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Best way to interact with an undiagnosed Bipolar family member?

I have a family member who seems to have an undiagnosed mental illness(possibly bipolar disorder). She frequently goes back and forth between episodes of extreme hyperactivity/irritablity and severe depression/angry outbursts. She denies having a problem and refuses to even entertain the idea of being evaluated. If I even say a single word to her during an angry/depressive episode, I am the victim of a barrage of insults and terrible, nasty comments. I know it's her illness talking so I try my best to not take it personal, but my question is what is the best way to interact with someone while they are having an angry/depressive episode? Is there anything I can do or say to help calm her down or is it best to stay away and give her space until its over?
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replied December 28th, 2013
If you are not her "go to" person during a depression swing (The downside of bipolar) then give her space. When I'm down during my bipolar episodes I only want comfort from my mom and sister, no one else. As for the irritability just try to be as non-confrontational as possible and ride them out or give her even more space. Try talking to her at a level emotional moment (if she even has those) and address how she makes you feel. Use "I" statements not "you". Got example, "I felt hurt when you raised your voice and called me an a** in front of my friends." Address more of how it makes YOU feel rather than her actions specifically, if that makes sense. She totally needs help though before my meds for bipolar 2 I was just like that. Meds could change her life in the best way possible she should see is psychiatrist. Even talk therapy (psychologist) can help.
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