Bill, Tortoise, and GreenTeaHero, I'll probably see my friend today, and I hope that when I do, I'll get the chance to delicately tell her that I've seen her have really erratic mood swings. I think she needs to be on meds. She tried this once before and went on a totally "natural" thing: just vitamins and supplements. It didn't help. She's become convinced that all her meds are making her sick (for all I know, that could be the case), and that she can solve her problems herself.
She has a bf, and their relationship is constantly way up and way down. She usually starts some sort of argument that escalates into all-out war. But he's pretty calm, so he normally de-escalates the situation. She constantly questions whether she should leave him. I know him fairly well, his pluses and minuses, but when she's hypomanic, his minuses just take over her life. He seems to me to be a nice enough guy with a lot of patience for her illness. (He has clinical depression and so has a lot of compassion for mental illness.) And I fear that she'd be miserable without him. And I also fear that her backing and forthing regarding him will drive him away. Ultimately, of course, the decision is hers to make. But I don't think she should be making big relationship decisions when she's not stable, which she isn't.
She's not seeing a counselor. On occasion, she and bf see a couples counselor. But a lot of seemingly insolvable issues keep hanging in the wind. I don't see them as insolvable, but she does, at least when she's severely irritable and hypomanic.
When they were recently on vacation, they found a town that she really liked, and now she's plotting to pick up and move there. No job, no nothin'. I worry about her.
She gives me as an example to myself: No drugs are working for you, she says. You have depression, and I don't, she says. Yeah, but there's always the possibility I may find drugs that work, I say. And you have severe hypomania and mood swings, I think. I just need to say these things. Without totally alienating her. At the moment, I feel like I'm walkin' on eggs with her, and she's really a good good friend of mine.
And let's hear it for Oreos at the drug of choice!
GreenTeaHero, I really hear what you're saying. I, too, worry about how far down I can get. I hope, perhaps unrealistically, that grad school will help pull me out of a lot of my depression. I simply do not have enough to do. I hope that grad school will engage me enough to turn off some of the depression, even if my pdoc and I haven't yet found anything that works. PLEASE keep fighting the good fight! You matter to us. We care about you.
bipolar II, panic/anxiety disorder, fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue syndrome
current meds: Clonazepam, 0.5 mg prn; Topamax, 50 mg