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Bipolar as a Weapon?


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Long story short, someone is using the fact that I have bipolar dx against me in a court case. I am a witness in her divorce case (she's living with my brother as a couple). She and I were friends but a few very disturbing things happened so here we are. Anyway, now she is trying to get people to say I hear voices and I'm delusional. I've never heard voices, seen anything that was not there, nor did I dream up the things she did or I was told she did. One person she's targeting to write something against me is my estranged sister, who she knows is mentally disabled and even though I haven't been close to her in months nobody messes with my sister. This woman calls me names like "Bipolar B*****" when according her parents she also has a Bipolar dx. She is on no meds.

Unfortunately I do feel intimidated and incredibly anxious. I am tired of people acting like it's a big deal I'm on lithium like I'm some sort of psycho. And this is just one situation. I am really going to have to be there and be attacked like that? And just take it? Because that's not how I am. I think I'll get a note from my pdoc for court stating I'm not delusional and have never heard voices. I don't know that I've ever been delusional, either. I don't see or hear anything that's not there. The only thing that happened with her is I had a bad dream about my sister who I wasn't in contact with, and when i woke up I freaked out thinking something was wrong and asked this woman to call her and make sure she's ok. That's not delusional is it.

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That's not delusional, that's just a bad dream that seems real... we all have those.

I think the doctor's note is the best way to go... then it's 3rd party, you don't have to defend yourself, and it's a respectable source in a court case. Then the whole notion (of your involvment) should be dismissed pretty quickly, I would think.

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Let me get this straight, you are a witness against her? and she is trying to discredit your testimony on the basis that you are (cue dramatic music)*dun dun duuuuun* "crazy"? I would speak to the attourney of the party you are testifying on behalf of, and explain your treatment, offer to provide relevant documentation from your pdoc etc as you indicated. It sounds like this person is setting up a situation where any lawyer with an inkling of skill will be able to destroy her credibility infront of the court by tripping her up in her own lies.

I hope it wokrs out well for you. Also - make sure your rights as someone testifying as a witness are being respected - you can talk to the court staff if you have any issues they should be able to answer your questions.

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That's not delusional, that's just a bad dream that seems real... we all have those.

I think the doctor's note is the best way to go... then it's 3rd party, you don't have to defend yourself, and it's a respectable source in a court case. Then the whole notion (of your involvment) should be dismissed pretty quickly, I would think.

thank you. i think i'm just annoyed by the stigma. nobody used it against me when i just had gad and adhd. but now, wow, guess who's on LITHIUM. she must be crazy. tired of it already. :(

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I absolutely can't stand when people use medication as some sort of indictment. It's like "what part of MEDICATION don't you understand?"

I don't have any advice for you unfortunately, but I do think the judge will be rational about it and see that you're a credible witness, especially if you get a note like Bueler said. Also, I'm sure you're doing this but stay in touch with the lawyer about it. S/he should know what to do.

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Unfortunately, witnesses in court cases are subjected to some pretty unsavoury examinations. MI and medications become public record and attorneys are allowed to question competency of all witnesses.

I do not know where you reside, but this is especially prevalent in the USA and there is not much that the witness can do. Sorry that your are in this position. Indigo

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You absolutely need to speak with the attorney representing your friend. I assume s/he called you as a witness. They need this information. The attorney can either move ahead with a plan to discredit the slander or he can remove you from the witness list.

Things get ugly in family court. ugly I not surprised at all about what you wrote. Protect your peace of mind. Don't let yourself get all bent out of shape over this. But I know I would. It would upset me a lot. See your therapist, exercize, extra meds. You are trying to help someone you love but legal situations can get very stressful.

And remember this - it is the judge who ultimately decides what evidence and info is entered into record. So perhaps a lot of this bullshit is an effort to intimidate you.

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Let me get this straight, you are a witness against her? and she is trying to discredit your testimony on the basis that you are (cue dramatic music)*dun dun duuuuun* "crazy"? I would speak to the attourney of the party you are testifying on behalf of, and explain your treatment, offer to provide relevant documentation from your pdoc etc as you indicated. It sounds like this person is setting up a situation where any lawyer with an inkling of skill will be able to destroy her credibility infront of the court by tripping her up in her own lies.

I hope it wokrs out well for you. Also - make sure your rights as someone testifying as a witness are being respected - you can talk to the court staff if you have any issues they should be able to answer your questions.

This.

Bipolar is a tough enough illness. The stigma can be awful and It sucks that people call names and throw sticks. This woman has her back against the wall and her claws out. She's be going on the same about anyone just a different weakness. Still, I'd be hurt and mad and upset. Talk to your side's attorney. A letter from you pdoc saying you don't get psychotic is the way to go.

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This woman totally sounds like a nightmare, no question. If it wasn't bipolar disorder, she'd find something else to try to pressure you with.

As far as specifics of your disorder or treatment becoming matters of public record, I don't know that you have to give specific answers to those questions. I'm not suggesting you perjure yourself, but, you know, if asked about your dx, or delusions, it would be perfectly truthful, given your BPII dx, to just say you have a mood disorder, not a psychotic disorder, and hence have never had any psychotic symptoms like delusions. I'm not sure a judge would allow questions about your meds, as they aren't entirely relevant to demonstrating alleged delusions. If asked, you could just say you're under a doctor's care, and treatment compliant, or some such thing. Definitely talk to the lawyer representing whoever you're testifying for, about what kinds of questions will or won't be allowed, how you can answer them honestly, without divulging more than you're comfortable with.

This is kind of tangential, but I'm not quite clear as to whether this woman is currently with your brother, or if he's who's taking her to court?

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Thanks for all the suggestions. I appreciate it. I don't feel as anxious about it as I did when I first heard about it. It's just I cry very easily which would embarrass me so much.

As far as this woman, sorry this wasn't clear before, she is living with my brother and is now in the process of a divorce that started after she and my brother got together. I thought of her as a friend especially when we were both either unmedicated (her) or not on the right medications (me). She just has deteriorated so much that I was very concerned about her kids and I felt it was my responsibility to talk to her husband's lawyer. If something happened to them I would never forgive myself if I didn't take that step. She can be a great person and I know she's not thinking right, but her kids are helpless-she's not.

Anyway, thanks again for the messages.

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I haven't practiced law in over 15years, and especially in criminal law, a lot has changed, thanks to the Supreme Ct. of the last decade. But this sounds like witness tampering to me. Get in touch with your friends' lawyer immediately.

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I emailed the lawyer and he said he isnt concerned and that Im a credible witness. Lol. So its basically just probably how i react to it. Its good i suppose to be told that. I dont have a criminal record at all which is probably what would lead to concerns.

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If the lawyer is any good they will coach you some before you're put on the stand so you'll know what to say and how to respond to the most likely questions. Don't worry about getting documentation from your Dr. or anything like that unless the lawyer requests it. Pretty much let the lawyers run the show. That's their job.

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I emailed the lawyer and he said he isnt concerned and that Im a credible witness. Lol. So its basically just probably how i react to it. Its good i suppose to be told that. I dont have a criminal record at all which is probably what would lead to concerns.

I am curious How did it go? My experience with the legal system has been pretty rotten. when I got divorced in 95' I lost custodial rights to my children over my having a manic episode and leaving my husband. It was actually one of my better manic ideas all in all. hehe! I just joined and was roaming and I hope all goes well for you hun! Sara

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I emailed the lawyer and he said he isnt concerned and that Im a credible witness. Lol. So its basically just probably how i react to it. Its good i suppose to be told that. I dont have a criminal record at all which is probably what would lead to concerns.

I am curious How did it go? My experience with the legal system has been pretty rotten. when I got divorced in 95' I lost custodial rights to my children over my having a manic episode and leaving my husband. It was actually one of my better manic ideas all in all. hehe! I just joined and was roaming and I hope all goes well for you hun! Sara

The hearing isn't until March 22nd. But I think I've been successfully intimidated and the lawyer doesn't care so I guess if I don't have a subpoena handed to me I won't be going. I can't deal with all this being an issue when it's this woman's children people should be focusing on. Instead it's about revenge and getting even. And half of what I would say, my brother told me, and now he's decided to throw me under the bus for her. I'll let you know if I end up testifying.

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