another feature of major depressive disorder is that the individual does not experience mania or hypomania, only depression. People with bipolar disorder who get misdiagnosed with depression may be missing some important information as to how their brain works.

A mini house with a set of keys and the hands of a person signing papers. and wondering - what are the benefits of supportive housing?
What are the benefits of supportive housing? For starters, it is an affordable housing option

What Is Supportive Housing?

Supportive housing combines affordable housing with essential support services to help individuals maintain stable, independent living. It is designed for those with mental illnesses who might struggle with traditional housing. The support services often include case management, health care, mental health counseling, and assistance with daily activities. By providing a stable living environment and access to necessary resources, supportive housing aims to improve residents’ quality of life, prevent homelessness, and promote recovery and self-sufficiency. This integrated approach addresses both housing needs and the underlying issues that may jeopardize stable living.

Supportive housing in Arkansas offers a variety of treatment programs and services and offers its residents access to all of them, from cognitive-behavioral therapy to life-skills training.

The front of a house with trees and windows and rooms.
Supportive housing can give you the stability needed to develop skills and advance in your career

What Are the Benefits of Supportive Housing? Benefits of Supportive Housing for Individuals with Bipolar Disorder

Because of the unpredictable nature of bipolar disorder, a structured, predictable environment is often the key for the person with bipolar to succeed in other areas of life. Stability and routine, skills development, strengthened bonds, structured support, access to educational and professional opportunities, and reduction in substance abuse are among the benefits of supportive housing.

Stability and Routine

Having stability and routine can reduce stress and other factors that exacerbate unpleasant characteristics of bipolar disorder. It also provides the individual with a sense of safety, which also reduces their likelihood of getting triggered or overly stressed.

Skill Development

Supportive housing provides an environment that is conducive to skills development. This includes both life skills like cooking and coping strategies like DBT and mindfulness strategies to cope with the stressors of daily life. A variety of treatments and services is provided during bipolar disorder treatment in Arkansas.

Strengthened Social Ties

The family and other important members of an individual’s support network are generally involved in the plans devised by professional teams treating bipolar disorder. This is so because people with bipolar disorder can suffer greatly from social isolation. If someone feels like they want to expand their social network, they can look no further than their peers, who often share their commitment towards healing. Knowing that others are facing the same issue helps reduce the stigma around mental health and encourages open communication among residents.

A young woman in a suit looking fulfilled in the workplace.
Supportive housing can prevent substance use disorders, which can worsen bipolar symptoms, and help you advance in your career.

Reduction in Substance Abuse

Individuals cannot use substances while in the facilities of supportive housing, and their opportunities to abuse them are drastically reduced. People with bipolar disorder are discouraged from using substances of all kinds since they can elicit both depressive and manic episodes, as well as psychosis, where none was present to begin with.

Improved Quality of Life

People with bipolar disorder need to be vigilant about their sleep schedules and avoid exposing themselves to too much stress to avoid difficulties. Supportive housing provides an environment where both tasks become easier. This leads to an improved quality of life, where they have enough energy to perform well at school and/or work and take care of their personal hygiene and health.

Supportive Housing and Bipolar Disorder

People with bipolar disorder need stability and routine to thrive. Supportive housing makes this possible by providing stability and access to treatment, opportunities, and a supportive social network. The most concise answer to the question – what are the benefits of supporting housing- is to provide easy access to comprehensive mental health services in Arkansas. Time Wellness Arkansas ensures that all users of supportive housing get the care they need.