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Being a better friend to my bipolar friends

J

Jambo_Mcmon_9001

New member
Joined
Aug 16, 2021
Messages
2
Location
Ontario
Hello all,

I was hanging out with an old friend of mine who is in a relationship with another old friend of mine and both have bipolar disorder. She was talking about their dynamics a bit and she said something kind of like "it's nice because he or I might do something weird and when the other asks why, we'll say "bipolar!" and the other will just get it."

This did get me thinking, when it comes to managing friendships with bipolar people, what things should I look out for that I should be empathetic about? Such that I can know when to sort-of say the same thing in my own mind, instead of maybe failing to understand.
 
B

BlueWater

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Joined
Jul 29, 2021
Messages
382
Location
USA
I have a bipolar 1 friend. She's loyal, loves to keep a clean house, super compassionate especially when it comes to pets, not the least bit combative but also an alcoholic and does extreme diets. Learn your friend's positives and how her extremes can open a door for you to be more like her in positive ways. Don't judge her weaknesses because we all have them, too. Keep your distance when you can't handle her extremes but come back to her and love her. Sometimes, I'd describe my friend as too empathetic so I have to back off of phone calls for a while because I start to feel needled about some things. She's a fantastic person who endured a hellish childhood and came out of it high and tipsy but of so loving and kind. I hope this helps.
 
Wishbone

Wishbone

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Apr 20, 2019
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2,585
Location
England
There is no identikit for someone with Bipolar, we're regular Joe's, we're doctors, we're alcoholics and everything in between. I don't think Bipolar people have quirks and weird things that nobody else does as a norm of the condition.
Someone can be totally normal, you wouldn't be able to pick them out in a line-up as being the one with Bipolar, even if they got to speak to you a bit, but every now and then they'll have an episode of some sort (which can vary from person to person in duration) and it is when in that episode that you'll see or hear things that are different from them. Bipolar folks should have normal periods between episodes, so any other thing that's 'weird' is probably just a personality quirk.

What to look out for? Depression and the space, lack of joy etc that comes with that. You could probably spot that creeping in if you spent enough time with someone. Or notice it by them starting to spend less time with you. Mood changes on the upside would be them seeming more reckless, perhaps spending more, taking more risks, seeming wild and carefree, doing dangerous things, ranting, talking fast, agitation etc. You wouldn't be able to relate to these latter things but you don't need to, you'd need to be a friend and help them to get help so they don't go way too far out there and get worse.
 
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