Bipolar and Friends

Maintaining and building relationships can be a struggle for those of us living with bipolar disorder. Check out these articles for personal stories, practical advice and tips on relationships.

Blogs and Articles

Family Support—We’re All Working Towards Stability Together

bp Magazine
January 4, 2019

While mood-stabilizing medications have long been the centerpiece for treatment, education and therapy that includes family support are essential for lifelong success.   For years, many in the mental health field believed that treating bipolar disorder came only in the form of medications, and that therapy, family support, and education about the condition were far...

READ MORE

How to Spot Bipolar Red Flags—and What to Do about Them

Martin Baker
May 29, 2018

If you are a friend of someone living with bipolar disorder, you can play the important role of vigilantly helping them watch for symptoms of depression or mania.   By Martin Baker   In a recent article I mentioned “red flags” that can alert you when your friend may be slipping into depression or mania....

READ MORE

Living with Bipolar—Why Is It So Hard to Make Friends?

Allison Strong
April 23, 2018

If you are having trouble forming new lasting  friendships, improving your listening skills may be a new tactic to try.   I’ve often wondered if I’m going to be a loner for life or it I can finally have a circle of friends. Making friends has always been hard for me. One of the reasons...

READ MORE

What to Do When Your Loved One with Bipolar Is Doing Ok

Martin Baker
March 7, 2018

It’s hard when your loved one living with bipolar disorder is ill or in crisis, but wellness can be challenging, too.   By Martin Baker   If your friend or loved one lives with bipolar disorder, it is natural to focus on supporting them when they are not doing so well, are ill, or in...

READ MORE

Bipolar Disorder & The Fear of Wearing out Friendships

Natasha Tracy
March 2, 2018

Although you may be worried about a friend walking away due to your bipolar disorder symptoms, it can help to remember you share mutual trust.   I have to admit something—I have a huge fear of wearing out my friendships because of bipolar disorder. I’m aware that sometimes being a friend to a person with...

READ MORE

‘I’m Scared to Tell People I Have Bipolar Disorder’: How To Feel Proud

Julie A. Fast
January 11, 2018

Anticipating how friends and family will react to your diagnosis can be detrimental towards your mental wellbeing. Regardless, remain proud– there is nothing wrong with you. By Julie A. Fast   I often receive questions on Facebook that are so loving and kind and filled with such longing to belong. The decision to tell people...

READ MORE

Abandonment Issues—When You’re Feeling Depressed

Julie A. Fast
July 31, 2017

Feeling abandoned and unloved during a bipolar depression is not reality; it’s a symptom of the illness—and it can be treated.   When I’m in an abandonment downswing, I think, “I am a worthless ant, a speck of dirt on this huge revolving planet. I’m completely alone!” The idea that I’m the last person on...

READ MORE

Celebrating Achievements with Bipolar Disorder

Sarah-Kathleen
July 20, 2017

Accomplishments, no matter how big or small, deserve to be celebrated.   A week before my 18th birthday I was in a terribly dark place. I had been depressed for quite a long time, refused to seek help and believed I wouldn’t see my 18th birthday. When I was younger and asked what I wanted...

READ MORE

What I Wish Family & Friends Knew About Bipolar

​Jess Melancholia
January 2, 2017

Unless you have walked a mile in my shoes, there’s no way you will ever be able to understand what it’s like to have bipolar.   I don’t know a single person with bipolar disorder who doesn’t have that one friend or family member who just doesn’t get it. They either have no idea about...

READ MORE

3 Things I Have Learnt Since Not Seeing A Psychologist

Sarah-Kathleen
December 15, 2016

Around three months ago my psychologist of two years stopped practice. It was a shock and something I had not anticipated. It might not be a surprise to some of you that I have chosen not to see anyone since. I was extremely close with my psychologist, she helped me get through the peak of...

READ MORE

Shyness & Social Anxiety Solutions — Join the Party!

Lori Hile
November 30, 2016

Sitting at home isn’t the solution for shyness and social anxiety—try these ideas. By Lori Hile   It appears in your inbox without warning: an e-vite to a holiday party! Hosted by a co-worker you barely know. Also on the guest list: 25 strangers. For many extroverts, this is the stuff dreams are made of....

READ MORE

Bipolar & Change: Major Upheavals and Coping

Beth Brownsberger Mader
November 19, 2016

I am writing this a week after the US presidential election. No matter how Americans may have voted, to say it has been an upheaval is an understatement. For many across the country, it is a time of mourning, a sense of grief and deep confusion, even pain and fear. For lots of others, it...

READ MORE

Living with Bipolar: Friendship Is My Golden Secret

Susie Johnson
October 23, 2016

Having tried-and-true friends who stand at your side can make a world of difference in your bipolar recovery.   20 years ago I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. For 15 years now, I have been in a remission or stable with just a few changes in my medication. I look forward to sharing my trials...

READ MORE

Bipolar Disorder and Being Homeless

Dave Mowry
August 29, 2016

Having to move from our home and into the basement of some friend’s house is one of the lowest points in my life. I had told my son when we moved into our house that we wouldn’t be moving again. I had moved a lot as a kid and it was traumatic. I didn’t want...

READ MORE

How Bipolar Has Influenced My Cycle Of Friendships

April Michael
July 5, 2016

With new bipolar cycles comes a new set of friends and a new disconnect from society By April Krueger   I used to have a lot of friends. I was sociable, outgoing, and loved being around people. But then I graduated high school, and my moods started to shift dramatically. I was behaving in uncharacteristic...

READ MORE

Bipolar & Stigma: “But You Look So Normal”

Melody Moezzi
April 27, 2016

People with bipolar can look, sound, and seem just as “normal” as other people do. What is “normal,” anyway? And who decides? By Melody Moezzi   I’m used to people telling me I don’t look like who I am. “You don’t look Muslim.” “You don’t look American.” “You don’t look like a feminist.” And of...

READ MORE

Helpful Tips When You Do Not Have an Encouraging Support System

Brad Hoefs
March 6, 2016

What do you do when you don’t have the positive and encouraging support of your family and/or friends?   Research shows that when those of us with mental health challenges have a good support system of family and friends, we actually do better than those who do not have a support system. It only makes...

READ MORE

Bipolar Disorder, My Low Points

Dave Mowry
November 23, 2015

As a person with bipolar disorder I fight my illness daily. There were a some good days mixed in with the bad, sad and humiliating ones. These are the days I experienced the low points of my life with bipolar disorder. Losing my career job that I loved was a low point in my life. I...

READ MORE
Bipolar Mental Health Advocate Video

The Power of Friendship

Karl Shallowhorn
March 27, 2015

I am blessed. In the course of my life, I’ve had the support of family and friends who have been able to help guide me through the sometime tumultuous times of this landscape called life. These relationships have proven to be mutually beneficial for both me as well as the other person. I never could...

READ MORE

Sharing Your Personal Mental Health Story

Andrea Paquette
February 20, 2015

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and hospitalized at the age of 25 with a major psychotic break intermixed with an extreme episode of full blown mania that lasted for weeks. Initially, I did not know about stigma and I thought it was okay to tell people about my newly acquired mental illness. As I...

READ MORE