I am writing to ask for your help. I have had a friend for 30 years who at my request was asked to see a mental health professional and he was, subsequently, diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He was prescribed Zoloft but would not take a mood stabalizer as it would "ruin his sense of humor." At the time, for the most part, he was doing fine and we had alot of fun together. As the years passed, he would start experimenting with his dosage of Zoloft and would self-medicate with alcohol. He has also been diagnosed as an alcoholic. I told him that I didn't respect the way he was treating his illness and that I would not tolerate how he treats me when he is manic--shouting, nasty, contolling as well as self-centered. I realize that these are symptoms of mania but that doesn't mean that I have to be verbally abused. His response has always been to downplay what happened (if he remembers, I don't know.) He told me that at one point before I ever met him that he was at his favorite bar and was convinced that the peanuts on the bar were poisoned. As the years have passed, he has become obsessed with the government and will start screaming to get his opinion heard. Our friendship has disintegrated into a phone friendship. He is now retired and boats all the time. I get very sea sick and have not been on his boat. I don't know if he resents this but the paranoia is getting worse and I can't imagine being on the lake alone with him. He called the other night after a family funeral and, once again, he started ranting and raving about the government and how the president has appointed ten czars to the solution of gun control is that there will be no ammunition eventually for people with handguns. I finally lost my temper after his berating remarks to me and, once again, he hung up. Could someone please help me understand what it's like to be bipolar and to let me know if paranoia is a characteristic of the disorder. Thanks so much for your help. I feel very hurt and don't know if what he says is meant to be so mean spirited towards me or if this is his illness talking. I have been put on an Celexa after my brother comitted suicide and I know how low life can get. I wish you all well being and the best of health.