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How do people cope with bipolar, help me help a friend.

(2 Posts)
danthe4th Fri 21-Aug-09 00:13:00

I feel very useless, I have a close friend who is on a down at the moment and has been for a while. Shes on strong meds that make her sick. She talks about ending it, she makes stupid mistakes and loses friends, and life is really crap for her and her family. There just doesn't seem to be any help, she needs someone to show her how to get through each cycle. She did go to counciling but it was very patronizing and unhelpful. She kept telling them it wasn't helping so they discharged her! The system seems nuts, its a cycle of mania so try a new med then shes down so they try something else. Is this normal. I know I can't do anything but listen and try to keep life normal for her, but is there something that helps. Is it worth contacting a local mind group, what do they do to help.I want to try to understand what shes going through.

Ayup Fri 21-Aug-09 01:11:10

You're a lovely friend, it's great that you care so much. I'm sorry your friend is suffering.

I was diagnosed ten years ago. I was a bit of a guinea pig until the meds were sorted out. I also had CBT which helped me gain awareness of triggers that can spiral me into depression. When I lived in London I travelled miles to go to MDF - the bipolar organisation meetings, it was a lifesaver for a while, just to be in the same room as people who knew what I was going through. They also do a self management course I think.

Since my last hospitalisation for mania and the depression that followed, I met my husband and came off meds to have DD. Sometimes I think of the fact that five years ago I wanted to kill myself, it's amazing how life can change in such a short period. DD is now 8 months and makes me so happy. I'm still off meds and feeling fine, there are dark days and always will be but I have fantastic support and good insight and try to take each day as it comes.

It is possible to have months or years of stability. Support, routine, diet, exercise, staying clear of drink and drugs obviously help (boring but worth it!).

I wish you and your friend all the best. She's lucky to have you and I hope she does ok.

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