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Bipolar.... anyone familiar with this disorder?

inafixiinafix Posts: 158
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:23 AM in Depression and Coping
Hey y'all I have been trying to get some answers regarding someone very close to me. I think they may have bipolar disorder. I know this person's sister has been diagnosed with it and their dad also seems to have many of the same issues. I'll list the things I see and you guys tell me what you think. I may try to get them to go for help.

Extreme moodiness from one hour to the next. May be very pleasant and "happy" one minute and then bam any change in environment or setting even as simple as something not being just right turns him into a mean irritable ogre. Always looks ticked off. The up times are few and far between and are short lived.
In my reading of BPD I can't discern if the mood swings are within a day or hour or weeks??? I am really worried about him but don't want to be an alarmist.

Thoughts??
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Comments

  • Try to get him to see the family Doctor. Maybe needs a psych referral and therapist. Many people suffer from these things. Maybe it's only depression. Take him to the Doctor meds can completely make a difference. Take care. Real mental health site is helpful. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I am bipolar type 2 and it took 2 doctors, 3 Pdocs and 1 family counselor to come to my final diagnosis.Just like our backs it can be difficult to lock into the dx, my manic rides are not as bad as a typical bipolar hence the type 2 addition.Trying to diagnosis this via the web can be dangerous, certain meds can make the mania far worse.Not to be scary, but this is really for the professional to diagnosis, so many symptoms carry over amongst each other and as you can see in my case, a lot of trial and error(some firings too) came about and by that time I couldn't work,function in public places and had one very bad episode that nearly ended me.

    Now I am on SSDI and with my back issues almost homebound most days except my "safe areas" that don't trigger episodes.If you suspect mental health issues, I suggest getting a referral to a specialist.I wish someone helped me before it got worse so its great to see initiative.

    One point, don't rely solely on meds, its best to get a well rounded solution with counseling, family support and meds if need be.

  • :''( I am a newbie to this, so bear with me! I am looking for anyone who may be able to help me put a name to my leg pain. I feel it is due to my many back problems, I have had 4 laminectomies, but my 2 Orthopedic Doctors said it isn't. The pain feels like my hip is going to explode. The pain rips into my groin, thigh muscles, side of my legs, into my shins. I get severe leg, ankle and foot spasms that last for hours, along with little "travelling" spasms in my shins, thighs and hips. The pain through my lower back is so excruciating I cry out before I can stop myself. The leg pain started suddenly 2 years ago, and has progressively gotten worse. No one can tell me what is going on. I just want to know I am not crazy! One of my doctors called me a Fatalist. I had offended him after he had done 2 surgeries in a year, and they failed.
    Help??
    Twink
  • :) Twink,hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can.i don't know what to tell you except i feel your pain. you know your pain is real so don't let anyone tell you differently. :? finding a correct diagnosis can take a long time sometimes. please be patient and continue to try and find pain relief. good luck and i hope to see you around the forum! Jenny :)
  • Kelly jo,

    Good day to you! I myself am bipolar and have just been finally diagnosed with it within the past year. I have been treated for severe clinical depression and anxiety for over 14 years since finding my husband after he committed suicide. I have been taking Effexor ER for quite some time and it does wonders for the depression, but I still wasn't feeling as good as I thought I should.

    Then I found the doc I have now.... he is into research and is just awesome. He asked me a couple of questions which I surprisingly answered Yes to all of them..... do you spend money you know you don't have? Do you find that you overreact to things? and several others. There are many degrees of BPD. I think it would be nothing but a good thing to get him in with a reputable psychiatrist/psychologist just to see if he "fits" the bill. Once we made the determination that my doc thinks that my problems are depression for sure and anxiety, but when he started me on the Seroquel for the bipolar everything just fell into place for me. I am more calm and focused... no more racing thoughts. I feel more centered and more able to deal with whatever comes my way. It has been a godsend for me. I still take the Effexor for the Anxiety and depression, but this combination has really cleared things up for me and have made me feel better in my own skin and better about where I am in life. I am less hard on myself, and the coolest thing was that my family noticed the major change in me before I did. i thought that was very cool.

    Today, I am as mentally healthy as I have ever been especially since the suicide. I wake up and am anxious for the day , but not in a bad way , you know? It has been nothing short of a miracle for me. The Seroquel is also something I take before bed and I have slept ALL NIGHT ever since startng it. I never realized how sleep deprived I was and how long I had been. You can't imagine what a few weeks of restful sleep can change your whole outlook. It sure did with me anyway.

    I hope some of this helps and I would be more than happy to answer any specific questions you might have.

    Good luck in seeking the best medical care for the one you love.

    Hugs,

    Amy 8}
  • Hi There,

    Your hip pain - you could see an oesteopath / PT who through exercise and movement could test the spine and give a pretty good opinion if it is coming from your back or not. They can also write to your doctor with their findings.

    I have learnt that hip , groin pain CAN be linked but is equally many other things too. You need a skilled practitioner to pull you about over a few weeks to help decide!

    Bipolar - If it were my friend, Check that they are not using other substances, alcohol and such as well. The body is so carefully balanced, it doesn't take much.Too much St Johns Wort or even percribed meds - A careful assessment with persons who know the individual well can be very illuminating. Get them to their doctor too.

  • Let me start by saying I am not a mental health professional (but my husband is). We also have a family member who suffered from bipolar disorder.

    The symptoms you describe - mood swings, irritability, etc - can be lots of things: depression and drug or alcohol use/abuse come immediately to mind. Bipolar disorder is currently a diagnosis frequently made and covers a lot of territory. However, generally it involves dramatic shifts in mood from mania to major depression. The cycles of bipolar disorder usually last for days, weeks, or months rather than changing from moment to moment.

    I will PM you a site that I think describes bipolar pretty well

    All of that said, you should talk to a mental health professional about your concerns for this person - he/she can ask specific questions to get a clearer picture of the situation.

  • Thanks guys,

    I really appreciate your help. I will see if I can get my friend to go get help. He is pretty hard headed but a smart guy. He may just need to have it spelled out for him. I'll have to see if I can get him to seek help.
    Man is this thing called life a crazy ride or what?


    thanks again

    Kel
  • >:D< I appreciate the kind thoughts and support. One would think after 30 years of pain, I would get used to it! It just gets so danged depressing. Sometimes I feel like my family is ready to give up on me. My hubby of nearly 38 years, and I got the chance of a life-time to spend a week at Disneyland with our 2 Granddaughters, who are 10 and 8. I was so afraid I was going to bum everyone out and not be able to have fun with the girls. I had one of my Orthos pump my knees full of cortisone so I could have a little relief. We flew to California from our home here in Montana, For 5 days I rode every ride, and walked until my legs about fell off, but, Oh what a Blessing it was to actually be without so much of the pain. The cortisone eventually wore off, but for a few days I was able to make some good memories for Holly and Hanna. I have had 4 laminectomies, 1 arthoscopic surgery on my right knee, and I am facing total knee replacements. I have had rotator cuff repair, and 6 other surgeries. There aren't too many medicines I have not tried, along with every kind of therapy~ physical, spititual, and mental. I am a 57 year old Grandma of 6, and I love every second of it. Just when I feel there is no one who hurts more than I, I just take a few seconds to read some of your comments, and I don't feel so bad. God bless you all for being such wonderful supports for each other while dealing with your own pain.
    Twink
  • Hiya Kelly Jo, >:D<
    I am familar with BIPOLAR :( . My daughter has rapid cycling bipolar disorder ~X( . Firstly you need to get him referred to a psychatrist, so he can be diagnosed :? . There are many types of bipolar, so i would not like to say whether he is or isnt :S . Sorry i cant be more help. Keep us posted! >:D<



    Angie x :H
  • Hiya Amy, >:D<
    Your story had me in tears :''( , that so sad :( ,im sorry to hear of your loss. it will get easier as time goes on :) .
    What was your starting dose of quetiapine(seroquel) :? . My daughter takes it morning and night, and there is not much change :? . I am glad your more content with yourself >:D< .


    Angie x :H
  • Hi Kelly,
    I am used to it. Infact I do have some of the disorder. Trust me it's no fun. I am not really sure if I can give you any advice though but find things you like to do. That's what I do.. That's about the only thing I can do. :)
    Love Always,
    Jessica
  • Or diminish your hopes, but I would like to mention... My mother in law suffers from severe bipolar disorder. I have tried FOR YEARS to get this woman help. SHE JUST WONT DO IT. She gets meds, but will only take them for a day or two. One day she can't live without treatment, the next, the doctors don't know what they are talking about. She cancels every appointment. Then spends months depressed and crying because no one will help her.

    I think the hardest part of treating mental illness like this, is actually treating it. If the person wont seek help, or take the help that is offered, what can we do?

    I hope that this person is able to get the help they need. I hope that you can find the strength to stay by this persons side. As many have posted here, bipolar is treatable, and they have gone back to live very happy meaningful lives. Just know that not everyone is willing or able to do the same. I hope this is not the situation for you.

    Good Luck, Please PM me if you ever need someone to talk to about this or anything...

    Amanda

  • Sorry I took so long to answer your question about the Seroquel. My doc has me on 200mg pills, 1 - 2 by mouth at bedtime. I finally sleep all night and don't wake up dopey..... well..... no dopier than usual!! (I kid). I hope your daughter is doing well.

    Hugs,

    Amy
  • I am sorry that you are going through all of this but often times surgeons are so egotistical that they can never make mistakes so if they operated, you must be better. I would get another opinion or two if I were you. Maybe it was a failed surgery? Please keep us posted.
    Twink said:
    :''( I am a newbie to this, so bear with me! I am looking for anyone who may be able to help me put a name to my leg pain. I feel it is due to my many back problems, I have had 4 laminectomies, but my 2 Orthopedic Doctors said it isn't. The pain feels like my hip is going to explode. The pain rips into my groin, thigh muscles, side of my legs, into my shins. I get severe leg, ankle and foot spasms that last for hours, along with little "travelling" spasms in my shins, thighs and hips. The pain through my lower back is so excruciating I cry out before I can stop myself. The leg pain started suddenly 2 years ago, and has progressively gotten worse. No one can tell me what is going on. I just want to know I am not crazy! One of my doctors called me a Fatalist. I had offended him after he had done 2 surgeries in a year, and they failed.
    Help??
    Twink
  • Hiya Amanda >:D<
    I worked in mental health and i am qualified to give you advice on this subject. This is what you have to do if you really want to help her. Go to her family doctor(GP) have a word with them, make an appointment to see the doctor on her behalf, he will not want to discuss her with you but you just say you dont want information, you are just telling him how she is, and she needs help. Explain she cancels appointments and will not take her medication, the doctor then can get a CPN to come out to her, then if the CPN(comunity pratice nurse) thinks she needs to see a psychatrist she will then either do a referral or get her on a section ( which i dont think that she will do because she is not a danger to her or anyone else) She can also get her put into respite care which would be good because there they will assess her and manage her medication so she can get stablized and observe her . This is going to be hard on you , you have to be strong, because its mentally and physically draining.
    Good luck with this and let me know how you get on.


    Angie x
  • Hiya Amy,
    was 200mg the starting dose? Did you feel dopey and tired in the mornings? hope you are well. My daughter is still cycling..speak soon ..


    Angie x
  • I have been diagnosed bp2 for about a year and 1/2. I have had this disorder kick me in the butt many times. It is a killer :''( .

    I also have severe pain with this, it is not fun at all. I take a handful of medications, and still get depressed. I also have severe anxiety. I am no stranger to severe depression at all. I would love to chat with you guys about this disorder, and coping with it. I have been taking my time with this. I truely hated this disorder in the beginning. One thing is true, I HAVE bipolar, I AM NOT bipolar :). I learned that in therapy!!!
  • HeidiLynnM said:
    I have been diagnosed bp2 for about a year and 1/2. I have had this disorder kick me in the butt many times. It is a killer :''( .

    I also have severe pain with this, it is not fun at all. I take a handful of medications, and still get depressed. I also have severe anxiety. I am no stranger to severe depression at all. I would love to chat with you guys about this disorder, and coping with it. I have been taking my time with this. I truely hated this disorder in the beginning. One thing is true, I HAVE bipolar, I AM NOT bipolar :). I learned that in therapy!!!
    That last quote is so very true, it takes awhile to accept. but like the pain we will adjust with the right therapies.
  • this is one of my least favorite subjects to talk about. Regardless.. Inafix for your original question: I loved and lived with someone with type 2 bipolar, manic/depressant for almost 8 years, and which manifested itself through 'rapid cycling' as extreme bouts of anger. The rapid cycling just means the time between the manic and depressed states, in her case happy with life, or mad at the world and usually targeted at me, the time between those two is minimal and can be almost instantaneous. Sometimes saying the right thing the wrong way is all it takes, or even nothing at all. This sounds similar to your situation. Usually the person does not realize the extent to which they are hurting you by their actions, and quite the opposite, usually views YOU as hurting them.

    The psychiatric part of this problem is the biggest hurdle. I could never get her to realize that she was a perfect, wonderful person, and that her body had a deficiency, no different than say, diabetes, that needed treatment. She was diagnosed four times, all times the same. Abilify was the drug that almost saved our life together; 2 weeks on that med and life became a walk in the clouds for months and months without a single roadbump. She, as most, viewed herself as 'fine' and thought 'I don't need medicine to be normal', fighting the changes, and then would stop, and in a matter of days, the extreme, abusive behavior would return.

    That was the hardest part for me; understanding her condition fully, being head over heels for her, but when the **** hit the fan, it was me who was hurt, over and over. Eventually I came to terms with it and knew that it was out of her control, however, what was IN her control, during her stable moments, was her ability to take medicine to stabilize her life. She repeatedly refused to do so, and well, that's that.

    Your friend/loved one's mood swings sound like they may be more in the area of days, hours, or even much, much less. Look up 'rapid cycling' in regards to BPD. Good luck, help him/her as much as you can, and look out for yourself in all of this, if you are close in any way. I've got story after story that show you can do your best every time, but ultimately THEY have to commit to the change. Help them find the answer, and then it's up to him/her from there. Good luck.









  • Hey there I understand your situation. I am a bipolar and also have BPD and it has been a tough battle, it is hard to understand for the people around you and at times the mood swings and behavior drive people away, I have lost many friends because of my rollercoaster of moods, mania, and manic episodes and it is HELL I tell you and it is very draining for the people who you love. I suggest you get you friend to a good doc who gets it, I had to go through many docs about 10 and I was just amazed at how they all just said it will get better and give you pills and kick you out the door. Earlier this year I finally found someone who finally got it what I was saying and she is a match that only God could have planned, she does not just treat the symptom she focuses on the entire body as she told me it affects your entire body not just one part and you know she is right, anyhow she put me on a med called Lamictal and it has saved my life I am finally becoming stable yes there are good and bad days but not the rollercoaster ride from HELL, but rather a calmness that I feel little ups and downs not major highs mania and manic and major lows. So my dear I hope this sort of helps and also there is a great website that is helpful for friends and family and I hope that you can help him find a good doc that can help him, and as for you just remember that it is the bipolar and bpd coming out, but underneath is the person you really care about and have patience as there will be days you will want to say I have had enough and I can't handle it. And just an encouragement for you, I have a husband who has had to deal with this for over 10 years and yes it has taken a toll on him but he never gave up on me and he would at times just scream and say god I don't know what to do and there was and is alot of chaos and he does not know what mood I am in at any given moment, but all in all he has been a man that I cannot believe has stayed with me, and everyday I tell him Thank You For Loving Me because I don't think anyone else could, I believe God had a hand in this and put us together and yes in sickness and in health, my husband and I agree that we are in this for the long run and we just take it a day at a time.
    Here is a website that might be of help you

    http://www.borderlinepersonalitytoday.com/main/

    So hang in there and let us know if you want more information. This site is sooooo great it has really helped me and everyone is very encouraging and really seem to care.

    Take care,
    LuAnn
  • Thank you LuAnn, you had some really nice things to say. Unfortunately, in this case I AM the husband, and I committed for better or worse, but unfortunately she cant put her roots down and live in one place more than a year or two, so after moving 5 or 6 times, many years, marriage, kids, etc, a HOME, she left. Most of her motivation for leaving me was a roaring, raging fit of anger, as a part of her manic/BPD. Two weeks later she regretted it when reality sank in.

    Some things can't be fixed, only braced up and given a new paint job, but underneath the frame is still broken, never to be whole again. My back, and my heart, are two such things.

    I know that's a downer, but hey, I love her, loved her, and was there for her as much as I could be. I remember the good times, and discard the bad. 8 years and her condition sort of required her to move on. I guess I only am typing this in case anyone in a similar situation knows, that, just as people CAN change, it's possible they may never change. And hey, they may leave you. Just be a good person and you'll have no regrets.
  • JWM,

    Your description can fit my daughter. My daughter also got into crystal meth at 16.

    My daughter is now 28 and her beautiful 5 year old daughter lives with me
    There are some things that cannot be brought back we just go forward and try to recognize any signs of out of adjustments.

    I cannot control what goes on with my daughter but I CAN AND DO provide a safe happy loving environment for my granddaughter.

    JWM. I can feel your pain, have you looked into support groups? Knowing that others understand is a relief.
    >:D< >:D<
    Lili
  • Thanks Lili, yes it can be a, ahhh, traumatic event of sorts, day after day. You are right in that you are best leaving things that happen in the past, looking forward, and doing what you can to make sure the little ones have a safe environment to grow in. CODA/SLAA is something that I'm actively looking for, I really need a support group in my area and just don't know where to find one. I've checked the national websites, and some more local ones, but in my area I KNOW there are meetings, but I just can't find them. If I were in LA or Orange County, it would be easy. If anyone knows a magic way of finding one Ontario/CA is where I'm at. If not, I'll keep looking! I'll probably start going by churches, hospitals, and psychiatrist offices, just thought of that; they can probably find one for me!

    Unfortunately together or not, today was another terrible day in regards to the aforementioned problems; I am so sad for her, just for the fact that she does not know how much happier she could be in life.

    Lili thanks for posting, yes, it does help knowing others can relate; it's a pretty uncommon thing for the most part. The support groups for the underlying issues for me however, are quite common. Still looking.. =)

    Back atcha >:D< >:D< >:D<
  • Hi my name is Erica i have been suffering with acute anxiety disorder and panic attacks also neck and general acute aches and pains all over for 3 years i am only 27 and these symptoms started when my daughter was only 11 mnts old... It is very hard because the initial diagnosis was a virus then they thought it was all in my head and i felt terrible having to go to the doctors... I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia in the last two years i get dizzy spells which frighten me but i have learned to go out again in small doses and i dont feel so fatigued so much but it can get worse and better ups and downs... I am on medication for pain and acute anxeity and depression ever though i dont feel depressed... Has anyone else had these frightening symptoms... Especiallly the feeling of not being able to breathe and like your going to pass out.... Thanks .
  • I just want to add to this post O:) ,I do have both qualified training and personal experience on this subject :D Bi-polar is hard for the doctors to get the correct diagnosis :S , because they want to be sure that they do get it right :) , and this is why they can take there time with giving you that diagnosis ~X( , its just to cover themselves #:S .So medication for depression(anti-depressants) would only work one way for someone who has bi-polar because it doesnt always give that balance :) , unless its a a good mood stabilizer then the affects wood work better :? , because they can balance the disorder much much better :? . What i am saying is keep going to the doctor if you do think you have this disorder, and dont be afraid to talk about it >:D< , so you can get the correct treatment >:D< .

    GOOD LUCK AND LOVE TO ALL
    Please PM me anytime you want to about this subject

    Angie >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< :H
  • After many years of being diagnosed with depression, I began to have panic attacks, so after about 6 months of that I was diagnosed with Depression with Anxiety Disorder. I've been on many different meds, but just like my pain meds, after an amount of time they don't work anymore. My tolerance to meds is unreal...my PMP in Michigan was astounded at the tolerance I have to meds, including anesthesia for the many surgeries I've had in my life (mostly for female issues).

    Finally, nearly 3 years ago, I had been seeing a Psychologist because I was always crying and having problems with my then boyfriend. He showed me a list of the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder and I have all but one (grandiosity...I NEVER think highly of myself, let alone thinking I'm "the best" or "someone else" as some people do). I didn't want to accept the diagnosis so stuck with the depression/anxiety. For whatever reason, it just made me feel better NOT having "that thing" in my medical charts. A year later I had come off a manic episode where I'd literally blown $4K that I'd sold my truck for and spent it entirely on eBay....mostly Christmas decorations for the house and gifts for everyone and anyone I could think of to buy for! I went to pay my cell phone bill and didnt have enough money-I was beside myself. Looking at my checking account online it was "PayPal...PayPal....PayPal" purchase after purchase after purchase. This sent me into a spiraling depression and anxiety attacks increased because I couldn't pay my bills and had no money to buy the different vehicle I'd planned on when selling the truck! I was literally screwed...if I hadn't been living with my then boyfriend at the time I dont know what I would've done.

    I was put on Seroquel and when I realized it was working, I finally told both my Psych and my PMP that I could see that I was, indeed, BiPolar (type 1) and "allowed" the diagnosis. It was a very hard thing to admit to. I felt like something was so wrong with me & it was shameful to admit to myself (let alone others...no way no how was I going to tell anyone!).

    I have had some recent issues in my life and am now not medicated for the BiPolar...I am attempting to find a Psych Dr where I now live that takes the Medicaid I've been assigned (though I feel it was a gross error and have the State Representative working on changing it....but that's a different story). I have no money to pay for a Psych or the meds, even with Florida's Discount Drug Card (which is a GodSend with my pain meds!!!). I can feel myself slipping further into depression but I keep trying to do things to keep me "up" like going down to the beach and watching the waves, smelling the breeze; sitting out in front of my new apt staring at the palm trees I've longed to have in my yard all my life; swimming in the pool which helps to relieve my back pain; spending time with my parents whenever I can stop the tears from flowing (and times when I can't which is when I hurry and leave for home, which is only around the block).

    Point is, just like any other disease such as alcoholism, drug abuse, fibromyalgia (which I've also been diagnosed with, supposedly as a byproduct of the back injuries), etc., one has to admit there's something "off" and be WILLING to seek help for it. The meds dont do anyone any good if they stay in the bottle. Now that I have none, I sure do wish I could! All the times I "refused" to take them because I was "fine", I now see that I wasn't "fine" unless I was on the meds, and can't wait to feel "fine" again. =)

    BiPolar is NOTHING to be ashamed of...that's the biggest lesson I've had to learn. Well, that and the fact that it's MUCH better for my children for me to stick to the meds (when I have them-hopefully I'll be able to get back on them again soon...before I slip too far down, or somehow pop back up into a manic episode-which used to be good for a clean house before I hurt all the time, LOL.) Sure my house is always clean, but my OCD doesn't "come out" so much unless I'm manic which basically means yes my home is clean, but it's not "hospital sanitized" as it would be if I were highly manic & my pains low enough to handle all the scrubbing that brings, lol.

    One bit of advice...research is always good, but don't become a "cyberchondriac" and start self-diagnosing...that's one of the biggest problems these days and I've heard more than one Dr state that when people start saying "I read about xxx on the internet and think I have it" it throws up immediate red flags in their mind. You can mention to them that you've been researching it, but IMO, I wouldnt suggest admitting the many nights you've spent w/o sleep b/c you were reading on multiple websites looking for indications of what it is you/your loved one has....know what I mean? You just have to be smart about it is all. ;)

    Take good care everyone, and inafix...good luck getting help for your loved one. Sounds like he needs it-just hope he accepts it! *hugs*
  • Hi. My sister has been diagnosed with this for many many years. Your concern is touching and truly sometimes folks that are bi-polar do not recognize it because they're just being them. Not all folks but some. A good psych could diagnose this. My sister is also extremely intelligent. Smart enough to get herself released when we have her put back in hospital for being non-compliant (not taking her meds). Society is not really accepting of people with mental disorders but it is a wonderful thing that you are concerned enough to ask and maybe even be able to get your friend to act on your concern!

    I wish you the best and I hope that this is just a case of depression as opposed to bi-polar disorder. better yet...that this is just a temporary situation as opposed to a genetic life time one.
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