How’s it going?
I hope you’re having a great day.
Today’s topic is a touchy one, so I’ll tell you that up front.
It’s about how people in a manic episode make mistakes.
In this case, they tend to choose the wrong people to surround themselves with (negative or toxic people) when they are in that episode, and it comes back to hurt them and their families.
Remember before when I’ve told you about Michele and how she taught her children about picking the right friends by using the 10/2 Equation.
It works like this:
If you are a 10 and they are a 2, and you hang out with them, you are not going to bring them up to an 8, they are going to bring you down to a 4!
So that’s what I’m talking about here.
It’s hard for a supporter to watch their loved one go into a manic episode…
Your loved one might get all outgoing and such (whether that is their normal behavior or behavior caused by the bipolar disorder)… and the next thing you know, your loved one is hanging around with these people…
…and you KNOW that these people are bad for your loved one, but he just uses excuses, or defends his “new friends”…
Because he can’t see how they are bad for him.
In a manic episode, your loved one’s judgment can be totally altered by their bipolar disorder.
They may not even realize that these people are bad for them (or you).
That can be so frustrating for you, because your loved one just won’t listen to you when it comes to their friends, because they think they’re ok, and they may get defensive about it.
And you don’t want to get into a fight with your loved one over their choice in friends, but you may not know what else to do!
It’s really tough, but you may have to stand silently by and watch your loved one get hurt by these “friends.”
Maybe they are just negative people and will bring your loved one down, but that’s not as bad as what some will do –
Some will take advantage of their “new friend” (your loved one while they’re in a manic episode) and possibly use them for their money, etc.
Even so, your loved one might still defend them!
In my courses and systems, I teach not only about how to deal with your loved one when they are in a bipolar episode, but also what to do when they won’t listen to you:
SUPPORTING AN ADULT WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER?
SUPPORTING A CHILD/TEEN WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER?
HAVE BIPOLAR DISORDER?
It’s very difficult in this situation to get your loved one to listen to you.
Michele (who works for me), her mom has bipolar disorder, just like my mom.
Michele spent hours with her mom, working out a routine for her to be able to manage her bipolar disorder.
Her mom was doing great on her routine.
Until she met Mary.
Mary became close friends with Michele’s mom.
But Mary decided that Michele’s mom didn’t need her routine any more, and that she had better
advice for her.
So guess who Michele’s mom listened to?
Well, after awhile, Mary kind of floated away from Michele’s mom, and Michele’s mom went into a mini-episode, most likely caused by the fact that she had no routine to cling to, like she had before.
Do you see the important point that I’m making here?
Now, I’m not saying that people with bipolar disorder shouldn’t have friends.
But only that they should be VERY particular in who they choose for friends.
In fact, this is one of the areas where your loved one should trust you more than themselves.
A manic episode will definitely affect their thoughts and, like I said before, it will affect their
judgment as well.
If you see that your loved one is making a poor choice in friends, or even being taken advantage of, then you should tell them.
Hopefully, they will listen to you.
Or at least think twice about who they are hanging around with.
I will tell you this as a p.s. – Michele’s mom sure learned her lesson about choosing her friends
more carefully. And now she sticks to her routine, too!