When Bipolar and Psychosis Mess up Friendships We Have to Be Honest About Our Feelings

I love doing guest blogs for helpful website. The Gum on My Shoe website was created by Martin Baker and Fran Houston to highlight the needs of friends who care about someone with bipolar disorder or schizoaffective disorder. I love their book High Tide, Low Tide: A Caring Friend’s Guide to Bipolar Disorder and I appreciate how they allow me to be brutally honest about my life with bipolar and how it affects friendships.

My latest post, How to Gently and Kindly Talk with a Friend About Difficult Bipolar Symptoms talks about the other side of the bipolar friendship discussion. MY friendships with people who have serious mental illness.

Here is the beginning of the article:

“As friends of people with bipolar and schizoaffective disorder we want to be understanding and kind regarding the struggles people with serious mental illness face. But — and it is a very big BUT — there is a line to be drawn in terms of what you as a friend can handle, especially if the person’s symptoms are active.

I see this from both sides. I have bipolar disorder and a psychotic disorder myself. I know what the symptoms can do to our minds, and ultimately how they can affect our friendships. I have lost or left many relationships with people who have untreated mental health symptoms. On one occasion a friend with schizoaffective disorder decided that I had stolen one of her ideas. She texted me at 11:30 p.m. on a Saturday night and said:

I am very upset with you! I just saw your latest blog post and you’re using my ideas in this post and this is not cool. I need you to take it down and print a retraction!

Another time, a friend with bipolar one decided that he wanted to live the manic life and went off all meds, saying:

I am finally free to live the life I have always wanted!

Let’s look at these situations in more detail…”

Click here to read the rest of How to Gently and Kindly Talk with a Friend About Difficult Bipolar Symptoms from Gum on My Shoe.


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