How can I help a bipolar person?

There’s a girl in our community who is exhibiting all the signs of being bi-polar. Fast talking, delusional, paranoid, incoherent, lack of sleep, grandiose thoughts. But she won’t acknowledge that she needs help. We’re worried that she’s going to have an altercation at the school she works at, or with law-enforcement. That could affect her livelihood here. We want to help her.

But she won’t acknowledge that she has changed. She won’t seek help.

Any advice here?


Tell her you’re concerned without being judgmental. You still might get a bad reaction but that’s all you can do. Give her some resources that can help. Clinics and clinicians to contact.

That’s about it. No one gets help unless they’re ready. Unless they’re forced to by law.


Probably best to try to talk to her when she’s on the down cycle rather than the up. When they’re manic it’s almost impossible to get through…When she is on the down part of the cycle does she know she’s depressed ?


Even if she does not believe she has a problem she might still agree to see a doctor. All the major hospitals have xingliyisheng and they speak English too, and they definitely help.

@Nuit could try ‘I’m not saying you have a major problem, but why not talk to the clinician anyway, it won’t harm you to talk to a doctor’


Was this a sudden change or gradual? If her personality changed suddenly and drastically it may not be bipolar. She might need to get an MRI and get her brain checked out.

Also, you didn’t say how old she is, but schizophrenia/psychoses tend to develop around the mid-twenties.


I try not to give diagnoses, but this is what it sounds like more than bi polar to me.

There’s too little information to go on, but the bit about paranoia is concerning.

If it does turn out to be bipolar disorder then it could be type I, which is more severe.

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An interesting thread. I wonder what is required for a non-voluntary assessment for mental health in Taiwan? Where I live in Canada, there are basically 3 different ways, all of which are enforced by Police: 1) family apply for an order of apprehension to a magistrate, 2) a doctor applies for one, or 3) police issue one in the course of their duties. For the 1st and 2nd orders the threshold is different (lower) because case history, etc. can be taken into consideration, whereas with the 3rd option ( Police only ) the threshold is much higher - only to be apprehended if the person is a danger to self or others, or unable to care for themselves . I am curious to find out how it works in Taiwan.

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Age is early 40s, was previously a stable individual, but am aware she’s had some difficult experiences in the past year or so. There’s been this gradual onset over the last 2 months of increasingly manic and delusional behaviour.

As an example, on a recent visit, she took my phone away, because ‘they’ are listening. (which in all fairness, ‘they’ probably are!). She then conducted a loud conversation, for ‘their’ benefit. with a separate sotto voce conversation just for the 2 of us, that the phones couldn’t pick up.

She’s also concerned about a local restaurant, once her favorite haunt, which is now trying to poison or harm her.

It doesn’t seem like schizophrenia to me - I have some previous exposure to a couple of such individuals. And I appreciate this is impossible for anyone to judge from a distance.

We all worry that the down phase, when/if it comes, could be a hard landing, and there’s a danger of self-harm if it happens when there’s no-one around to help her. She lives alone.

But if a person won’t / can’t recognise that they might need some help, what can be done?

This is super concerning and I don’t think it’s characteristic of bipolar disorder. I think she really needs to get a brain scan.

Little. But it’s worth pushing the issue a bit more. Maybe even scaring her a little.

Go on. Scaring her in what way?

Might try dropping the word “tumor.”


Give them the resources for professional help and support their attempts at it. Not much else unless she is physically harming herself, then you need to step in more forcefully.

None of us a able to give a diagnosis and it doesn’t matter. What matters is she is unable to manage her life right now, and she needs professional help. Doesn’t matter what it is.

Ah, Ok. Yes, there could be an underlying medical issue like that.

It’s just frustrating. All of us - all of us - feel that she needs help, but she won’t accept our concerns or thoughts. Those who’ve tried hardest to get through to her, have been labelled as interfering witches.

But yes, for the moment, she holds down an ARC and teaching positions, and is getting through her weekly hours. We’ll just continue to check in on her and monitor.

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Inhave found anytime a peraon starts ppinting fingers, or uaing the Y pronoun, these types of thinking immediately put up defenses. It could be anything. If its that sudden and severe stroke is very limely as well. Inbalances, toxicity, oegan failures all causing brain troubles. But saying they are fucked is the surest way wat to get the middle finger…anytime i have had sucess with people it has been via a third person example. It is very hard as paranoid people tend to be fairly keen. But having discussions about friends with similar symptoms belps a lot. But where most people.muck up is making it about them and trying to be the one that got them help.

Make examples through 3rd parties, even yourself. The best way to.learn is via teaching. Let them take a role is solving a problem (the one you manifested) and never ever let it come out that it was just to try and get them help. It is hard to do, amd must be very selfless (often losing face) but it is often the only way to gain trust and also allow the to.become self aware…which coincidently seems to be the best, and often only, way for them to get affective treatment.

In my opinion the only way to help is to do so without trying to gain satisfaction from it (not saying you are, but most are without realizing it). This is slow and really time consuming. Worth it in the end if it works out. The second issue is the doctors. Find a nice one first. Many here are cunts and have some serious logic/compassion issues. So it might destroy a year of your work convincing them to go see a doctor. Many a doctor talk like Ke P. Frustrating as all hell…


i appreciate that reply, and you are right. Fingers have been pointed at her, and she’s not taken the criticism well. It doesn’t help.

But yes, your solution is hard to put in place. I’ll suggest it and see where we get to.

I think it is similar to what is requested in Canada.

In Chinese

As others have mentioned, a brain scan is the probably the best thing to do. If she ever mentions having headaches or migraines, use that as an opportunity to suggest for her to go see a doctor.

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Does she have family here?
A history of drug abuse?