{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Hi friends! \nI know mental health is very private but wondering if anyone on here has been diagnosed bipolar and would be willing to speak to me? \nBest friend has been diagnosed and is swinging very fast between manic & depressive states while their doctors find the right balance of medication & therapy. Want to understand how I can best support especially in the extreme lows where they have darker thoughts & feel very confused about “why” this is happening. Would appreciate any help at all!", "post_id": "6103ed0858626f002128f551", "reply_count": 10, "vote_count": 2, "bowl_id": "59e88be7e2808e00149b0443", "bowl_name": "Women In Consulting" }

Hi friends! I know mental health is very private but wondering if anyone on here has been diagnosed bipolar and would be willing to speak to me? Best friend has been diagnosed and is swinging very fast between manic & depressive states while their doctors find the right balance of medication & therapy. Want to understand how I can best support especially in the extreme lows where they have darker thoughts & feel very confused about “why” this is happening. Would appreciate any help at all!

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My husband was bipolar. There are some good books on the topic “Loving someone with bipolar” is one. Support them in their journey to get stable - let her talk about her therapy, her meds, ask if the meds are working for her, and be empathetic of side effects - encourage her to keep up with them and to try the different meds the docs recommend. When someone is suicidal, the best is to support them in getting immediate professional help. Also know that their behavior is not on you. A person can easily get sucked into their highs and lows, and even get blamed for them. So support, but don’t get taken along on that roller coaster with them like I did. As much as I supported, eventually I had to jump off. It’s a very challenging illness for those with uncontrolled bipolar. I wish you the best.

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Thanks for this insight CEO1. Very much appreciate it

Was diagnosed at 19 with bipolar. People cycle at different rates. I am what they call rapid cycler - which means that i can have cycles of high and low within hours. There may not be any reason for bipolar or the cycling. The perfect meds will most likely take awhile as she may need to try out many to find the one that suits her. Also the doctor would need to find the right dosage too. She may need more than one to help stabilize. It is possible to live a normal life but may take some time to get there. There is no overnight miracle fix. Even when stable she can have good and bad days and should be vigilant about symptoms. Best wishes to your friend, hope she feels better. As for supporting her, be patient, don't judge, she is going through a very tough time.

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Thank you. Bad days are there for everyone. For me, it is just being vigilant that it doesn't take me on a downward spiral. Life is awesome!

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My sibling has it. He’s had it about the last fifteen years and has had many many episodes. All you can do is be patient and support. One of the things that I do is when an episode is happening I remind them “hey you’re having an episode we may need to go to the hospital for an evaluation or we just have to wait this thing out”. The most recent episode was wild but my father kept reassuring my sibling that he would come out of this and say with him and consoled him. Once they start understanding episodes they will begin to understand something is happening it’s not fun but they will soon come out of it. Sometimes it requires serious help from doctors or sometimes it’s taking a step back.

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Yes I totally know what you mean. My sibling has gone through the darkest times. However, I have learned to not always think the worst and that it’s not always helpful to assume something bad is going to happen. You really just have to be there for them and listen. It’s an illness and these people are sick. Sometimes life is good and sometimes they just get so sick. Try to think of it that way. Don’t let it consume you because this is a lifelong journey. My family has learned there is always another episode around the corner and no matter what we will always support and be there for them. There have been many days this has gotten me down or worried sick. You will have those days but your constant love and support for them is everything.

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