Bi Polar Daughter

My now 21 year old daughter was diagnosed with Bi Polar in 2020. She takes pills every day so she can have a normal life. She went through high school making no friends outside the classroom. She spent one semester in 2022 at a college but transferred because she was very unhappy there. She went to another college in the spring of 2022, but still did not develop one friendship with anyone. Which brings us to Fall of 2023. She ended up withdrawing from that college after one week, mainly because she did not have any friends. I am looking for a program or group where she can can help how to make friends outside the classroom and associate with others.

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My daughter is bipolar too. She went from being an honor student to barely passing, but she did succeed in getting through high school, but had no interest in college. She went through a lot of medication changes and adjustments. She’s fairly stable now and working.

In my entire 4+ years of college, I only made two friends. There were quite a few students with whom I was friendly, but it was pretty superficial. From what I can tell, for most people it takes at least half a semester before even casual friendships begin to form.

I am a pretty extreme introvert. Perhaps your daughter is too. In my case, I wouldn’t have minded having a few more friends, but found it very difficult to reach out to others.

Her doctor might be aware of a support group that could help her.

Has she ever been tested for ADD or ADHD? I didn’t get tested for it until I was in college, but knowing what I was dealing with was helpful.

When I was in college, it seemed like the majority of the students were glib, cheerful, vain and shallow. I’m guessing that was just a mask they were wearing. Still, I had no real interest in getting involved with such people. Perhaps your daughter feels the same way.

I know when it comes to making friends outside of school, some of the best ways I’ve found are finding a common bond or hobby. Having that connection there is a good starting off point for sure. I know there’s a ton of resources online as well, here’s one for example. It might be a good starting point or at least give you a bit of context or understanding and go from there :slight_smile:

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Hello @chrismr4095

Welcome to Heart Support! I think it’s great that you’re trying to help your daughter make friends. Having bipolar disorder can make it hard to have a social life, but with the right support it can happen. I’m not sure what country you’re in, but if you’re in the USA, you can call your county’s Behavioral Heath Dept to ask if they have any available programs your daughter can benefit from or The United Way’s 211 for any resources they might have.

I hope this helps and I’m thankful your daughter has your support, I’m sure that means the world to her.

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Hey Friend
Welcome to Heartsupport and thank you for your post.
It must be very difficult struggling to make friends with people and also very hard watching it happen. How lucky to have a mum that reaches out for more help and advice for their child.
I have found a site online that has some good information that will hopefully be of use to you.

I would also like to say that we are here for you too, if you ever need to talk, vent or just need to reach out and spend some time around others you are welcome here.
I wish both you and your daughter all the very best. You are wonderful. Lisa. x

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I would definitely explore therapy for getting additional support if she already has not tried that.

If she has then are there local organizations where she lives that could be looked at for support and/or social skill development? Also, if there is something that your daughter likes doing that give her enjoyment such as a hobby or activity that may be something to look into as well to connect with others.

Nevertheless, thank you for posting on here and sharing. We are also here as a resource if she would feel comfortable posting or engaging here in the community (which can be done anonymously).

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Thank you for the responses, what my daughter has is a challenge, and I know with help she will get through this challenge. Life is not easy and there are bumps in the road for everyone, the right attitude is to keep proceeding forward and get back on your horse and keep riding.
Last night she asked me if it’s ok for her to apply to Bucknell University. She has not had it easy, she so far withdrew from Colgate University, Marist college and is currently not enrolled in any college. I think her going to Bucknell is a wise move, this time I will be more involved with the counseling center to assist her. She will be going is as a first semester sophomore. I hope for the best

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I am so pleased that your daughter has chosen a college that you feel is a good move and that you will be able to be more involved with the counseling center, that all sounds very positive.
Its like you said, its all about try try and try again isnt it and of course that must be incredibly draining at times so please remember to take time for yourself too.
I too hope for the very best for you both and would love an update now and again. You are very much cared for. Lisa.

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Hello there, @chrismr4095 :wave:t2:

Firstly, I’m sorry to hear about your daughters battles with Bipolar. I also just want to thank you for not being dismissive of her mental health, because unfortunately far too many parents are. Making friends is incredibly tough, but it’s good to see that she isn’t giving up hope.

Hope - Hold On Pain Ends

There may be some local community programs or support group that can assist her in building on her social skills and forming good connections with others. These groups and programs can provide her with a supportive and understanding environment to practice her social skills.

Here are some things that you could do as well as a parent to help her:

  • Communicate openly with her - it’s important that she knows you are concerned. It’s also about listening to her if she does come to you with concerns. Finally share your own personal experiences (if any) to help her relate more
  • Practice social situations by means of roleplay
  • Encourage her to make her own decisions
  • Praise and reward her for engaging
  • Respect the need for breaks from social interactions

It’s also worth getting to know the things she enjoys or is passionate about. That way you can find groups with like-minded people. Shared interests is a good way to connect.

Finally, reassure her. Friendships are difficult and they take time. It’s better to have a few good friends than a lot of “okay” friends.

Hi Lisa - thank you for your encouragment and support. It’s hard, prior to 2020, I had no idea she is bipolar. I thought my daughter was normal and was just having normal growing up things, but it turned out to be a lot more. She has not had an easy life. In 2010, she was diagnosed with Juvenile dermatomyositis. Every day since then, she takes a handful of pills. Life is one day at a time.
I spoke to her therapist today, I mentioned to her that I want to get her involved into other programs at the hospital. Focusing on the issue about making friends. It’s not hard to make friend’s, just start talking to people. But I understand how it is, when I was in highschool, I had friends, but I could have done better. Then came college, I was not in any clubs, i had a collge GF and I spent most/all of my time with her. I wish I could go back and change my college life.
She started a job yesterday at Whole Foods… Keeps her busy… One day at a time

Update 12/06/2023
My daughter took a job at Whole Foods in Garden City, NY apporx 25 mins car ride from home, she worked there fot about 2 months, then quit. She said she did not like it and ther is not much time until the spring semester at college starts.I asked her not to quit and will talk about it when I came home later that day, but 2 hours later she sent me a text telling me that she told her manager.
She is enrolled and will start at Adelphi in the Spring. I told her she can live on campus, but she decided not to and will be driving each day to class. I hope this works out for her.

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