How does being bipolar affect your friendships?

hi,

i have a best friend. i have heard from other people that she is bipolar and she has mentioned that a few times too. How can i tell if she is really bipolar without asking her and making things awkward?

also, how does being bipolar affect your relationships with people?

i don’t know what to do. it’s hard to deal with all her ups and downs but i also don’t want to leave her because she is my best friend. we both really care about each other but her moods switch so often that i don’t even think she likes me half the time. what should i do?

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That must be tough for, honestly, both of you – maintaining friendships can be difficult enough without other issues involved… and the situation must be stressful. The diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder can only come from a qualified physician/therapist and really should – it keeps the person involved from getting stereotyped by themselves and others… and honestly getting caught up on the diagnosis more than the situation.¬†Getting caught up in diagnosis is something I struggle with myself – and the best thing I can say to sum up the situation is that while it is helpful to have a diagnosis for things like treatment plans and insurance billing, the label doesn’t change how the person feels.
Assuming you’re both best friends, while it may be hard, you may want to approach the topic directly and talk with her about the mood pattern(s) you see. Maybe note to situations where you have noticed it moreso that others… and keep the conversation about what you have observed, without titles, and ask how she has felt about those situations. If the conversation is going well it may be helpful to suggest that she talk with a therapist about her moods and if, you feel comfortable, offer to go with her to help support her and also give the therapist/doctor more context on what you have observed. As best friends, while the initial conversation may be awkward, she’ll will likely appreciate the honestly and support from you.

3 thoughts on “How does being bipolar affect your friendships?

  1. I have had difficulty with friendships since childhood. I could always make friends easily enough but i could never maintain a friendship. I think over time i was just too much for most of the friends i did have. In hindsight i think most of them probably felt very overwhelmed by me. As a kid i was very hyper and talkative and a lot of other kids just couldn’t deal with me, some teachers as well! Throughout adulthood i have experienced much of the same thing. Currently i have one best friend but other than that most people i know are more like aquaintances. I am not one to want a lot of friends and i think that my bipolar has a lot to do with that. I am happy with one or two good friends that i feel i can trust and be comfortable around. I think i will always struggle with this part of my life but i have become quite used to it over the years.

  2. I have had a few friends lost to due to this,When I got out of the hospital and told one “friend” what happened,I wrote her,and she just stopped talking to me.
    I’ve also had found friends from school,that i use to hang out with,and the one that suprised me most-this girl actually said she went to school to become a meantall health advocate,I thought wow,i could really open up to her,sadly i told her,and she discontinued talking to me. I’m use to it now though,I know who I am,and if people dot like it,thats their issue.
    Frienships seem to be a little tougher to handle,to be honest with my BPB’s (bipolar buddies) because its like the attraction of my ups and downs,and whatever they may be going through can completley be on different emotional levels. Especially being female,were already pumpmed up with extra hormones,it can get tense,and each individual may have to step away just to get some breathing room.

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