How is Bipolar Disorder Dangerous to Others?
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Q:  How is Bipolar Disorder Dangerous to Others?

Dr. Phelps,

 I just recently met a friend that has been diagnosed with bipolar. He didn't go in-depth about the disorder, and I didn't quite know how to react. My parents are afraid to let me near him because of the disease.

 I've been to several sites, trying to research bipolar, but everyone says the same thing, that it is a mental disorder that causes extreme mood swings and behavioral changes. I saw some of these in my friend, even though he has been taking medication for it.

 What I would like to know, is how is the disorder so dangerous to others? My friend never threatened me in any way, even during his "changes." Please answer this, Dr. I'm really worried about my friend. Because I haven't been able to see him lately, it has caused his depression to occur more often. I would really appreciate your email.



Dear Rachel -- 
Read about bipolar II (mood swings without mania) so you have an idea about how diverse this condition can be.  And you don't have to take responsibility for how he feels based on fair choices that you make (like not seeing him); that could be dangerous for your relationship, if you end up having one. 

Dr. Phelps

Published August, 2001


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