Benefits of Having a Friend with Bipolar Disorder
Despite what the stigma of bipolar 2 may tell you, there are many advantages of having a friend with bipolar disorder. A person you can share memorable moments with and also confide in when life takes an abrupt turn creates an unbreakable bond between friends. In this post, I share some of the ways I contribute to my friendships as someone living with bipolar 2 disorder.
A Friend with Bipolar Disorder Is the Best to Confide In
I have always been the person my friends confide in, especially when it comes to their mental health. I do not minimize their feelings and allow them to speak freely without judgment.
Recently a close friend of mine was depressed. It was evident this period of emotional uncertainty was triggered by her fear of being flawed physically and mentally. I knew she was passively crying out for help. I relayed to her that seeking to live a life without flaws, mistakes or periods of weakness is only going to lead to an unsatisfying life. It is okay to feel broken inside, and use those moments to build a strong foundation.
It's a lesson that living with bipolar disorder has taught me. Instead of just shaking my head when my friends confide in me, I try to use my past struggle with my mental health to provide insight.
In their late twenties, many of my friends are anxious about their plans for the future. Living with bipolar disorder has taught me that completely planning out your life is a waste of time. It can take a turn at any moment, and you have to roll with it to survive. I did not think that at 19 years old I would be involuntarily placed in a mental hospital or diagnosed with bipolar 2 disorder. However, that is the path life took me on and fighting against it would reduce my chances of living a great life. These are the types of personal stories I share with my friends to help ease their anxiety about the future.
A Friend with Bipolar Disorder Shares a Different Outlook on Life
When you live with bipolar disorder, you have a different outlook on life, which benefits those around us, including our friends. In an environment that is consumed by superficial ways of thinking, having a friend who is biologically prone to look beyond the surface is beneficial.
In a typical conversation, instead of just covering the surface of a topic, I thrive off of digging deeper and encouraging my friends to think outside of the box. It's not on purpose; it is just how my mind works. It makes people feel comfortable about approaching conversations with an honest viewpoint.
Mental health encompasses more than people assume. It is a part of our daily lives, with or without a mental health condition. A friend with bipolar disorder shares a different outlook on life that can benefit others in their career, relationships, and future endeavors. My friends without a mental health condition share many gifts with me, and I hope I can do the same for them.
Blum, H. (2017, July 18). Benefits of Having a Friend with Bipolar Disorder, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, June 7 from https://www.healthyplace.com/living-with-bipolar-blog/benefits-of-having-a-friend-with-bipolar-disorder