How to help manic friend?
Hi, so. I have a friend who I've known for about two years now, and with whom I've become very close. I've known she had struggled with depression for a long time (and I myself have had issues with it and anxiety as well), but a couple of weeks ago she started saying she was feeling a lot better and a lot more confident in herself which was really good!! But, over the last week that seems to have evolved in to full on mania. When she first said she was barely sleeping because she understood everything and wanted to talk to everyone (she was writing a lot of very long tumblr posts), after also spending a lot of money on an anime figure she'd previously not been interested in getting, I said half-seriously that she sounded manic, and she kind of laughed, but then said 'Actually, now I'm really worried I am bipolar... I have a family history of it. I better be careful, since I just bought that figure and spending money is part of it...' But since then it's gotten way worse. Yesterday, all day, she blew up my phone ranting about all these things she now Knew about the world, because she was 'enlightened', giving all kinds of weird ideas I'd never heard from her before. One seemed to be something about how men and women are entirely different... And this relates to race as well in a complicated way... I told her when I was concerned about what she was saying, but also tried to support her.
But, on Tuesday (so four days from now) she'll be coming over to my house from 1 until after dinner, which we do now and then. I was already concerned about that - I get overwhelmed really easily and tend to be really tired after all that even when she's mellow. But just now she called me telling me she'd email me something I should send to my friend? And she'd immediately decide to come on Tuesday too? And shed would talk to me and my mum in private, and then to my dad, and we'd all understand something 'only she can tell us' and I'd... receive the love I always wanted? (Not sure.)
I told her she sounded really manic and maybe this wasn't the time for drastic action (she was also intent on us talking to a recent ex-friend of hers who had been really shitty to tell them why they were a 'really damaged person', which I refused), but she only laughed and said she'd be able to convince me on Tuesday...
I'm not sure what to do 😞 I feel anxious, but I don't know if I could cancel.. And she was invited to another party next Saturday... I want to do right here but don't know how...
Hi Alex I'm BP, not a Professional but think you've hit the nail on the head.
Because we all differ we react differently to the entire cycle up/down
I think because you have several MH issues this is going to be detrimental to your physical & MH. Its incredible what the brain does in these times & very full on for the person,partners/friends, too hard for them to keep up.
Is there anyone else that can ride it with her & maybe you could be there for her when she burns out which she will, the depressions VERY deep & exhaustion.
Depending on her personality be careful what you say & how you talk to her, sounds like she listens to you so that's good, easy to fly off handle in both sides of cycle up & down. STRESS is tremendous but atm she's oh soo good.
Chances are you'll have a lot of trouble reasoning with her, keep calm if you're around her. Continue with as much logical reasoning she might respond it's that our belief becomes clearer & stronger in mania amongst much more, not necessarily irrational depends on how she is normally & how severely she's affected
The best time to really go deep & talk with her is when she's recovered which for me can take up to 3 wks catching up sleep depending how high & long it goes
IF possible for someone to be with her to try stopping her reckless behaviour. CALMLY but firm
Wow the memories of those major highs they're amazing I've got it down to more type 2 now, still yum similar to 1 bit more control & rational more depression though mine was always savage either type. Making good headway in emotional control as a result of this & getting stronger, so it can be controlled with work & help
Best to make sure she gets to GP then psychiatrist for meds esp now be good the'yd know straight away BP if it is but sounds it
There's a thread "this Bipolar life"could be of help & you'll always have here.
If you want to suss other threads too, lot of helpful coping ideas for both of you if you like
Any questions go for it ☺
Thanks very much for the advice! Mm that thread and all sounds like a good place to go to!
Luckily, it seems her family figured out what was going on - this was her first episode, apparently, and they hadn't expected it to come when she was fairly young... But, she called me at 7am this morning but her dad interrupted to tell me they had a hold on the situation and were getting a GP in with meds so at least it should get sorted! Even if it's an awkward time to get one in... She does sound very agitated - apparently she hasn't slept in a whole week, and I'm not sure whether my presence on the phone made it better or worse... But she then actually told me to turn off my phone for some reason so that's it for now I guess? n.n;
Not sure whether she'll still be coming on Tuesday, but at least I know that improvement will come, so that's a relief! And I'll still keep doing what I've been doing, trying to be supportive and reassure her that I care about her while questioning the more worrying statements. And I actually think I did manage to bring in some reason a couple of times so that's good! 🙂
I guess the lucky thing for her is that she's asexual and doesn't do any drugs or anything like that so a lot of risky behaviours aren't really in question, but I am still concerned about the money thing... but there's not a lot I can do about that. 😞
Not knowing her relationship with parents and her as a person, I can really only go by what I personally know but hopefully I can help support you and maybe give some guidance but you know her so no probs if you think or say nah that won't work etc.
Awesome, and being her firsty with luck the meds will work for her, sometimes it takes some tweaking but there is effective meds out there I've heard.
I wasn't diagnosed till 46 yrs (I approached them thinking I was) so as psychiatrist said and I found for me (not saying for others) they didn't do much.
I'm pretty sure if not BP there's been something else all my life, think BP cause remember same deep downs
They say onset is more common with trauma, teens, and ? later adult, but teens the most common I think.
Suggest warning parents she'll go down like a ton of bricks, hit rock bottom & exhaustion, for them to keep an eye which they would be no doubt, but on saying that if she's type 1, they have not as much depression than type 2 which is savage and most people have it before, I have worse after so she may not. Soz anything to confuse the issue lol.
You sound like a very good loyal supportive friend & wouldn't be if she's not deserving too, happy yous are in eachothers lives 🙂
Mostly the average highs are about a week and yes the sleep just mostly doesn't happen, I can't say what but for me usually depending on how high I am and pumped there's a not exactly sleeper, it's in the hypnotic field of meds, they'll know the one, they are hooky, I think cause they're giving what we get desparate for, sleeep. I don't need them except for in cycles, which at least give me 3/6 hrs, nothing like what you need but as opposed to none it's a boom.
One of the things with mania (not in my case or no doubt others) can be the pump and urgency that's charging through the mind & boundless energy is they can drive too fast and take risks, the confidence booms. Kinda invincible.
Fantastic she's asexual cuase promiscuity's big with BP and not taking drugs great to hear.
Yeah the phone calls lol, all hours.
You're good for her, glad you have some relief with it all.
I may not be here all the time but try to keep up with replies so if you've spoken my aims to be back if I can.
Look after you too 🙂