It may help to ask yourself:
- Who needs to know?
- Who has the ability to listen, empathise or provide support?
- Who will respect the confidentiality of this information?
- How much do they need to know (e.g. someone you are close to and trust might need to know more than a distant acquaintance)?
- How much does that person know about bipolar disorder already?
How can you explain things in a way that will make sense to that particular person? For example, if children are part of the person’s family, they need age appropriate explanation of the person’s illness, and to be allowed to ask questions. Children need to be taught what behaviour is part of the illness (when they are old enough to comprehend this).