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Friend with bipolar

Hey everyone. 

I am a bit upset. A good friend of mine has bipolar and tends to occasionally send me messages on Facebook that I find to be a hurtful. Nothing malicious or anything, but if I don't respond to a Facebook message quick enough then she will message me saying she's very disappointed in me and doesn't think I'm treating her like a good friend (because I didn't respond). This happened again today. I admit that I didn't respond to a message she sent a day or two ago because I have been flat-out with work and my thesis. I know I should have responded quicker but is it wrong that I feel very hurt when I read messages like this? I try really hard to be a really good friend and I'll always try to be there for my friends but sometimes I just feel hurt and question why I'm being used as an outlet when she has a depressive state. Smiley Sad 

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Re: Friend with bipolar

Hi, @missep, that sounds really tough! Having a friend who is messaging you hurtful things on messenger would be hard! It sounds like you are a very caring friend to be there for her, but it also doesn't sound very fair that she is messaging you like this. Having a friend with Bipolar must be very challenging, especially when she is messaging you like this when she is in a depressive episode. Especially when you are very busy, Thesis's suck and can definitely take over!! 

 

Do you have any strategies that you use to take care of yourself when your friend is unwell? or messaging you like this? 

 

Have you spoken to her about this when she is not in a depressive episode? 

 

 

Re: Friend with bipolar

Thanks for replying @calmwaters!

She's one of my great friends but when things like this happen I have to remind myself that I shouldn't take it personally. I just don't like those words being said you know? Yes exactly! I also have 2 jobs so I feel like days go by so quickly and by the time I go to respond I realise two days have passed and I didn't mean for it to happen that way. 

I usually just ignore the message until I'm feeling up to replying (because otherwise it just makes me upset). I replied yesterday night and I just explained that I understand what she's going through, and apologised that I'm not good at replying but I will try to respond better. I also explained that it hurts me when she messages me in this way, so I hope that this will help to reduce the likelihood of her messaging me like this again. 

I've kind of spoken to her about it when she's not in a depressive episode and she apologises and says it's just her condition and of course I understand. I guess it's just a journey! 

Re: Friend with bipolar

@missep your hurt is totally justified. You are under no obligation to respond to this friend or to anyone immediately. Especially with everything you're juggling, and generally friends are understanding of that.

I know I often take a while to respond to messages, and it doesn't mean that I don't care or that I'm a bad friend, I just happen to be forgetful and am not good at focusing on multiple things at once.

Glad to hear that you sent her a message explaining that those messages are hurtful. Has she responded in this case?

// Spiral outward, keep going. //

Re: Friend with bipolar

Hi @letitgo

Thank you for replying! Yes exactly, I just tend to reply in my head as soon as I see the message and then I forget to actually write it! She explained that she was just in a down mood and feeling isolated, so I just explained to her that I'm not her friend any less if I don't respond quickly, it just means that I will get to it as soon as I can. 

Re: Friend with bipolar

@missep, I can definitely relate to how you feel! I have a friend with BPD who would struggle with their emotions and during those times talking to them can be quite difficult. It seems like that right now you have a really good method of handling things, especially in regards to establishing your boundaries while still trying to be supportive of your friend. I definitely get why you feel guilty; whenever someone we love is in pain it's hard not to feel at fault when you know you could have helped, but at the same time we need space to care for ourselves and asserting that doesn't make you a bad guy.

Re: Friend with bipolar

Thank you so much @DirtWitch

You described my situation perfectly. 

It's just difficult sometimes being suggested to be a 'bad guy' when my friend is in one of her depressive moods. 

Sometimes I don't get an apology when this happens but I feel like it's a good opportunity for me to learn to not take it to heart and learn to really think logically about it rather than emotionally.