Thanks for all the responses so far. It seems that Stephen Fry doesn't take medication after all :'(
The other problem with my friend is that he doesn't accept that his manic episodes are as negative a thing (to both himself and those around him) as people would have him believe. His view is that he's a 'man of the world' in a way that those around him are not... and that, necessarily, those around him are way too conservative about the limits they put on behavior...and that includes his doctors and the medical establishment.
Basically, he doesn't think he has a big problem. And when you point out that he's been sectioned twice, he blames it on other people over-reacting at the time. And that inevitably means he blames his girlfriend and family/friends, which means they fall out for weeks/months at a time.
The 'Stephen Fry' excuse is just the next and latest finger of dubious logic that he's relying on, and which is the latest one that we need to prise off.
I'm pretty surprised that more people haven't 'called' Stephen Fry 'out' on the question of whether his decision not to take medication is consistent with medical advice. Given what I know so far, both about BPD and Stephen Fry's history, it doesn't seem likely that it is!
I think those that have the best interests of sufferers of BPD at heart, may have manufactured a golden calf in our friend, Mr. Stephen Fry.
I really feel for you Swainer. It's difficult sometimes to help a friend who has BPD. They often do not realize how exhausting they can become.
My friend also blamed hospitalization on the 'over reactions' of family and friends. As for the 'man of the world' comment, my friend had something similar though she took it a step further, convinced that her insights were a result of just being on to something the rest of the world wasn't.
During her manic episodes, everything, everything, everything had some deeper meaning right down to cigarette ashes X-D She would become convinced that all she surveyed was not actually real, but a three dimensional metaphor for the Heaven. And when she wanted to talk about these things she would go on for hours. At first, I would entertain these conversations because one of the hallmarks of our friendship had been that we would have lengthy philosophical discussions. But in her manic phase, it twisted into her having some incredible insight, a greater understanding as it were, than the rest of us.
When she became depressed she'd also become morose, unwilling to talk, and hole up inside her house. She didn't want any social visits in part because they exhausted her quickly and in part because she simply didn't want anyone seeing her enveloped in a black cloud. It was only during these very bleak periods that she'd think for herself that, yes, medication might make her feel better. Never during the 'highs', when she could go without sleep for days and thought she could save everyone with her elaborate insights.
The good news is, that she eventually got the medications 'right' for her and she was 'herself' again. Her goals became clear, she excelled at work, she didn't experience anymore of those deeply depressing periods that made her feel very lonely, and she fell in love again.
Because she never behaved like a full blown 'crazy' person, in the sense she hallucinated and responded to unreal things all the time or went around barking at people, it took much longer for her to come around to meds because she acted just normal enough.
she didn't need meds.
Anyway, I wish you luck with your friend. Hang in there. They really are the same person. They're just a person now whose BPD symptoms are becoming increasingly apparant.