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Old 10-06-2014, 06:56 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,642 posts, read 24,965,440 times
Reputation: 37143

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I have a friend who I met in a support group for Depression, to be quite honest. This group helped me get myself together enough to figure out how to get out of a bad situation, quit a job I hated, retire, and move to another town in spite of a daughter who was adamantly against my moving.

So, I had a history of about a year with this group, and made a couple of pretty good friends. By that, I mean we email or call each other about once every week and a half to check in with each other and support each other. Not the best of friends, but the support has been nice to have for each other, even though I left the group and moved away.

One of these friends is a man who has always been very sweet and soft-spoken. He is a senior man who is Japanese, and is bi-polar. I mention that he is Japanese only to help you understand why one of his major issues is PTSD issues from being in the marines as a Japanese man back when Japanese were still treated badly by older people who had been involved in World War 2, when the US was at war with Japan. They were horribly mean to him, and it affected him greatly.

Anyway, I knew that he had manic episodes where he would get up in the middle of the night and recite Marine Corps drills that he had changed to reflect his hate for the marines. But, I never saw him do this or act or sound "crazy" ever. He's always been soft-spoken, and actually a source of good feedback for me and my problems and decisions over the last 2 years (one year with the group, and one year since I left).

Well, the other day, I was on the phone with him, and he started out sounding normal, and agreed with a decision I was working on that was helpful, when he started ranting about President Obama. He got angrier and angrier and started repeating himself.

I kept trying to change the subject and bring him around to a calm attitude, but he was off and running. And he said he was mad at me and would like to chop off my arms and legs and watch me squirm. Whoa. I was so taken aback, that I just ignored that comment and I think I said again that it sounds like it's good he's in church (he was there early waiting to volunteer at his church feeding homeless people).

Then, he swore and I joked that I'd never heard him swear, and then he said, well, he'd been in the Marines, so sure he knew how to swear, and proceeded to start listing every swear word he could think of. Again, I tried to calm him down, but then he just started talking even grosser, said he'd answered the phone in the bathroom and started going into details about relieving himself, and I finally said, "You're getting too gross and weird, so I'm going to hang up now." He said, "Okay," like I said hey, my kettle started to boil, like nothing was wrong, and I hung up.

Whoa!

My sister was schizophrenic and she heard demon voices and would be really scary towards me, even into our adult years, and I just couldn't take it. I finally cut off communication with her, after she told me once she didn't know if I'd be safe around her - like she might stab me or something was the implication. Just too scary and crazy.

So, I guess my question is, now that this bi-polar friend has crossed the "polite" line with me, does that mean he now sees me as someone that it's "safe" to be scary crazy with? Should I expect this to continue? If so, I will have to cut off the friendship.

I don't have experience with bi-polar behavior, so I'm wondering will this continue? Will he remember it happened?

Thanks for any knowledgeable advice from people who are or are close to bi-polar people.
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Old 10-07-2014, 05:29 PM
 
5,697 posts, read 5,610,103 times
Reputation: 1939
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
I have a friend who I met in a support group for Depression, to be quite honest. This group helped me get myself together enough to figure out how to get out of a bad situation, quit a job I hated, retire, and move to another town in spite of a daughter who was adamantly against my moving.

So, I had a history of about a year with this group, and made a couple of pretty good friends. By that, I mean we email or call each other about once every week and a half to check in with each other and support each other. Not the best of friends, but the support has been nice to have for each other, even though I left the group and moved away.

One of these friends is a man who has always been very sweet and soft-spoken. He is a senior man who is Japanese, and is bi-polar. I mention that he is Japanese only to help you understand why one of his major issues is PTSD issues from being in the marines as a Japanese man back when Japanese were still treated badly by older people who had been involved in World War 2, when the US was at war with Japan. They were horribly mean to him, and it affected him greatly.

Anyway, I knew that he had manic episodes where he would get up in the middle of the night and recite Marine Corps drills that he had changed to reflect his hate for the marines. But, I never saw him do this or act or sound "crazy" ever. He's always been soft-spoken, and actually a source of good feedback for me and my problems and decisions over the last 2 years (one year with the group, and one year since I left).

Well, the other day, I was on the phone with him, and he started out sounding normal, and agreed with a decision I was working on that was helpful, when he started ranting about President Obama. He got angrier and angrier and started repeating himself.

I kept trying to change the subject and bring him around to a calm attitude, but he was off and running. And he said he was mad at me and would like to chop off my arms and legs and watch me squirm. Whoa. I was so taken aback, that I just ignored that comment and I think I said again that it sounds like it's good he's in church (he was there early waiting to volunteer at his church feeding homeless people).

Then, he swore and I joked that I'd never heard him swear, and then he said, well, he'd been in the Marines, so sure he knew how to swear, and proceeded to start listing every swear word he could think of. Again, I tried to calm him down, but then he just started talking even grosser, said he'd answered the phone in the bathroom and started going into details about relieving himself, and I finally said, "You're getting too gross and weird, so I'm going to hang up now." He said, "Okay," like I said hey, my kettle started to boil, like nothing was wrong, and I hung up.

Whoa!

My sister was schizophrenic and she heard demon voices and would be really scary towards me, even into our adult years, and I just couldn't take it. I finally cut off communication with her, after she told me once she didn't know if I'd be safe around her - like she might stab me or something was the implication. Just too scary and crazy.

So, I guess my question is, now that this bi-polar friend has crossed the "polite" line with me, does that mean he now sees me as someone that it's "safe" to be scary crazy with? Should I expect this to continue? If so, I will have to cut off the friendship.

I don't have experience with bi-polar behavior, so I'm wondering will this continue? Will he remember it happened?

Thanks for any knowledgeable advice from people who are or are close to bi-polar people.


Good grief!! Don't talk to him again
he sounds very violent
why not make some friends outside of your group
gosh I have had a lot of therapy years ago and some of it was group
there was no one there that I wanted to pal around with
group was for therapy, not for friendship
sounds like you need to learn some clear boundaries
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Old 10-07-2014, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,642 posts, read 24,965,440 times
Reputation: 37143
Quote:
Originally Posted by georgia dem View Post
Good grief!! Don't talk to him again
he sounds very violent
why not make some friends outside of your group
gosh I have had a lot of therapy years ago and some of it was group
there was no one there that I wanted to pal around with
group was for therapy, not for friendship
sounds like you need to learn some clear boundaries
Did you even read the entire post? Granted it was long.

I have great friends outside of the group I left a year ago. My question was whether this type of behavior is typical for a bi-polar person, would they remember it, would it continue?

And this is the first time he's behaved inappropriately. It's sad, because I enjoyed our phone conversations a couple of times a month.

But, I'm afraid you're right. I'll have to cut him off. It's sad.
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Old 10-08-2014, 02:19 PM
 
Location: delhi, ca
38 posts, read 48,089 times
Reputation: 20
is there any way to get him to a doctor? if he's that bad he could actually hurt himself and maybe others if it gets worse. bipolar is not a thing to just ignore him about and shrug it off. see if you can get him help before he truly snaps.
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Old 10-09-2014, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,642 posts, read 24,965,440 times
Reputation: 37143
Quote:
Originally Posted by circeseye View Post
is there any way to get him to a doctor? if he's that bad he could actually hurt himself and maybe others if it gets worse. bipolar is not a thing to just ignore him about and shrug it off. see if you can get him help before he truly snaps.
Thanks for your response. Actually, he lives in an assisted living facility that his sister pays for, and she's very much involved in his care.

So, I think he'll be well looked-out for. And he's in a city 4 hours away from me, so there's not much I could do anyway.

I'm just so sad that it would appear our friendship is over. I'm not going to deal with it. But, he never acted hostile before, and even though he is bipolar, he's always been a good and caring friend.

But, I fear he's like my sister was, who was schizophrenic. Once they believe they can show you their "crazy," you can never go back.

But, again, thanks for responding.
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Old 10-10-2014, 06:14 AM
 
Location: Purgatory
6,322 posts, read 5,039,079 times
Reputation: 9781
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post

But, I fear he's like my sister was, who was schizophrenic. Once they believe they can show you their "crazy," you can never go back.
This is not always true. I think you should have a serious conversation with him next time he calls and set up boundaries with him before writing him off completely. Like, "last time you called you talked about X and it made me uncomfortable, scared, etc. I will not continue to talk to you if you talk about X."

People "show you their crazy" when they are decompensating and having a bad period of their sickness. It is usually more than "because they feel they can." The exception to this are those with personality disorders and those who are trying to manipulate and/or take advantage of you. It is not related to the illness itself.

It's good he was at church. If he ever calls again like that please call the police in the town he lives in so someone can check on him and those around him to make sure all are safe.
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Old 10-10-2014, 06:30 AM
 
Location: Santa Cruz
698 posts, read 679,707 times
Reputation: 718
He sounds more schizophenic than bi-polar. Either way, it may be the affects of a medication which isn't working for him, and combined with his background, it is a really bad mix. He may go back to being very nice to you but I'd always watch it of course. Honestly, it's up to you whether you communicate with him but whatever you decide, it's understandable

He sounds like my schizophrenic brother in law. He exhibited behavior similar to your sisters.

Please take his comments seriously enough to protect yourself. Lock your doors, be aware of everything around you. Maybe for the record, mention this incident to your neighbors, and a few friends.
Sorry this happened to you
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Old 10-10-2014, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,642 posts, read 24,965,440 times
Reputation: 37143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Utopian Slums View Post
This is not always true. I think you should have a serious conversation with him next time he calls and set up boundaries with him before writing him off completely. Like, "last time you called you talked about X and it made me uncomfortable, scared, etc. I will not continue to talk to you if you talk about X."

People "show you their crazy" when they are decompensating and having a bad period of their sickness. It is usually more than "because they feel they can." The exception to this are those with personality disorders and those who are trying to manipulate and/or take advantage of you. It is not related to the illness itself.

It's good he was at church. If he ever calls again like that please call the police in the town he lives in so someone can check on him and those around him to make sure all are safe.
Thank you. This was really helpful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliforniaGal1 View Post
He sounds more schizophenic than bi-polar. Either way, it may be the affects of a medication which isn't working for him, and combined with his background, it is a really bad mix. He may go back to being very nice to you but I'd always watch it of course. Honestly, it's up to you whether you communicate with him but whatever you decide, it's understandable

He sounds like my schizophrenic brother in law. He exhibited behavior similar to your sisters.

Please take his comments seriously enough to protect yourself. Lock your doors, be aware of everything around you. Maybe for the record, mention this incident to your neighbors, and a few friends.
Sorry this happened to you
Thank you for your kind response. He's 4 hours away and has no car, so I am not worried about him showing up here, or I would take these precautions.

The only medication change that has happened that I know of, is he went on Prozac to help with his depression, in addition to whatever else he is taking. He's been on it for a while and has been happy with the results. So, this was just really sad. I doubt the Prozac did this, but who knows?
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Old 10-10-2014, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Corona the I.E.
10,138 posts, read 14,726,473 times
Reputation: 9040
Having a good friend with BP, BP people, in general, don't act out on their violent thoughts. That's much more often with paranoid schizophrenics.

Memory loss is an issue with BP as well, so you may have unfortunately gotten in the way of his super manic phase and were "verbal collateral damage".

Prozac and other AD's are not recommended for people with BP, that's what probably caused him to go super manic. Our family friend, she has it pretty bad. It was confirmed when she was mistakenly given Celexa and went super manic trying to start altercations and propositioning men in the supermarket. Once it wore off she was back to her normal self.

It could just be a wrong med.
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Old 10-10-2014, 08:53 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,642 posts, read 24,965,440 times
Reputation: 37143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teckeeee View Post
Having a good friend with BP, BP people, in general, don't act out on their violent thoughts. That's much more often with paranoid schizophrenics.

Memory loss is an issue with BP as well, so you may have unfortunately gotten in the way of his super manic phase and were "verbal collateral damage".

Prozac and other AD's are not recommended for people with BP, that's what probably caused him to go super manic. Our family friend, she has it pretty bad. It was confirmed when she was mistakenly given Celexa and went super manic trying to start altercations and propositioning men in the supermarket. Once it wore off she was back to her normal self.

It could just be a wrong med.
Thank you SO much for sharing this info. I'm going to send him an email right now. I know that he's had trouble with the county where he lives, changing his psychiatrist. They keep retiring or quitting to work somewhere else. He's currently just using his primary care physician, and I know he has a counselor, both through the county. So, maybe his PCP doesn't know not to give him Prozac.

I'm going to send him a short email just saying that he was acting weird and scary and that I heard he shouldn't take Prozac and that he should talk to his counselor and PCP about that being a possible cause.

Thank you so much. This is the kind of info I was looking for.
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