Bipolar Friend

I have a friend who is totally sweet. Shes one of the raddest people I know, but I think she suffers from a Bi-polar mental disorder like her dad and brother. Some days shes awesome, and others she cuts everyone out of her life, making me and some of the other people in her life feel like sh*t. I try to be there and support her, but how do I deal with this?

Answer #1

Here are a couple of support links for this:

One of the links advises:

Seek out a psychiatrist who seems to have an active involvement with the community resources available to families. You can ask questions such as how long has the psychiatrist worked with mental illness, what his/her knowledge is of psychotropic medication, what his/her philosophy is related to mental illness and family dynamics.

It is important that the psychiatrist is able to refer you to qualified adjunctive professionals and programs, such as psychologists, social workers or treatment programs. Psychotropic medications can markedly improve symptoms and you can ask questions about the drugs used and their side effects, etc. If you feel comfortable with the primary psychiatrist, it makes the rest of treatment much easier to deal with. So ask questions. If your psychiatrist has referred you to Community Resources such as Psychologists and/or MFCC’s for supportive community or other treatment programs, check them out and ask questions about their philosophy and experience. Connect with one or more of the associations in your area to gain more understanding and connect with other families experience the same concerns, feelings, etc. The list below will assist in checking to see if any of these are in your area. If not, you can write or call to find out where the closest meeting might be. These resources have been found to be invaluable to families, providing on-going support and helping to manage the ongoing issues that arise from this illness. NAMI 200 N. Glebe Road, Suite 1015 Arlington, VA 22203-3754 703-524-7600 or call the NAMI Helpline at 800-950-NAMI (800-950-6264)

National Depressive & Manic-Depressive Association 730 N. Franklin St., Suite 501 Chicago, IL 60610-3526 800-82-NDMDA (800)-826-3632)

National Mental Health Association (NMHA) National Mental Health Information Center 1021 Prince Street Alexandria, VA 22314-2971

Suggestions for dealing with your emotions and feelings: Accept the illness and its difficult consequences. This is easier said than done; however, research suggests that families who deal most successfully with a mentally ill relative are those who can find a way to accept them fully.

Develop realistic expectations for the ill person and yourself. Do not expect to always feel happy and accept your right to have your feelings. Feelings are a normal process. Often families experience guilt and other emotions which they try to repress or pretend do not exist. This can only result in emotions and feelings building up and often other physical or emotional problems arising. Remember, adjusting to mental illness for you and your loved one takes time, patience and a supportive environment. Also, recovery is slow sometimes. So it is best to support your loved one by praising him/her for small achievements. Try not to expect too much or that your mentally ill family member will return to their previous level of functioning too quickly. Some people can return to work or school, etc., quite quickly, and others may not be able to. Comparing your situation with others can be very frustrating, and we suggest that you keep in mind that what works for someone else may not work for you or your loved one. This will help to reduce frustration.

Accept all the help and support you can get.

Develop a positive attitude and even better, keep a sense of humor.

Join a support group (listed above).

Take care of yourself - seek out counseling and support.

Do healthy activities like hobbies, recreation, vacations, etc.

Eat right, exercise, and stay healthy.

Stay optimistic. Experts on mental illness believe that new research discoveries are bringing deeper understanding of mental illness, which are resulting in even more effective treatments. Suggestions for what families can do to help: Assist your family member to find effective medical treatment. To find a psychiatrist, you may contact your own medical doctor or check with NAMI (listed above). You may also call or write the American Psychiatric Association. Seek consultation regarding financial consideration for treatment. You may call your local Social Security office and check with your family member’s health insurance. Often quality treatment is not pursued because of financial considerations. Learn as much as you can about the mental illness with which your family member has been diagnosed. Recognize warning signs of relapse. Find ways to handle symptoms. Some suggestions are: Try not to argue with your loved one if they have their hallucinations or delusions (as the person believes it is real); do not make fun of or criticize them; and especially do not act alarmed. The more calm you can be, the better it is. Be happy with slow progress and allow your loved one to feel O. K. with a little success. If your family member is out of control or suicidal (harm to self or others), stay calm and call 911.

Do not try to handle it alone.

Answer #2

This is quite a hot topic for me at the moment.

My brother has this along with PTSD from 14 years in the forces.

He phoned me at 2am to say that he had ran away from hospital that he had been in since Friday, had walked 15 miles home and was planning to kill his sister and ex-wife then himself for what he truly believed was something terrible…they had not taken any cigarettes in for him yesterday!

He asked me to phone the police to lock him up as he had enough insight to know he was a danger to himself. Although he can be verbally aggressive, he has no history of violence to others.

I called the Police and they said that the law here in Britain states that there is nothing they can do unless he steps outside his house and they could not sit there waiting for him to do this.

I also phoned the hospital and complained that he was able to leave even though they were aware that he was a danger.

Just waiting to hear if my brother is still alive.

Bipolar is a terrible illness for the person but it is also terrible for the people who love them.

I wish you well and with patience and understanding you will be able to help your friend but please don’t judge her when she is ill as she may say some very hurtful things in anger.

Answer #3

Ok, well you should talk to her about it, identify the fact that you know what has been going on, it may be possible, that she isnt bipolar, and just has issues, and also, I would consider you recommend treatment options.. :]

Answer #4

Until she becomes more stable (through professional help) there is nothing that you can do to help her, it is imporatant that you realise this is not something you can fix… I know its hard dealing with a friend who is utterly unstable, and you never know what you’re going to deal with on any particular day, but try and remember she is sick and not trying to do this on purpose… she is not out to hurt you or anyone else, and she really cant help the way she’s feeling (which usually results in bizarre behavior…) It is hard, and it is also impprtant you take care of yourself (yes she’s going through a lot, but that doesnt make your own issues go away, or the fact that dealing with her is hard). Be there as much as you can, and when you cant know that it is ok…

Answer #5

I got the same problem. Sometimes I feel like cutting the dearest people away form my life. And then sometimes im nice to them as well.

But I think you shuld be as surportive as possibel to your friend. Be nice to her even when shes making you feel like cwrap. Stay calm and Never loose your temper when shes making you feel bad. But I’d say your friend should get professional help before she looses it!

Answer #6

I’m bipolar, If you are her real friend, be her friend, lover her the way she is. Please understand that even with medication she will have ups and downs, but don’t worry she still loves her friends. Don’t leave her, just give her space no and then. You may not know it now, but she will always love.

Answer #7

dude she called me today saying shes been behind me 100% of the way fck her shes a two sided btch that f*cked me over so bad

Answer #8

Get professional help to get her evaluated - if true, left alone, it will only worsen…I wish you all the best !!

Answer #9

Sometimes, you can’t. if you’re talking about who I think your talking about, then your not even talking to that biyotch right now!!!

Answer #10

well I cant be nice to her anymore she hurt me on a whole new level basically ruining my life I will never deal with her again

Answer #11

yep, liz, I know who your talking about and I cant stand her at all. being bipolar isnt an excuse to hurt people.

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