Anyone who is Bipolar or has experience with Bipolar Disorder?

posted 3 years ago in Wellness
Post # 3
Member
382 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@almostwebbee:  Let me just say that I have Bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety.

The worse thing you can do to someone who is dealing with something like that it telling them to stop acting that way. Not saying you are doing that, I know if can be really hard trust me I know. my ex boyfriend of over five years couldn’t handle it and he broke up with me because of it, but now because he’s going through his own thing he now realizes how hard it is he said he would have done things differently and would have talked to me differently.

you really dont know how someone is acting for feeling until you’ve walked in their shoes.

the only thing you can do is just be there for them when they need you and be as supportive as much as you can. no use of yelling and screaming your head off at someone because yelling doesn’t really get you anywhere.

I know there are days that I don’t want to talk to anyone and I just want to be left a lone to sit in my room and sometimes even cry. Those are they days my poor FI doesn’t know what to do, but he trys very hard to comft me.

Like I said just be there when you can and let them know that you are their friend and that your there to talk when they need you.

Good luck with everything.

Post # 4
Member
998 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

@almostwebbee:  is she not on meds, my best friend has bi polar and she is on mood stabilisers along with some other meds. It took them a while to get the right mix of drugs but she has been stable now for about a year.

being supportive of a friend with bi polar is hard but i love her and we have supported each other through a lot so i don’t mind listening to her no matter how silly i think she is being.

 

Post # 5
Member
2126 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

@almostwebbee:  My younger sister has been experiencing pyschotic symptoms, off and on, for the past 5 months or so. She hasn’t been diagnosed with anything yet, but the doctors think that these episodes may be stemming from depression and/or bi-polar disorder.

She isn’t as manic as your friend (she stays more on the depressive side), but she definitely has episodes where she acts irrationally or says things that totally make no sense to a rational person. It’s hard. And it’s really sad to see someone struggle so much with something they don’t have a lot of control over.

I don’t really have much advice for you, it sounds like you’re doing the best you can to be supportive. I think your feelings of feeling burdened and overwhelmed are absolutely normal, and definitely things that I struggle with as well. 

In the end, though, your friend needs to be her own champion. It is not your job to take care of her or to babysit her, and if she wants to get better, she has to do the work. She has to stay in therapy and she has to take her medicine.

My sister has gone off her medication a couple of times in the past months, and it’s really, really difficult to watch. It makes me angry at times, but I keep trying to tell myself that she isn’t acting this way on purpose to hurt me or my family. I have to always remind myself that as much as this sucks for me to deal with, things are a million, billion times worse for her.

Like I said, I don’t have a lot of advice. Keep doing what you’re doing, but you need to still remember to take care of yourself. I know my mom is having trouble with that balance and it’s really wearing on her. If her boyfriend does leave her, that will suck, but again, he needs to take care of himself, too. If that does happen, she’ll need you and her other friends more than ever. Good luck to you and your friend and I hope she continues to get better.

Post # 7
Member
1110 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

My brother was bi-polar and ended up committing suicide at 23. The most important thing to remember with bipolar people is that their lives are helter skelter in the extreme and it takes YEARS before the right combination of therapy and medication can be found to stabilize a bipolar person. And even then, that combination might not always work for very long.

The only thing you can do is be as supportive as possible, but try to compartmentalize your own emotions when dealing with your friend. Just because she is mentally ill doesn’t mean you need to let that bring you down, too. It’s hard to learn how to detach yourself from the bipolar aspect of their lives but it’s important if you want to continue to be there for them.

Post # 8
Member
382 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@almostwebbee: It’s hard to say. Everyone is different on how you can talk to them. I know on certain day’s the slightest thing you say to me I could cry or then I could turn around and be very very mean for no reason at all.

I take Risperidone which is also used to treat schizoprenia, paxil and welburtin and ativan.

I take that twice a day. Undecided

Post # 9
Member
1843 posts
Buzzing bee

@almostwebbee: *long LONG post. Please stay with me. As the sister of someone with bipolar disease I’ll do my best to see if I can halp*

I’ll just say this. As the sister of someone with bipolar disorder and some other mental problems, I understand where you are coming from. Visiting your sister on a psych ward when you are 9 years old will quickly make you understand that really there is something wrong that she can’t control. No one. I can see NO ONE wanting to be there by choice. 

That being said, it doesn’t mean that to this point I don’t struggle with it all. Trust me, I had a very rough summer the past year. She just drove me crazy to the point I started setting some boundaries because I realized if not, I would be having some bad stress related issues. It still hurts me and I feel guilty when she is having a hard time and I don’t leave everything aside and race to her side at her slightest whim. 

Their lives are filled with the exact chaos that takes place in their minds. If their mind is chaotic, how can we expect them to act and live in an ordered, balanced way? They don’t choose this. They don’t choose to feel the insanity that goes on in their minds. I take a hard look at my sister and trust me this is very hard to do because the moment you do that, your heart breaks. You go from being ticked off at them to feel awfully sad and bad about their situation. 

Can you imagine feeling all those things and not actually being able to control them? Can you imagine the absolute terror of feeling like someone is out there to get you all the time? To them this is not a thought. It is their REALITY. 

If when you open youreyes you see the place where you live, your work, your friends, your lovely SO, your future wedding… That is real to you, right?

Now imagine when you opened your eyes you had hallucinations of people spying on you, being terrified by seeing and hearing the other mentally sick people at the ward screaming to the top of their lungs that they will kill everyone, and things like that. Well, that would be your reality as much as what your real life is right now. After all, I’ve learned with all this and my grandma’s hallucinations due to Alzheimer’s that reality is for you what your eyes and mind tell you. If you are seeing something, that for sure becomes real for you. If someone would tell you that your life is not really there, that it was all created in your mind. Would you be able to believe them?That has been life for my sister at times. She is doing better but still. 

That being said, something worries me about your friend. What you describe sounds more than bipolar. It sounds like some sort of psycosis or another disorder. If that is the case and she is being treated only for bipolar, her chances of having a better quality of life are not in her favor. You’d be surprised at how hard it is to get a proper diagnosis. It sometimes takes changing medical facilities and doctors and starting from scratch. If you’ve ever been misdiagnosed with a physical disease that they can accurately diagnose through testing, you can only imagine how this could go with mental illnesses which get diagnosed basically on symptoms and behavior. The same behavior that due to their illness can change from one day to another. :-/

As for you and how you can support her… Well. First, they can be manipulative, demanding and trying to use reason and logic with them when they run on emotions is um, not going to work. They don’t realize and can’t help it but everyone will get pulled to their chaotic life if you guys are not aware and establish boundaries. And from the same chaotic place you cannot be of any service to her. Enabling is probably not the right word to use here but I get what you mean. And I know the stress and pain. You are a good friend for trying to be there for her and trying to get to understand her and accept her. It’s ok and normal to feel guilty at times for what we are experiencing. Just please remember. She was not blessed with a healthy mind. And that, she cannot control. She can only take care of herself with whatever drugs and treatment they give her. And sadly enough, that doesn’t always work. 

As for you not understanding why she finds working part time so hard? To be honest, I am surprised with the stuff you describe, that goes much farther than manic and deppresive states, she is working at all! That is a very good effort on her part. Most people with such severe cases are advised not to work and are put in social services and social security if they qualify.

Maybe it does her some good. Maybe is an extra stressor she can’t handle and it doesn’t help her. I would encourage her boyfriend and her to see another specialist. Maybe they try something new and find something that works better for her. 

Sorry I can’t be of more help but that is the ugly reality of us family and friends. Impotence many times.

Hugs

Post # 10
Member
279 posts
Helper bee

@almostwebbee:  My FI mom was Bipolar. No advice from me, just support. They kept thinking they would get the right combo of meds, but never did. She tried to committ suicide at least a half a dozen times. It is a tough thing to deal with and I can’t imagine how hard the BF has it. 

Post # 11
Member
842 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2017

@almostwebbee:  Hello hello. I have been diagnosed with some wierd thing they call “light manic depression”, basicly a mild version of bipolar disorder, as well as physiological serotonin deficiency (apparently very rare but can occur to a baby if a woman, my mother in this case, is stressed during pregnancy), so I have some experiance.

 

I’ll try to sum up my advice to any friend that wants to be supportive:

 

– Don’t say anything along the lines of “snap out of it”. Its impossible. I would not choose to be suicidally depressed if it was up to me.

 

– Tell your friend exacly how you feel. Let her know what each of her actions does to her surroundings. For me it was a huge chock to hear my mother and boyfriend tell me they would actually miss me if I died. Stupid I know but the brain is a funny thing. And even though I knew I was being a huge load on my friends and loved ones some people don’t know this.

 

– Let her know that you want to help, but that you don’t know what to do. I feel really supported even by “clumsy” people if I know that they actually truely care.

 

– Bipolar disorder makes you depressed or hysterically happy. NOT rude. This is something else! On a good day, this can be helpful advice to give your friend. Maybe she doesn’t know how people suffer on her behalf. The disease does not make you unable to feel empathy. At least not on your level days.

 

– Help her by being a distraction when life feels hopeless. I sometimes find that distractions are more helpful than any advice, therapy or med. Sit and paint your nails with her for five hours, then maybe she can live on that happy memory for a few days 🙂 I watch Futurama with my boyfriend. I have seen the whole series more than 30 times.

 

– This may be hard for a friend to do, but I am SOOOO grateful for my two cats. They have more than once been the only reason I didn’t jump from the roof of my building. To have something in life that gives you only pleasure and would miss you when you were gone. Plus they can never say that you are too demanding 😉

 

– Have patience, meds take time but CAN REALLY help!! I am now well enough to type all of this without crying and thats amazing by my standards!!!!

 

 

 

GOOOD LUUUCK

 

Post # 14
Member
842 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2017

@almostwebbee:  Thatss quite normal I think… It usually takes quite a few years to get it right. I was just lucky.

Post # 15
Member
5207 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2013

My SIL has bipolar disorder and it’s very difficult on the family. Her episodes are less frequent now that she’s sober (when she was addicted to coke it was fucking ridiculous) but every couple of months a random one will occur and she has to spend a few days in a psychiatric facility. They vary anywhere from making up stories to committing criminal acts to injuring herself. She’s been found wandering around town while hallucinating. Before I knew anything about bipolar disorder I just assumed she was a bitch trying to get attention. I hated her. Now I understand a little more about what’s going on in her head and try to be more supportive than angry.

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