Do Friendships Affect Your Bipolar Disorder?

Friendships can be very difficult for people with bipolar. My article from Bp Magazine can help you understand why… and how you can help yourself or a person with bipolar navigate friendships that cause mood swings….

Bipolar Disorder & the End of Friendships

Bipolar can damage, even ruin, a friendship. If it ends badly, both people are hurt—and I might experience a mood episode. So, I discuss this freely with others and acknowledge my imperfections.

Romance Fades, But Friendship Is Forever?

I’ve noticed that, in general, our attitude about and understanding of romantic relationships is quite different from our beliefs and expectations surrounding friendships. For instance, we find it natural that, sometimes, romantic relationships end, and we can usually list the reasons why:

  • We were not compatible.
  • The passion is gone.
  • We grew apart.
  • My partner was not faithful.
  • Our lives moved in different directions.

The ending of a romantic relationship or partnership might be painful and heartbreaking. But, overall, we tend to accept that many romantic relationships have a time limit or a life span.

For some reason, though, we think friendships are supposed to be different! We often have the belief that friendship is forever. When we hear stories of lifelong friends, especially online, it reinforces this ideal:

  • I have the same friends I went to school with!
  • My mates and I have gone on vacation together for the last 20 years, and now we bring our partners and kids!
  • She’s my BFF!
  • My wedding had all of my college buddies and their wives and girlfriends!

Viewing friendships this way can lead to a lot of pain and stress—and possibly trigger bipolar symptoms and/or mood episodes—when our own friendships don’t follow this anticipated lifelong path. As a society, we have created a friendship ideal that simply does not match reality.

Click here to read the rest of the article on the Bp Magazine for Bipolar website


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