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Isolation Issues

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Hello All,

I am new to this forum. This seems like a good place to come for advice and support, and I am here to offer all the advice that I can as well. I am a 20 year old female diagnosed with BP1. I have a question for you guys..

A big part of my disorder is I tend to get "within myself" and I do not call friends for periods of time. It's not that I'm lazy, I just don't call anyone. Maybe it's fear that they don't like me.. but I'm not really sure. Has anyone else isolated themselves like this? Is this normal in people with bipolar? I feel pretty friendless.. :/
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replied October 26th, 2008
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hi =)

welcome to the forum!

i can totally relate to isolation issues. i don't know why i do it either. but i usually don't feel like talking and i'm normally in my own world too. you are definitely not alone in this. i have bpd 1 too. i'd rather be doing something else i suppose.. not to say that i don't care about my friends but i just end up not calling and doing other things. even when i have nothing to do i still don't make the calls. by now though most of my friends know that this is just the way that i am so i figure it's ok with them. i could be wrong. not sure if this is normal or not with people with bpd or not... never really though about it. so, yeah... i do isolate myself.

have any of your friends expressed that they are hurt or mad at you because you don't call them? puzzld
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replied October 26th, 2008
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Oh boy, this is one of my biggest things. I have lost so many friends because I simply don't call them or respond to them. I enjoy them, I like them just fine, but I have zero, ZERO interest in developing or nurturing a friendship with them. I primarily just want to be alone.

When I don't want to be alone, I'll go out shopping or I'll go to an art gallery reception or some other social thing by myself and I'll chat up the sales clerk or the people standing next to me, etc. But even then, I won't call up a friend and say, "Hey, wanna go to an art reception with me tonight?".

I have a big thing around any kind of obligation; I cannot stand making plans with people because then I feel an immediate sense of obligation. I don't want to be obligated to wait around for you to get ready and I don't want to have to leave when you get a headache and or get bored. I want to do what I want to do - end of story.

I sound like a five year old pouting child, but that's exactly how I feel.

So that's my understanding as to part of why I just want to be alone or do things alone.
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replied December 24th, 2008
like my daughter
My daughter is like this, and she is 22. I've sent her a link to this site and told her it might be a good idea to join. She does the same thing, and then is upset when the people she thought were her BFF's lose interest. I tell her she did not keep up the 'bond' of friendship so those that do not know that her illness is preventing her from staying in the friend contract, they pull away. You two might have a lot in common. Anyway, its about the unwritten code of friendship... if you withdraw they think its you that doesn't want the friendship and they withdraw in turn. They need to know that "its me, not you", and in this case its most probably true.
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replied January 10th, 2009
sounds familiar!
This sounds very much like a friend/coworker of mine- he will express interest in spending time together, make arrangements to do so, and then will "disappear". As the person on the receiving end, it is very hard not to take this personally. I am trying to understand why he behaves like this, and I am certain it is to do with his BPD. After the withdrawal, he will "resurface", tell me not to be sensitive, all will be well for awhile, and then the cycle will repeat itself. As a friend of someone who has these isolation issues, what is the best way I can handle this and continue to show my friend support?
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replied January 11th, 2009
can relate
The Army has hit with this PTSD and Gulf war syndrome, I do not buy it. But i can relate as i am doing just that at this time, not sure if out of fear or other? I have chased away many friends do to my behavior, the sad part is i have always been this way. I have a very hard time excepting a Dr suggestion of mental illness, I have always been very successful at anything i do. I think that keeping all my stress inside has finally taken a toll on me. but do except that fact and take responsibility for all my actions. BI-P is another word for stress. or that is how i take it. I want to learn more.

Peace
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replied January 14th, 2009
getting out of your self
I have been reading about Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT). The title of the particular book is 'Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life.' It's been helpful for me in recognizing that we get 'attached' to our experience; i.e., experience=self. 'i am depressed' becomes a fixed state. when you abandon that logic and stop attaching so much to your thoughts, it can be helpful.

i have been self-isolating from friends for the past couple weeks. then i was like, 'you know what? i'm not happy (not like being around friends will necessarily change that)...but i'm going to go against that resistance to socialization and just do it anyway. its hard at first--you don't want to do it, this is stupid, etc.--but it can really jump start you and get you re-engaged with your life which you have cut yourself off from through isolation before you know it. its like paschal's wager...even if your not feeling social, act (as in, call friends, go out, etc) as if you were, and you might find yourself back in your life and out of your mind.
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replied January 16th, 2009
Thank you, rpmarco. I will definitely see if I can find that book. Smile
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replied April 28th, 2009
Isolation
I haven't gone to the doctor about this, but at 27, I'm coming to the realization that there might be a problem. I have a few friends from different circles that I'm close with and call back most of the time. I also have so many friends that I've lived with or spent significant time with at one point, and when these friends call, I may never call them. I have friends that have repeatedly called my for 2 to 3 years and I don't feel the need to pick up the phone - but I know it's wrong. I grew up with parents who only had eachother as best friends so they don't put a focus on friendships with others. This aside, I think there is a problem. I can't even determine why I isolate myself from so many people. I've been thinking about making a list of everyone I ignore, but I can't even get myself to do that. Is this bipoloar, depression, anxiety? Thanks for your help.
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replied May 4th, 2009
I do that all the time sometimes i just don't feel like going out, u kno how it is u just feel blah, sometimes tho its b/c i already had a plan in my mind for the nite and this sudden new plan doesn't fit so i make up some excuse not to see/talk to my friends. I wish i was better n' would just do it! but i suck, depending on how i'm doing i just want to be alone, i don't want to have a scene or be a party pooper =/ iuno if this helps but i feel you, i luv my friends n' i notice i feel better when i'm out n' about but i have a hard time leaving the house.
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replied July 27th, 2009
I isolate myself but i honestly can't help it. I get into these social situations where i can connect with people straight away, and as soon as they get to know me slightly, i get paranoid or bored and either look for more fun company, my own company or become extremely uncomfortable, which of course they pick up on and leads to avoiding me. Ive been told that im a crazy introvert.
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replied August 6th, 2009
Definitely relate to this, throughout my whole life, even when I was young, I have found it extremely difficult to keep friends and just plain get can't be bothered to interact or go out or make the effort to call.

I can relate to 'only' too. I make friends and then I will either get real paranoid that they think I'm too forward or weird or, even though we seem to have a strong connection, I stop contacting them and then the friendships goes.

It's very weird and the fact that my sister who is younger than me, has always been the most popular girl in school, college, uni, town, everywhere! It makes me feel like a complete weirdo:/
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replied March 27th, 2012
self isolation BP1
I had no ideal untill i found this thread that others experiences are the same as mine, never put 1 and 1 toghter. I dont call or visit my own parents and they are less that 5 minutes away, I love them but tend to only see them during a holiday without reaching out in the between months, not my siblings, even in my recent divorce 5 months ago i didnt reach out to one friend. I have there numbers and never call, never say good bye before I hang up if I ever do.
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replied April 5th, 2012
Wow, what a relief to hear I am not alone in this. Most people who know me through work think I am social and easy to get along with, but the truth is I can't sustain friendships. I want to be alone most of the time. I can be the life of the party when convinced to go out on occasion but it is rare for me to accept invitations and I dislike feeling obligated to call or go out with someone. Sometimes I don't talk to family for long periods of time which I feel terrible about, but it doesn't stop me from self isolating.
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replied July 9th, 2013
I feel some better now. Its good to know Im not alone
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