How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask mindhealer Your Own Question

mindhealer
mindhealer, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 693
Experience:  Licensed in MD and am also a Board Certified Diplomate (Advanced Practioner) I have over 10 years experience
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
mindhealer is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hi, I have a female age 49 friend who has Bipolar disorder,

Resolved Question:

Hi, I have a female age 49 friend who has Bipolar disorder, it was diagnosed about 2 years ago although she feels she knew she had it much earlier on, and before that, had always felt "something" was wrong. She is now on medication, Tegrattol 2 a day. She has been ok for the last two years with a mixture of medication and monthly visits to a councillor.

I'm extremely worried about her right now, I have witnessed an episode in the past, it went on for a few months and it turned out I was the trigger, i was trying to understand what was happening and i just tried to be there for her and help.

I am now witnessing some of the same traits, or it is all very familiar to to me from the past. I'm so so worried because recently I broached the subject and my friend is 100% connvinced that she is not. The episode I think has only started showing signs in the last 4 days, during which time she has only been with me. I know I may well be wrong about this but it concerns me nonetheless. My friend says that because she's on medication and she would "know" is she were having an episode, that she's come a long way in two years etc I have really really made a big mistake though I thought i was helping by suggesting this to her and she intends or is threatening to completey cut me out of her life. I am worried that the other people around her will not notice or not say anything to her (or of course I may be wrong anyway) and that this may get much worse and something really bad may happen. She doesn't want to hear anything I say so how might I help her? I know I may be wrong but is it possible she could be, she is very sure she is ok?

Thanks and kind regards.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  mindhealer replied 2 years ago.
Good morning and thank you for the chance to help you. Based on the detailed information you've kindly provided I can tell that you have a genuine concern about your friend. Given that bipolar disorder is a variable diagnosis you may be absolutely correct about something being off with her. It's very difficult for an individual to look at themselves objectively and even when someone close to them mentions a concern they're likely to dismiss it.

It sounds as though she may have gone off of her medications and may be in a hypomanic state which often presents with irritable send erratic behaviors. If this is in fact the case then it may be difficult getting through to her. I would suggest keeping a log of things she's doing that will provide concrete evidence as well as any consequences which may have arisen from her behaviors. I would then email this to her explaining that your intent is to do what you can to help her even if she's not seeing it that way.

It also sounds as though her friends are reinforcing her behavior and are wrong about the fact that if anything was wrong she would know. That's hardly ever the case given a persons impaired judgement and frequent misperceptions of their own behavior.

The most difficult thing that a friend can do is point out when something doesn't seem right
I wouldn't say you were wrong at all...it's justice that she can't see it right now due to clouded judgement on her part.

I would also suggest doing a Google search for symptoms of mania and hypomania and sending that to her as well which hopefully she'll be able to notice in herself. In all honesty that's really all you can do for her at the moment and I can appreciate your level of frustration but at this point you would need to wait for her to gain enough insight to see her doctor for a medication evaluation.

If she begins acting in an erratic manner and engaging in activities that are potentially dangerous to herself or others it would be appropriate to call 911 and they can take her to the ER for an emergency evaluation. Short of that there isn't much else to do right now except to let her know you're there for her and are willing to help her in any way that you can because you obviously care for her s great deal. In my opinion she's lucky to have a friend like you.


I hope that I've been helpful in answering your question and that you found my suggestions to be of benefit to you.

Please let me know if you have any further questions as I want to ensure your question is completely and thoroughly answered.

If you feel I've answered your question to your satisfaction I would sincerely XXXXX XXXXX clicking the ACCEPT button thereby giving me credit for the answer. I hope this finds you well and look forward to your response.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello,

 

Thanks, that's a great bit of advice. I'd just like to clarify a few things.

 

I'm not accusing her other companions etc of anything in the past, just that they may not notice or say anything now.

 

She's given me no reason to believe that she's off her meds so is it still possible that despite being on her meds that she could be not as well as she thinks?

 

Thank you very much for your time.

Expert:  mindhealer replied 2 years ago.
You are most welcome and I didn't think that you were accusing her friends in the least. I'm sure that they have her best interest at heart as you do...just difficult to say to a friend you feel something may be wrong and I appreciate that of course.

I'm very glad you asked the question about medications as it dawned on me that's the one piece I'd left out. It's absolutely possible for her to be on her medications still and simultaneously be symptomatic as the medications could very well need adjustment. If that is the case she could still be in a state that leads her to think there is nothing wrong. That's actually quite common. I hope that helps in answering your follow up question. Please feel free to ask anything further before clicking the ACCEPT button as I want to be sure you're satisfied with the answer I've provided. If you have ant further questions ill get you an answer in about 40 minutes at most as I'm going into session right now. Hopefully I've answered all your questions thoroughly and your happy with responses and suggestions. I hope this finds you well.

Fadi
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi,

 

Thanks for giving me the oportunity to ask some more as there was one thing I left out by mistake and it's quite important. Is it possible for my friend to have a "mini" episode that starts very quickly so there were no signs before hand and can it stop just as quickly. One thing my friend has said is that she had a blood test 2 weeks ago and all was ok. Does this mean she must be ok now? And if my friend does agree to take some tests, see her councillor etc, is it possible that she will be able to convince them that she is ok somehow and passing the blood test?

 

Again, many thanks, XXXXX XXXXX forward to your reply.

Expert:  mindhealer replied 2 years ago.
Hello. It is possible for an episode to come on rather quickly though it typically doesn't just go away on it's own. Something such as this doesn't show up in any form of blood test unless she's on a medication such as depakote or lithium in which levels of the medication can be determined in the blood work.

If your friend is still seeing her counselor than the counselor should be able to pick up on something if there's any issues noted. She may be in a state of denial but even if she is her therapist should be able to see through it. If her therapist isn't concerned than I would just suggest taking your friend at her word but watch for ant erratic or unusual behaviors and if you notice any than certainly bring then to her attention gently.

I hope that helps and let me know if you have any further questions before clicking ACCEPT button.
mindhealer, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 693
Experience: Licensed in MD and am also a Board Certified Diplomate (Advanced Practioner) I have over 10 years experience
mindhealer and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Keane's Avatar

    Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/Dr.Keane/2013-8-20_204325_drkeane.64x64.jpg Dr. Keane's Avatar

    Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5024
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC's Avatar

    Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3733
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrAkiraOlsen/2012-2-20_746_AkiraADpicmain.64x64.jpg Dr. Olsen's Avatar

    Dr. Olsen

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2336
    PsyD Psychologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg Norman M.'s Avatar

    Norman M.

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2193
    UK trained in hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy and have been in private practice. ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), UKCP Registered and ECP.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PsychologyProf/2010-07-15_171248_logos060400409.jpg Dr. Michael's Avatar

    Dr. Michael

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2177
    Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KURTEMMERLING/2010-07-23_215531_just_ask_picture1.jpg Steven Olsen's Avatar

    Steven Olsen

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1727
    More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education