For those of you who have never had to deal with a person who is bipolar (manic depressive), consider yourself very lucky. My sister is bipolar and refuses to acknowledge that she has an illness. As a result she refuses medication or therapy. In the past, when she was diagnosed, she did take it seriously until she realized that she could use it to her advantage. She would start the manipulation, crying wolf, bullying, verbal abuse and sometimes physical abuse. Over the years she has convinced herself that she is not ill, contrary to what everyone tells her. She has also stooped to throwing temper tantrums like a toddler would.
Since I have dealt with her all of my life and have met others that are also truly bipolar, I have learned to identify those that truly want help in order to live a normal life and those that thrive off of attention and sympathy. My sister is the latter.
She will make up a story about how she was abused or treated wrong, but refuse any advice or make excuses as to why she is unable to get help from professionals. She will manipulate and lie just enough to get people to believe her and feel sorry for her. She has threatened suicide a few times and has even swallowed large amounts of aspirin - just to get back at someone who made her mad. (Yes, she has admitted to doing this)
My sister has been putting her efforts into causing more problems then usual these past few weeks and she upset me tonight with her antics and attempted public humiliation. Luckily, it seems, I caught it in time and no one was able to see what she did.
My sister has caused me and my family so much grief over the years that for a while doctors thought I was a depressive too. I am not a depressive at all, I was just stupid enough to let my sister abuse me emotionally causing me a lot of grief.
I'm always wary when I meet someone with this illness but I will try to help them. I am the type of person who gives and wants to help. But if I am betrayed, I will walk away from them as I do not want that drama/grief in my life.
The only reason I am putting out this message is that I want people to be very, very, very careful when dealing with mental illnesses. If someone really wants help they will give you progress reports and they will actually be receptive to your advice.
If you come upon someone like my sister, you will not realize that you are being used right away but you will feel very betrayed when you figure it out. You never know if it's your neighbor, coworker, classmate, or someone on this forum!
I'm sorry if I am coming off a bit harsh, but this is very serious stuff. Please do not put yourself into a position where you will hurt yourself or another person. I am not unsympathetic to people with mental illnesses, just very guarded so please do not judge me.