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My Friend is Bipolar
meaningfulc1952 posted:
Hi to Everyone,
I have a close friend that is bipolar and lives next door to me. She never wants to have me come over inside her home and she only communitcates with me via e-mail. She informed me about this when ee first met and she had moved in next door.

I sure could use some helpful info from those of you that understand bipolar and maybe you could fill me in.

In the past, I have been to her house once only to visit and at the door only. She has panic attacks and some odd obcessions that I just learned about. One is that she "has" to count snails in her yard and then I guess kill them. Boy, I really do not understand this one. She lives with her sister because she really can't live alone very well. She used to work and was in a very high power job, but now she is on disability and works in her yard every day unless it's raining.

Please would someone give me some helpful info about this condition.

mozzergurl responded:
Hello meaningfulc1952,

Is your friend on medications for her bipolar disorder/panic attacks and what sounds like she possibly has OCD? Also does she see a tdoc or pdoc? Both of those things can be very beneficial for someone suffering from a chemical imbalance... I know that without medication and therapy I'd probably be a recluse with weird habits too. All you can do is continue to offer her ur unconditional support and encourage her to seek medical attention if she isn't already receiving it. Also, gardening has been recommended to me by my pdoc as a way to relieve stress so maybe it helps her with her panic attacks... Either way, continue to be supportive. It's good that you're seeking ways to help her, it shows that you truly care about her well-being. Try educating yourself on the disease. There are alot of books out there on bipolar disorder... One book that I see recommended alot on this board is "Bipolar disorder for dummies". I've read it and it's very helpful.
mattthecat responded:
meaningfulc1952 I am a supporter and have lots of people in my life who have bipolar disorder as long as your friend does not do any thing to hurt her self or others in my opinion you should play along and enjoy your friends company any way she will let you. When I deal with those in my life with mental illness I step back and let them lead the way. I mostly just watch and listen. I join in the fun during the happy/ fun times and try to be supportive during the slower or not so happy times. I think you are doing a good thing by being friends with your neighbor.
I wish you lots of luck in your endeavor.

meaningfulc1952 replied to mozzergurl's response:
Hi mozzergurl,
Thanks for you message. Yes, she is taking meds for her bipolar and yes she is OCD very much. Last year she was in the hospital due to a deep depression. I think from what her sister has told me that she has been this way for a really long time.

I always try to be respectful to her and send her e-mails all of the time. She is a very beautiful and good person. I enjoy it when I am outside and get to talk to her face to face. If you did not know that she is bipolar you would not ever figure that out.

meaningfulc1952 replied to mattthecat's response:
Hi Matt,
Thanks for your message. You are so right about being a support system and continuing to be a friend. She is not a danger to anyone. She takes meds for her condition. I do not know what they are. She is not supposed to drive because she told me that a long time ago.

She did say that she takes meds to keep her awake and meds to help her sleep. I do not think that she takes sleeping pills. She had a bad time last year and was in the hospital for a while.

If any of you have anymore suggestions for me, please let me know.

mattthecat replied to meaningfulc1952's response:
meaningfulc1952 If your friend has her illness under control with a good support system in place and I were in your position I would try to forget she has a mental illness and just be her friend. The biggest thing those with mental illness need is for a friend or friends that accept them as a person not an illness and allow them to be them self with no strings attached.
My next suggestion is to just be her friend learn her strengths and weaknesses like most friends do. For example if you new a friend had a problem with alcohol you would probably not give that friend a bottle of wine as a gift or if they had a sever allergy to eggs cook them a meal with eggs mixed in the food. Be mindful of any weaknesses she may have.
Those with bipolar disorder will some times engage in risky behavior when they are manic. The behaviors are different for each individual and are to numerous to list. Your friend will most likely let you know what things get her in trouble over time.
Those with OCD will sometimes have weakness when come to needing things done a certain way. I had a girl friend years ago who had OCD and made all kinds of little rules she followed like not eating certain food on certain days of the week and would brush her hair every morning exactly 26 times/ strokes. If she did not follow the rules she would have to fend off a panic attack. Again these things will become obvious over time and easy to work around. Let me say I think what you are doing is great keep up the good work.


meaningfulc1952 replied to mattthecat's response:
Hi Matt,
You are so right. Accepting my friend as she is really all that I need to do. Of course if I notice there is some problem I would let her family know.

Thanks for your message,
tmcgrath112 responded:
sounds like ocd and other stuff rather then bipolar
Anon_27116 replied to tmcgrath112's response:
Hi tmcgrath112,
You are wrong. She has been bipolar for years and has several drs. that presribe her many different meds for her condition. Yes, she is OCD too.
tmcgrath112 replied to Anon_27116's response:
my bad

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