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I met someone at a grocery store (a friend of a friend) and said hi. She then asked my my address because we live in the same town. She stopped by today. I am not sure how to go about this. She has bi-polar disorder and is taking medication for it. She seemed pretty confused and had a hard time getting thoughts out. I am not sure if I should be trying to help her or does she need help? She asked me if she seemed out of it. I wasn't sure how to respond. Are you supposed to be honest? I know nothing about this medical condition. When my husband called on the phone I was talking to him for a minute. She started rocking back and forth and seemed to get agitated. I guess I am asking if there is a way I should be helping her. She said she feels very alone. I suggested finding some support groups but she didn't seem too interested in that idea.
I just need help understanding this. I hate asking this but is it safe for her to be around the kids? She seemed fine with them. Any help would be appreciated.
 

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I'd try posting in the mental health forum maybe. You might get more responses there. I'll share my experiences though, FWIW.

Medications in and of themselves can be disorienting to people. It could have been that you were seeing or it could have been a symptom of the disorder. In terms of "needing help" I'm not sure exactly what you mean. She likely does not need constant assistance but when she is in the thick of something internal happening she may need help in knowing that she is not alone. I personally find it to be best to be honest. If a friend asked me if they seemed out of it and I wasn't comfortable just saying "yes", I might just describe exactly what I do see.
"You look a bit agitated maybe - you were rocking a minute ago. Is there something that is bothering you?"
NAMI is one organization that may be helpful - either to you or to her or both. They have support groups for the individual with mental illness as well as for their friends/family. A friend of mine really wanted to go to meetings but was scared to go alone the first couple of times, so someone went with her and then she was fine on her own.
Having bipolar disorder does not mean that it isn't safe for her to be around children. If she was in a "high" or a "low" and not being safe then that would be a different story, but in my mind that is situational and not an always or never thing. Unless she was going to be alone around the kids I wouldn't worry about it but that is just me
 
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