Bipolar or just her?

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anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
Bipolar or just her?
Wed, 10-03-2012 - 10:18pm

Hi everyone,

I hope I don't offend anyone because I do understand that being bipolar can be very hard for an individual to have to go through. However, I was just wondering if there is any way to tell if a person with bipolar is actually acting up due to the bipolar itself or just throwing a fit when they can't get their own way and then blaming it on being bipolar.

I'm asking because a friend of mine has a girlfriend who is bipolar. We go on double dates to concerts, museum, movies, dinner, etc. So, my guy and I tend to hang out with my friend and his girlfriend somewhat frequently. Well it seems to me that if everything doesn't go her way she gets really upset. For example we all went to a restaurant for breakfast and she got upset because they didn't have what she wanted on the menu. Instead of just picking something different she demanded that he take her home. Another times she decided that she didn't want to see a certain exhibit at a museum we all visited and threw a fit about not wanting to be there any more until my friend took her home. I know she has some phobias and certain exhibits might make her upset. For instance she is scared of birds, but whenever something doesn't go her way she wants out.

We have all been very patient with her, but she is a handful at times. What gets to me is she has a child who is in kindergarten and though she demands everyone be patient with her when she is deciding on what to eat, drink, etc. She will scream at her child until he is in tears  if he takes to long to decide on anything. Also, since she is scared of birds she has mad threats, jokingly, about poisoning my friends pet bird Pete. I know she said it jokingly, but I do believe she would be thrilled if the bird where to just die one day since she is to adamant about hating birds. Beyond that my friend complains to me on the phone when we talk about how he wished he could have conversations with her, but she always turns him off. Unless it is something she is interested in she doesn't want to hear it from him. He also told me that he is frustrated with the fact that she withholds sex or uses it to manipulate. For instance I have heard her tell him before if he didn't do something she wouldn't have sex with him. However she isn't anyway.

I know my friend is a grown man and capable of making his own decisions, but is any of this typical? I really don't want to offended anyone, but is she just a brat or does this sound like part of her condition? My friend is going to stay with her and try to work through everything so she will be a part of mine and my husbands life as long as their together. We just want to know if we should just continue being patient or perhaps hang out with them less since she always seems to act up.

Avatar for theresa_winger
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-23-2009
Thu, 10-04-2012 - 11:22am

Honestly, it sounds like she needs therapy and medications.  My councilor told me that many bipolar patients hold down jobs, with the correct treatment.  I do know I can get angry very quickly though, so it is a trait of bipolar and it has gotten worse as I get older.  I know that's not much help.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-11-2012
Thu, 10-04-2012 - 11:31am

My brother in law is bipolar and he is very difficult to get along with. It's like he has this intense self-focus and he can't move past it. He is truly a Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde type person. He often appears to be a reckless, self-centered, self-desctructive, cruel, rude jerk. At other times he is thoughtful, helpful, and appears to be the most sensitive guy around. His phobias and obessions are can be overwhelming to everyone around him. Medication helps when he takes it, but he will up and decide there is nothing wrong with him and just stop taking it.

In my opinion, your friend sounds like my brother in law. It's hard to deal with his behavior but we all know he is tortured by this disorder so we try to be as supportive as we can. There are times we have to be very firm and times when we have to be very flexible. It's not always comfortable.

Good luck with your friend. Your sticking by her through this shows how much you care.

Community Leader
Registered: 10-22-2001
Thu, 10-04-2012 - 4:31pm

I think we have to realize that everyone is an individual.

My dd has bipolar and she is her own person.

Along with bipolar she (YOUR FRIEND'S G/F) might also have "Anxiety"...

She may or may not be on meds or it's possible they are not working or not right for HER.



iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2002
Thu, 10-04-2012 - 5:46pm

BP affects everyone differently.  I am a type I BP, but I do not behave like that.  But, that's me.  I think it would take a mental health professional to say what is going on with this person in your circle.  BP is funny that way, and very difficult to sort out.  I have seen people that clearly use bp as an excuse for bad behavior.  Sometimes too, an undiscovered manic episode can manifest as difficult behavior.

Send this girl to her pdoc.  She needs him now.  The way some of those guys operate, she may need the opinion of several (they are wrong often.)


Beth "Petrouchka"