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Old 06-06-2008, 10:31 AM   #1
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want to help a friend

one of my friends recently opened up to me about some things she's worried about. She's thinking she may be bipolar or schizophrenic. she said her moods switch frequently and she can go from being really hyper to feeling depressed in a short space of time. She also believes strongly that there is a small child following her around all the time, who sometimes turns evil and scares her. And that she often hears voices in her head telling her to do things. Are these common signs of either of these 'disorders' (if thats the right word to use?)?

i want to be able to help her and be there for her, and even though i've looked online for research, i feel that i don't know enough about either disorder to help her or advise her what to do.

 
Old 06-06-2008, 03:49 PM   #2
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Re: not sure if it's bipolar?

As much as I know you really want to help your friend, there is not a lot you can do except to advise your friend to seek the diagnosis of a professional. Unless and until you and your friend are sure what is wrong, neither of you are in a position to do research or help in any way because you don't know with what it is you're supposed to be helping.

I know this sounds like a copout of an answer, but unless you are a professional, she needs to see one; and the sooner the better. Once she is correctly diagnosed and medicated, she will hopefully feel better and will be more equipped to ask you for any help she needs.

I pray that you talk her or him into seeing someone. You both will be better off for it. And because your friend may not be able to see it, thank you for being so open to helping.

 
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Old 06-07-2008, 09:33 AM   #3
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Re: not sure if it's bipolar?

thank you very much for your reply. i spoke with her earlier today on the phone and said that there's no harm in going to her doctor's...to settle her mind one way or the other..the other day she was saying she's thinking she might be bipolar or schizophrenic..but now she's saying she's not and the world is just out to get her..is this another sign of it?

and no, im not a professional..just wanna be there for her

 
Old 06-07-2008, 02:36 PM   #4
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Re: want to help a friend

You are a good friend. Yes, her symptoms sound like cause for concern. Paranoia, hearing voices, seeing things, are all things that a doctor should hear about. Poor thing...she is lucky to have you as a friend. I hope she is convinced to seek help, and soon.

 
Old 06-07-2008, 02:44 PM   #5
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Re: want to help a friend

Paranoia, delusions and such are not symptoms with which to play around. Your friend needs to seek help immediately. Offer to take her to her doctor's and you can actually make the appointment if she won't. I can't say exactly what's wrong with her, but with everything you say, it makes me more concerned for her. You must be a very loyal friend for her to trust you, especially since she is now feeling paranoid. Just remember, if she starts showing signs of paranoia towards you, realize it's a disorder talking--not your friend. Once you get her to the help she needs, she will see what she really has in you. God bless you for not turning your back on her.

 
Old 06-07-2008, 03:56 PM   #6
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Re: want to help a friend

What sort of surprises me is that being her friend you had never noticed this before, had you? Do you think she has told those things only to you, and to nobody else? I would understand her better if she were asking you for help, but it sounds strange that she is simply telling you these things and apparently asking no feedback.

Ok, call me the Devil's Advocate or the Doubting Thomas, but can you really trust this person? Isn't she giving you an extra burden with these revelations? How close a friend are you? Hasn't she got a family?

Excuse me, but I would be really confounded by her account, and perhaps I would try to check the truth of it, ok, by urging her to see a clinical doctor and possibly coming along with her.

 
Old 06-21-2008, 06:48 AM   #7
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Re: want to help a friend

I have only started talking to her 'properly' (other than just hey, how you doing?) in the last month and a half..tis a long story about how we got talking more.but we basically started talking more and the more we talked the more things came out. i have no reason in my mind not to trust her, she is a gd friend. she has asked what i think about it, and what to do..i suggested the doctors but she has had past experiences, which i know are true, at doctors for her to fear them. She has said that only a few people know of what's going on. I want to help her without her thinking I've become 'one of the others'

Quote:
Originally Posted by pendulum View Post
What sort of surprises me is that being her friend you had never noticed this before, had you? Do you think she has told those things only to you, and to nobody else? I would understand her better if she were asking you for help, but it sounds strange that she is simply telling you these things and apparently asking no feedback.

Ok, call me the Devil's Advocate or the Doubting Thomas, but can you really trust this person? Isn't she giving you an extra burden with these revelations? How close a friend are you? Hasn't she got a family?

Excuse me, but I would be really confounded by her account, and perhaps I would try to check the truth of it, ok, by urging her to see a clinical doctor and possibly coming along with her.

 
Old 06-21-2008, 07:43 AM   #8
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Re: want to help a friend

I have a friend who is schizophrenic and suffers from frequent delusions. She has been in and out of the hospital frequently due to her "voices" telling her to jump off the closest bridge. For real, she is very sick and it breaks my heart. Because when she is lucid, and we talk about stuff, she's just like the old her, the one I've known all my life. But when she's in the middle of one of her "episodes", she scares me with the things she says. She has tried all different kinds of medicines and they finally decided to give her electroshock therapy. I guess it's working, from what she tells me, because she says she feels like the episodes aren't as frequent anymore. But her short term memory has been affected by the therapy so she doesn't remember some things and that is kind of strange.

Anyway....my point for telling you about my friend is that the only way you can really be there for her is just to be there for her. And don't try to treat her on your own because I can tell you there's nothing you can ever do to help her. And there will be times when she will say things that will be hurtful toward you or make you very upset, but you just need to realize that it's not anything against you personally, it's because this illness causes people to say very outrageous things. And until she gets it under control, it's going to be a long road to recovery. Even then, she might have some kind of episodes that come up unexpectedly and all you can do is just try to be supportive and don't turn your back on her. Because I'm sure a lot of her "friends" will probably do just that when they find out she is schizophrenic. People get uncomfortable with it, so they run away. But if you're her true friend, you'll still be there for her, even when everyone else has abandoned her.

 
Old 07-19-2008, 03:10 PM   #9
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Re: want to help a friend

thanks for your reply kszan...i think it is gonna be a long road, and is a shame seeing as she is only 21 that it won't get much better...i persuaded her to go to a doc and they said it looks like it is schizophrenia, but they're not doing nething about it atm, she just has to go back in a few months! i mean what kinda treatment is that!

you talk about episodes, i think she gets them too - but she knows when she's getting into one as she says to me she's feeling weird and says she's sorry if she offends me. i plan to stick with her throughout all this...is too close n good a friend to lose!

 
Old 07-24-2008, 09:59 AM   #10
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Re: want to help a friend

From someone who saw this FIRST HAND.

Get her some help...and fast. Only her family can help, is she married?

We went through a similar situation about 10 years ago with a family member. We didn't know what was happening at first, however..found out she had been out at 2 am driving to "get away from the demon". SHe had a son, he was with her.

After several real scares, her mother had her committed...legally. She was in the hospital for about a month, she has been on medication since and is doing very well. She has "quirky" moments, but no more "demons".

She needs help, before she hurts someone else, or herself.

Be there for her, no matter what....just try, TRY TRY to get her help.

 
Old 07-24-2008, 10:01 AM   #11
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Re: want to help a friend

I just read about no treatment...

She MUST see someone else...do Doctor, good doctor, would give a diagnosis like that, without treatment. It is what my family member has, and she is on meds, sees a psychiatrist, etc....

Goodness....your a good friend :-) Keep it up !

 
Old 08-14-2008, 01:17 PM   #12
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Re: want to help a friend

ok, my friend has finally got some help from someone who knows what they're doing!! she's now been in a mental health hospital for a week and has been put on olanzapine - read up on this and seems like there are lots of nasty side effects :S any of you know more about it, personal or observers view??

i'm going to see her for the first time in a few days since she's been there. She is married yes, and her husband is being fantastic with all of this.

one thing i'm not sure of though..if she starts talking about the lil girl she sees or the 'experiment' am i meant to go along with her, or say its not real, or just carry on with 'real' conversation ignoring what she says about it. i really don't know what to expect :S any help more than welcome

 
Old 08-14-2008, 01:45 PM   #13
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Re: want to help a friend

Well I'm glad your friend is getting the help she needs finally. She may have to try a few different medications before they find one that really works well for her. Hopefully she will be able to function fairly well. If she still sees the little girl, she may need a different medication, depending on what her doctors say.

She trusts you, so maybe that will be a bonus. I'd say if she mentions it again, say that you don't see it but you believe she does. You don't want to agitate her.

bless you and her husband. It's rare, rare people who will see someone through something like this. Some schizophrenics can get to a place where they are highly functional and can work, and a very very few can even get off meds eventually, but most must stay on meds for life, and it's a difficult, frustrating and very very misunderstood disease. I wish you and her all the luck in the world.

 
Old 08-18-2008, 08:56 AM   #14
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Re: want to help a friend

Thank you all for your comments.

when i went to see her it did feel a bit weird as she was 'out of it' from the meds..but it's still her seeing progress already. i hope that the good progress continues.

 
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