Bipolar Roommate

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by macbook yes, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. macbook yes macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2009
    I live in a college apartment with a few other girls and one of them is definitely bipolar. I don't know if she realizes it. She is driving me insane. Right now she is manic and has been telling me the life stories of her favorite celebrities while singing along to christmas music for over an hour while I try to do homework. I don't know what to do about her. What can I do to keep my sanity?
  2. wywern209 macrumors 65832


    Sep 7, 2008
    do you rly want to know?
  3. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Have you discussed it with the other roomates (at least to see if you're not the only one that's noticed it), and then to the person that it concerns?

    Keep calm, and don't be judgmental. There's a good chance that the person is unaware of it.

    I've had to go through this with family. It's not easy, but it can be done.
  4. Melrose Suspended


    Dec 12, 2007
    I know it's no laughing matter, but if you could write some scripts based on your experience and turn this into a late-night sitcom you'd make a fortune. It just sounds so right for that type of thing.

    That being said, it's entirely possible your roommate doesn't know; In fact, most people don't know they're irritating - at any level - unless someone tells them. Dropping hints doesn't work either. Be above-board and polite, and talk it over with her. On a good day.
  5. yojitani macrumors 68000


    Apr 28, 2005
    An octopus's garden
    You'll have more luck getting her to seek professional help when she is in a depressive state, if she is indeed bi-polar. So, wait.
  6. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Feb 2, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
  7. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    Perhaps, you should tell your roommate that you can't talk because of your homework. If that doesn't work, go to the library to do your homework.

    If it doesn't get any better, then perhaps you should talk to someone about getting a new room. Good luck.
  8. macbook yes thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2009
    Thanks. I have headphones and I use them often even though im not a big music fan, hoping she will get the hint, but she doesnt. I'm a little scared to bring it up because I don't know how she will react. Maybe I will wait until next time she is down to talk to her about it.
  9. Ann P macrumors 68020

    Jun 29, 2009
    Bi-polar is serious stuff. I had a friend who had this disorder and she would snap at me on her bad days. Choose your words carefully.
  10. jecapaga macrumors 601


    Jul 1, 2007
    Southern California
    How long have you lived with this person? Assuming it's college and all, not long, depending how the semesters are broken up. I've lived with someone who was bi-polar and it's a mess. The idea of bringing this to their attention is pretty hard because they may not even see what you are talking about.

    Depending on how well you know them, I'd suggest trying to find a different housing situation if possible. They can be a lot of fun when things are up but terrible when life comes into play. Pretty miserable situation when you're in it as a roomie.
  11. yojitani macrumors 68000


    Apr 28, 2005
    An octopus's garden
    IMO since the OP sees that the roommate may be mentally ill, the op has an obligation to at least make an effort at helping the roommate find help. Walking away is the wrong choice. My approach to this would be to wait until she is down and then suggest that she sees a counselor (maybe even help her to find one - many universities offer free short-term counseling too) for her 'depression.' The counselor can take over from there.

    If this person truly is bi-polar, she will be grateful for your help.
  12. eawmp1 macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
    College roomated, mentally ill or not, can be very annoying. I'd recommend:
    1) civilly, and honestly discuss how her actions affect you and see if insight and change can be effected
    2) earplugs
    3) studying in library, study room, etc.
    4) start looking for other housing options
  13. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    If you really believe that she is bipolar than I agree that you should talk to her at what you judge to be an appropriate time about her behavior and/or seeing a professional--if she hasn't already.

    However, you have to be a little selfish here to. You should not have to live with the long term consequences of her actions if you can't study or sleep well. Do not let her problems become your problems.
  14. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    First off how do you know she is bi polar. Could just be your frustations make it seem that way.

    Also all you can do is the first time is ask her to quite down while you are trying to work. If you ask nicely most people respect that and that is the end of it.
  15. Sdashiki macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2005
    Behind the lens
    I guarantee your school has the ability to deal with this.

    Both for you and her.

    #1- Student Mental Health desk has people that can help
  16. tofagerl macrumors 6502a


    May 16, 2006
    I would try to get in touch with her parents. They are way more suited to bringing this up with her, and you should not be placed in a situation to make this choice anyway.
    If you don't have a way of contacting her parents, try an RA or the administration of the school.
  17. macbook yes thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2009
    I don't know if she will be mad if I suggest it. I've been her roommate for about 3 months.
    I'm pretty sure she is bipolar. She will be down for a week or so and sleep constantly (in our room, on the couch, etc) and then she will be a spaz and hyper for a few days and exercise. repeat.
  18. mscriv macrumors 601


    Aug 14, 2008
    Dallas, Texas
    Please keep in mind that this is someone you've only lived with and I assume even known for three months. Bipolar disorder is a very serious mental illness and not easily diagnosed. It's definitely not your place to call her parents or talk with her about having a mental illness. This type of action runs the risk of potentially doing more harm than good due to the stigma associated with mental health disorders.

    Set firm boundaries regarding your living together and what is needed for both of you to be successful. I would keep your word choice to behavioral language. What I mean is describe behavior and actions and how they affect you. Frame things in a positive way. "Hey roomie, I really need your help with something. Do you think you could give me a little quiet time in the room to get some studying done, this class is really kicking my tail and I need to do well to keep my parent's off my back."

    The most important thing to keep in mind is that you can not control others, but you can control yourself. If she fails to respond to the attempts you make to set boundaries then change your routines to make them successful for you. It may mean you spend less time in your room and she could interpret this as you avoiding her, but just be honest. There's nothing wrong with saying, "It's hard for me to get any studying done in the room and so I've started doing xyz. It's nothing personal, I've just got to make my grades a priority."

    Oh, and definitely watch out for the "Single White Female" thing. :D
  19. barr08 macrumors 65816


    Aug 9, 2006
    Boston, MA
    Sounds like you might be a freshman? Some people who are new to college have trouble adapting, which manifests in ways such as these. It might get better as she becomes better-adjusted to the new environment.

    This is all really sound advice. I would read this closely and remember it.
  20. macbook yes thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2009
    I'm a freshman, she's not. I wasn't really planning on talking to her about it, because I'm worried that the rest of the year living together would be even worse. I guess I will just spend more time in the library from now on.
  21. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    just going to warn now since you are a freshman. The hardest times of the year on students is always about mid terms and finals when the stress gets to people.

    I am some one who suffer from depression and suffer pretty bad highs and lows. I am not bipolar but have been diginosed with depression. Things might appear great and I have some highs and seem great but then just crash. It is not that i have the highs but because everything is a very delicate balance and something minor might be all it takes to send me into a tailspin and once the tail spin starts I am going to crash. The minor things that sets it off can be anything.
  22. sarabella macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2009
    Newcastle, UK
    Speaking from experience - unless you are really good friends with this girl, she will probably just get really angry at you for suggesting she has a problem and it will likely cause more problems in the end. If she's not ready to hear it, she probably won't even listen to her closest friends or family.

    If you truly believe she has a problem, get the school's counselors involved. And watch for the depressive states, as a good percentage of bi-polar people attempt suicide.
  23. 99MustangGTman macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2008
    Germantown MD/ Columbus OH
    Well she might not want to see a Dr. A lot of people who are bi-polar enjoy the "ups" and usually drugs keep them right above being depressed. Just try to sympathize with her and try to convince that seeing a Dr. is a good idea.
  24. kellen macrumors 68020


    Aug 11, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    Does it interfere with her schooling or work? If not, it could just be her.

    Try talking to her about the things that bug you, maybe you will see a change, maybe not.
  25. ntrigue macrumors 68040


    Jul 30, 2007
    Bipolarism is serious! I knew a man that went from a successful painting business; joy to converse with and very intelligent, to spending $10k on balloons 'for the children of the world' and then calling in a bomb threat to Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant in Avila Beach, CA.

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