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 Elliott, LPCC, NCC Your Own Question
Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7664
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
40019946
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Elliott, LPCC, NCC is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My girlfriend suffers from bipolar disorder type 1 (maniac

This answer was rated:

hello, my name is***** girlfriend suffers from bipolar disorder type 1 (maniac depressant)I am doing my best to help her but I feel guilty. You see I am a college student that went home where she is for thanksgiving and she seemed to be super happy to see me and I thought she was. when I came back I found out she was in a depressed state the entire time and that she had lied to me about how she was feeling. Naturally upon finding this out I have a slight problem trusting her but I am trying to let that go because she is not in her right state of mind. recently because of the events I have started to suffer from sever anxiety not being able to eat or sleep the last few days.I believe this is because her condition is unpredictable it worries me terribly because one day she could be awesome and the next suicidal and she told me that around me her problems seem to vanish so I feel responsible for her in a way. what should I do that can help me and her?
Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC :

Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC :

Dear *****,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC :

You can only be her friend,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC :

You cannot help her chemical imbalance. If her mood swings are still strong, and if she is suicidal, then her psychiatrist has not yet found the right combination of medication.

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC :

Now you are suffering from anxiety disorder and it is beginning to cause you to lose some of the edge that you need to be a successful student.

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC :

Most colleges have a counseling center where you can get help for your own anxiety. You need to discuss with a counselor how to change your thinking so that you do not assume responsibility for your girlfriend's bipolar condition.

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC :

This should not be a matter of trust. She has a serious mental disorder. In her manic stage she might exhibit very reckless behavior.

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC :

You cannot cure her by quitting school and going home to be near her. You must trust her parents and her psychiatrist.. You are out of the loop. You love and care about her, but you are not her medical and psychiatric salvation.

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC :

You can serve her best by being her close friend and supporter. You must, however, go on with your school career. Don't let her disorder drag you down. It won't help her. Your best help will be to be successful with what you are doing.

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC :

I wish you great success.

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC :

Warm regards,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC :

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

hey thank you for the advice, I wasnt able to tell you that her mom also has the condition... and that she wont be able to see a doctor about meds until the 19th.. her being with her mom doesnt really calm me down

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
Dear *****,

On the bright side, he mother understands what bipolar disorder is. She has firsthand knowledge of this disorder and in some ways can help her daughter to get through the worst of her symptoms.

During my residency, by adviser was a young psychiatrist who had been the chief resident of a major teaching hospital and currently worked at the community mental health organization where I interned. He had bipolar disorder and was currently under treatment by HIS psychiatrist. You would never know it because it was under control. It was a wonderful example of the power of medications to keep this disorder in check.

When a new bipolar patient walked into his office, he would tell the patient, "Welcome to the club!"

There is hope for your girlfriend. You must now let yourself fall into a state of anxiety fretting over he condition. You must calm yourself down with help from a school counselor, private counselor, or a self help book.

I highly recommend this one:


The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety: A Guide to Breaking Free from Anxiety, Phobias, and Worry Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
by John P. Forsyth and Georg H. Eifert

This will be very helpful in calming your anxiety, which you in turn can use to be a calmer more supportive presence for your girlfriend. You will be a more effective helper one you can learn to calm your anxiety.

I wish you great strength, perseverance, and success.

Warm regards,

Elliott
Elliott, LPCC, NCC and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you