How do you deal with bipolar people when you have issues yourself?

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New Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 2/1/2007 11:23 PM (GMT -7)   
I recently started a new job and just finished training and have now taken my seat next to someone who is bipolar.  I don't have a choice where I sit either. I need some advice on how to handle him.  

I have Asperger's Syndrome and his misery is affecting me bad.  I like him, I just don't know how to deal with it. I don't know if I should just tell him I have AS or what. I've never told anyone but my family I have AS but to tell someone I work with, to me, is risky. One time though, he asked if he looked like he was about to cry..hell I don't know. It's a face, that's all I see.

He's so up and down and it makes me just want to hide but I'm at work, so of course I can't. There's so much I hate about that job I just want to quit but I can't until I find something different. Until then, I don't know if I can handle this guy. I'm really introverted and shy and he's so "out there", in every way. I probably sound whiny but really I'm almost starting to feel scared of him and panicky.

Can anyone help me here? Tell me how to see this or settle it in my mind because I don't know what to do.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3199
   Posted 2/2/2007 5:54 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey there Jubacca... first off, I wanted to say Welcome to Healing Well. We're so glad to have you here... You are in a tough situation with this, as with the AS, you are having a hard time dealing with your co-worker and him due to his BP, is having a hard time with stuff in general...

No, you don't sound whiny, I do understand what you are saying, as I'm sure many others on here. Have you been job hunting yet? Are you sure you can't get a different desk? How long have you been at this job? Hang in there and keep posting, we'll help you through this... take good care
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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 215
   Posted 2/2/2007 12:06 PM (GMT -7)   
How bad is your AS? Difficult enough that your understanding of emotions is somewhat blunted? I know that many AS women don't know how to deal with highly emotionally charged people. I know that many receive training to learn to interpret the emotional signals of others. You are sitting next to someone who is sending off a lot of emotional signals, too many for a non-AS person to deal with, let alone someone who has some problems understanding emotional signals.

The only advice I can offer you is DO NOT TAKE HIM PERSONALLY. He is venting, you are near, you are getting things vented towards you. This doesn't mean they are directed at you. It is easy to interpret everyone's emotional vent as being directed at you. Silly as this sounds, don't flatter yourself! This person probably has no idea what their behavior is doing to others. It is either that, or they enjoy making others feel bad (one is untreated bipolar, the latter is undiagnosed and untreated personality disorder). You need to develop the ability to ignore this or at least set aside their emotional content and do what YOU have to do. Be insensitive. Because you have AS and because you are at least as intelligent as the next person (though likely much more so) you might be able to turn your sensitivity off and on, definitely OFF where he is concerned.

Your AS is YOUR business and I would not tell anyone. Too often disorders become labels and you don't need a label. Labels are for clothing, not for thinking feeling human beings.
The Lady Dragonfly
Yes, it was me...I know because I was there when I did it. Lupus sufferer, bipolar II sufferer. Currently on Indocin for chronic pericarditis related to lupus, and cherishing every deep breath without pain. Currently in graduate school for mental health counseling, class of Fall 2007. Vegan and loving it!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 2/3/2007 8:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow I am so sorry for the nut that is sitting next to you!! ;-) lol. Well unfortunately some BP people can bring others down and have what my father and I call, "The bad jello" all around them. They put everyone down with their depression. Every BP patient is different in that respect and if they are confident and in tune with their disorder then things like what your co-worker is doing would not be happening. But every person is different.

As I do understand what he is going through, I find it very unprofessional on his part to bring his personal problems into the workplace. I would feel very uncomfortable if I had to work around someone who is as unstable as him. I wish I could give you more infomation on trying to make things easier on you, but I can't. He is probably very depressed and he thinks it is okay to talk to you about his problems. But the only thing I can think of is talking to your supervisor or boss about the problem in a professional way. It may seem like you are whining but I think that if it is interfening with your work or your ability to think (which it is!) I believe that you do not need to work in that situation.

Hope this helps!

"Stability is a place bipolar people only visit"
Bipolar II, rapid cycler, severe depression/hypomania, severe anxiety, and lifesaver- Shadley's Titan, nine-year-old reg. Quarter Horse Gelding.
Past: Depakote, Lexapro
Current: Lamictal, Abilify, Buspirome, Minocycline, omega 3, probiotics

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