bipolar disorder, Dr. Paul Markovitz  Q. A very close friend of mine was diagnosed about six months ago with Bi-Polar Disorder. We have known each other a couple years and have dated off and on for a year, but it has been very difficult because of his symptoms. Actually, I am not sure if BP is the only issue he has. I have a few questions I would like to ask.

First, is it possible for a person to be BP and also have mild/medium borderline tendencies? I have read books and articles on BPD and he seems to fit SOME of the characteristics as well.

Also, he is currently taking Neurontin and Wellbutrin. Is Wellbutrin a good choice for those with BP? I know that some antidepressants can actually trigger mania.

Lastly, I heard of something called Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy. For whom is this type of therapy intended and if it is used for those w/ BP, do you know where I can get more information regarding it?

  A. Many psychiatric diagnoses overlap in symptoms. Thus, he may be bipolar or borderline or both. Hopefully, his doctor's treatment plan addresses all the aberrant behaviors your friend has.

Wellbutrin has a reputation as a good medication for bipolars with a low incidence of inducing mania. It is not, however, free of any risk of inducing mania.

Albert Ellis has written most on Rational Emotive Therapy (RET), and has published a great deal. If is a form of cognitive therapy, and seems to work well and is easy to do in real life and apply to real life situations.