anyone have experience with dealing with a bipolar person? *EDIT* update
I have a friend that I've known for about 5 years. Well, from time to time she spirals. I can always tell when she has hit a bad cycle in her life. When I first met her, she was doing great. But sometimes her meds stop working and she self-medicates. Sometimes I would hear from her it seemed daily. She'll even come over to my house obsessively sometimes. Then suddenly, it'll just stop. The visits, the texts, the phone calls-everything will just stop. I know it's not my job to worry about her, but she has attempted suicide once before one day when I had her kids. That's part of the reason why I'm afraid just to show up at her house, because I'm afraid of what I might find like last time. I seem to hear from her more when she's manic than when she's depressed. I know I can't take her problems on, being that I have my own life and family, but I can't help but feel guilty if I wasn't around and she needed a friend, only I didn't know it because she seemed to drop off the face of the earth. Is this normal? Do people that are bipolar tend to isolate more? Should I just leave well enough alone? My husband gets a little concerned when I hang out with her, or when I'm worried for her. But I tell him he doesn't get what a good person and friend she is when she isn't on a downward spiral.
Thanks for all the advice. Everyone's input was so helpful. I called her yesterday and heard from her FINALLY. My intuition was right. The good news is she's ok now. The bad news is that she did attempt to take her life again, she overdosed on her antidepressant. But she was fortunate, her husband took her to the hospital in time. She didn't wake up for three days, hallicinated terribly and was belligerent to the staff and was sent to our city's behavioral hospital for a week and a half, but they managed to get her meds straight. (Yay!)She was very thankful for the stay in the more lenient behavioral hospital (they can smoke outside). It was a relief given her past experiences with hospital triage.
She was so positive. She wasn't scattered. She had counseling appointments when I talked to her. She seemed less concerned with herself and more with her children. And this is silly, but she also mentioned a restaurant that she eats at when she goes to her meetings. I was so happy! The girl NEVER eats. She was actually raving about a Mexican restaurant. Anyhow, sorry to go on and on, I just hadn't heard from her in a long time. She did not sound overly anxious like she does when her meds aren't working or when she's using. Thanks again for all your helpful advice and info.