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Friend with bipolar diagnosis

(78 Posts)
Chippingnortonset123 Tue 11-Feb-14 14:08:58

I am afraid that she is going down again, based on what she has told me. She has been well for six weeks. It was awful last time and I am dreading a return to that. She is under the recovery team once a fortnight but they only stay ten minutes and do nothing.

livingzuid Tue 11-Feb-14 21:05:07

Hi I'm really sorry to read this about your friend. Has she recently received a diagnosis and is she on medication? Are you concerned because she's going into a depression again? If she has only recently been diagnosed and put on medication it can take some months whilst they get the correct dosages.

She should have a psychiatrist who monitors her medication and she talks to based on her moods. I don't get treatment in the UK but I believe there should be a community mental health team she can contact or there is always her gp who can chase psychiatric services for her. If all else fails go to the gp or a&e who will have emergency psychiatric services available to tide her over.

Chippingnortonset123 Tue 11-Feb-14 22:39:16

She already takes meds, which were adjusted in November last year. She saw her psychiatrist last month. She is monitored fortnightly by the recovery team.

Chippingnortonset123 Tue 11-Feb-14 22:41:21

This time I will call the Cinnon Trust myself.

livingzuid Tue 11-Feb-14 22:46:13

She may need her medication levels readjusted. They do blood tests every month or three months depending on how stable the medication is so she may need to have some more tests done to see what level her dosage is at. Even a slight dip in our systems can trigger an episode.

She definitely needs to see her psychiatrist soon though. All the very best to her thanks

Chippingnortonset123 Wed 12-Feb-14 17:43:05

She has been on all sorts of medication, including ect. I am beginning to think that the downs are inevitable. She is very keen to drive again but every time the CT are involved she goes back to square one; hence my expertise on another thread.

Chippingnortonset123 Thu 13-Feb-14 13:29:55

I don't feel like a repeat of last November/December is possible; I have lots of family commitments including problems of our own. I have spoken to friend B who has been walking the dogs. Friend B is blamed for this latest depression so I need to reassure friend B that it is not their fault, that she is unwell.
Upshot is that friend B bales out, leaving me.
She has just stopped taking one of her medications, due to swelling. It said on the label to stop taking it if swelling.
I have advised her (strongly) to tell the rt that she has stopped taking this particular medicine but she refuses. (Could a down occur so quickly?)
She rings me up and begs me to 'help me' but I can't and not sure, from experience, what good I can do.
I am going round tomorrow and taking lunch with me.
I am ultimately hoping that her daughter calls the rt/ct; I am not going to.
I will ring the Cinammon Trust, even against her will, because friend B now refuses to step in and walk the dogs.

Chippingnortonset123 Thu 13-Feb-14 15:24:31

Very difficult succession of phone calls. I have stood my ground and asserted that I will get help with the dogs. She told me that she would never speak to me again. Which would mean that she would have nobody at all, except her daughter.
Trying to learn from the last episode but definitely can't go through that again.

Weegiemum Thu 13-Feb-14 15:29:22

It sounds like her bipolar is fairly rapid-cycling, which suggests it's not under control.

Could you call the GP or the recovery team? They can't tell you anything but I'm sure they'd appreciate a heads up.

I have a family member with rapid cycling bipolar, its very hard to keep up with what's going on.

sooperdooper Thu 13-Feb-14 15:34:24

If she's stopped taking her meds and sounds like she's spiralling then please contact her GP or mental health nurse if you have their details?

They should be able to arrange a visit from a mental health team to check in on her.

I now how hard it is, my mum & auntie both suffere with bipolar and unfortunately you hve to ignore threats like 'I'll never speak to you again' etc, sometimes you just have to try and do your best and get some help in. She's very lucky to have a good friend like you, I hope she gets the support she needs.

sooperdooper Thu 13-Feb-14 15:35:24

Another thought, if you don't have the GP or mental health nurse contact details then contact NHS direct (or whatever they're called these days!), they should be able to offer some advice

livingzuid Thu 13-Feb-14 15:41:40

Yes if she stops taking medicine just like that then an episode can set in very quickly because the levels of medication needed in her bloodstream to work have dropped. She should have spoken to her Dr first about the swelling and they would have managed the change to a different medication. She's very much at risk right now so I don't blame you for calling. You sound like a good friend.

Chippingnortonset123 Thu 13-Feb-14 15:41:43

Not sure what rapidly bp is. But she has certainly gone back to Nov/Dec of last year. I am seeing her tomorrow so I will assess the situation then. Lots and lots of phone calls, which I could do without. Lots of threatening never to speak to me again, which makes no sense.

Chippingnortonset123 Thu 13-Feb-14 15:44:21

I keep repeating that she should tell the team about the meds and that we need to take care of the dogs. Hence the I will never speak to you again, which is not I appealing.

livingzuid Thu 13-Feb-14 15:48:21

There are 3 types of bipolar, bipolar 1 which is with manic and depressive periods over months or years and in between some 'normal' periods although you still feel pretty odd, bipolar 2 which is mainly depressive episodes and not so much mania and then rapid cycling bipolar which has a proper name I can't remember, where you move between manic and depressive in a space of a few weeks.

I have bipolar 1. I'm afraid we can get quite strange and behave completely out of character when in an episode. We also suffer with real fear and paranoia. The only advice I can give is that it's not really her talking but what she's in the grip of so I hope you can forgive her. You're being very supportive smile

Chippingnortonset123 Thu 13-Feb-14 15:48:54

Not UNappealling, frankly, although that only leaves her daughter who has SN.

livingzuid Thu 13-Feb-14 15:54:14

I know it's very tough sad I don't know how my husband deals with it to be honest. Well most of the time I am fine now I get treatment but before it was awful for him. It's difficult to control imo unless the medication works properly. You'd be perfectly justified putting in a call to the crisis team, telling them she has stopped one of her drugs and they need to go in and sort it out. There's a point where the professionals need to step in. She isn't going to get her licence back unless she can demonstrate she's communicating consistently with her doctors and her medication regime has put her in a stable place.

Chippingnortonset123 Thu 13-Feb-14 15:58:18

Up and own with about two months of each. When she is down

Chippingnortonset123 Thu 13-Feb-14 16:02:16

She goes to bed and doesn't eat and doesn't walk the dogs. She is terrified of going back to hospital but is doing a good job of eat ranging her supporters. I now have two people ringing me obsessively and am near my own limit. Is it a symptom to love drama which I could do without? I have a very serious issue in my own family.

Chippingnortonset123 Thu 13-Feb-14 16:04:12

Thanks, Living. I am hoping that her daughter will inform the ct. Very difficult for me.

NotBrittaPieHonest Thu 13-Feb-14 16:06:25

Rapid cycling is a variation of either type one or type two, rather than a type of its own, and yes, sounds like she is rapid cycling.

Does she see/hear/sense/smell things that aren't there?

Not that it matters - call the crisis team or her gp if you can, and call 111 or 999 if you feel she is at risk.

NotBrittaPieHonest Thu 13-Feb-14 16:08:34

And, yeah, quite a few of the symptoms can come across as loving drama.

Chippingnortonset123 Thu 13-Feb-14 16:09:54

She is paranoid about all mental health services.

livingzuid Thu 13-Feb-14 16:13:27

Sorry yes notbritta is correct. I didn't explain very well. I was thinking of another condition which is similar but has a different name. Rapid cycling is all part of our happy family of bipolar and you can get it if you have 1 or 2 or just on its own. It's not fun. Hope you get this sorted and sorry you are going through this. And hope your friend is OK.

NotBrittaPieHonest Thu 13-Feb-14 16:15:07

Yeah, sorry, I didn't want to sound mean, but I have rapid cycling type one so I'm weirdly defensive of it hmm

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