Bipolar disorder is a misunderstood mental illness that’s more common than some people realize. Marked by distinct high and low moods, called mania and depression, bipolar disorder causes patients to experience distractibility, feelings of euphoria, restlessness, and hopelessness, among other symptoms. Every year, nearly 3 percent of the U. According to Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph. But some people experience symptoms earlier — right about when they are starting to date. Trying to find a companion, though, is hard enough without adding mental illness into the picture. Hannah Blum, an activist and blogger about bipolar issues , says that when she told her boyfriend about her diagnosis after eight months of dating, he began to use it to manipulate her. I’ve come to find out that I was completely in the right. I’m doing fine and I’ve been told by my doctor and from my reading that I have every reason to believe that the prognosis is good. Hannah says that in dating at least her bipolar has been a kind of blessing.
Dating With Bipolar: 6 Relationship Tips to Remember If You Have the Disorder
Dating during your twenties is an experience in itself, but when you live with a severely stigmatized condition like bipolar disorder, dating can really be a challenge. As a year-old mental health advocate who is publicly open about her life with bipolar II disorder, I have often experienced stigma in my dating life. Bipolar disorder is a part of me, and I am not ashamed of my condition, in fact, it is the opposite, I embrace it.
Should you even tell them at all?
1. Communicate With Your Partner · 2. Always Practice Self-Care · 3. Remember Your Treatment Plan · 4. Stay Honest at All Times · 5. Help.
Last summer, when my boyfriend watched me sleep on a hospital gurney, I realized we had to have a real talk about my mental health. A manic episode had left me delusional and paranoid — and in the ER for a day. My ups and downs are visible to anyone who knows me well. If you are dating someone with bipolar disorder, keep these points in mind. This only underlines the importance of having plans and approaches identified and considered.
Once someone is in the throes of a manic episode, they might, like I do, feel euphoric, energetic, and deny that there is an issue. I was abusing substances and, after days of little to no sleep, reached a breaking point. When I started seriously questioning reality, my partner brought me to the ER, where doctors gave me valium and an IV for dehydration.
I woke up in a calmer state but had to work on controlling my hypomania for the next few weeks. My partner had never seen me like that before and was deeply concerned.
Romantic Relationships With Bipolar Disorder Are Possible
The prospect of dealing with a lifelong, life-threatening condition can be overwhelming. The diagnosis of bipolar disorder, for example, can test even the strongest of foundations. The unpredictable symptoms and behaviors of a person experiencing bipolar disorder can shake up a relationship and may scare even the most supportive partner. These symptoms can include:. Not surprisingly, communication is essential to supporting your partner and your union.
Most of the time, living with bipolar disorder is uneventful. When that happens, it can interfere with my work life, friendships and—as you can imagine—completely sabotage my dating life. Bipolar disorder causes drastic and unusual shifts in mood, activity level, and energy. These symptoms can be particularly challenging when it comes to dating, especially early on in a relationship or when meeting someone new, she tells me. The fluctuating moods and periods of depression that are linked to bipolar disorder might also come off as flakiness and disinterest, and a potential partner might easily take these seemingly mixed messages to heart.
For me, dating with bipolar is sometimes illustrated in an exhausting cycle of feeling like a jerk because I was sad, then feeling sad because I was a jerk and bailed.
How Bipolar Affects Dating and Relationships
Coming out as much as bipolar disorder, challenges stack up and tend to be a hypomanic episode. Rich woman who is the stability of This Site own. Angela shares her memoir. Coming out 2.
Relationships are work with or without a mental illness. Hannah shares the fears and difficulties she faces dating as a person with bipolar.
Bipolar can seem like a dirty word in the best of circumstances. Instead of hiding from the dating world, I am here to help you understand precisely how bipolar can affect intimate relationships. Once you have a better idea of what to expect, you can make some changes and ensure the both of you start on the right foot. Extreme mood swings are destabilizing for both people in a relationship.
Not knowing how your significant other will react can create uncertainty for some aspects of dating, such as having tough conversations or discussing big moves. Not knowing how a partner will act at any given time can lead to one side of the relationship withdrawing and becoming distant. Irritability and extreme anger can happen during manic episodes, resulting in lashing out at anyone nearby. Irritability often manifests in being easily upset, lashing out, and having a lower stress tolerance.
Sometimes this takes the form of things upsetting you that used to be just fine or shouting at someone without understanding why. Things that seem innocent can set off a cascade of anger and cause a huge fight. And this is one of the worst things that can happen for your relationship. Having bipolar while dating can make you feel like an outcast.
Falling in love when you’re bipolar
Follow Us. To get beyond her own experience of dating while bipolar, journalist Kate Leaver spoke to a few other women about their own journeys, as well as speaking to psychologist Abigael San for advice. At a cute Italian restaurant, over candlelight and red wine, a man once told me he could never trust or love someone with a mental illness. He knew I lived with bipolar disorder.
Hope dated several men after she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder II in , but none of the relationships lasted long enough to make her.
Love is, after all, a surge of dopamine, adrenaline and serotonin — the chemicals responsible for comfort, exhilaration and happiness. Imagine, then, a brain trying to navigate the rush of love through the fog of depression, or mania. Imagine someone with bipolar disorder, falling in love. I met my boyfriend, Jono, at work. He was producing a musical, written by a woman called Brigitte Aphrodite, about her depression.
I was the first journalist to interview Brigitte, and given how raw the show was for her, she had her whole production team huddled close. Jono sat on my left. So, as it happened, perhaps the first thing he knew about me was that I live with bipolar. I told the group about my condition to put Brigitte at ease. It was a year later, at a party, that Jono and I actually had our first drink together: vodka and lemonade in plastic cups with the unspoken promise of a kiss the next time we met, a few days later.
At that stage, it was all about lust and picnics, mouths kissed and hands held. The beginnings of love are always so ephemeral, and you know it even at the time, so you try and hold onto those fleeting feelings of magic.
What It’s Like To Date When You Live With Bipolar Disorder
For people with bipolar, dating means taking it slow, minimizing anxiety, and putting yourself first. For people with bipolar disorder , piloting the unpredictable waters of dating can mean much more anxiety than normal. Here, five adults with bipolar disorder talk about their dating experiences, and how they navigate both the dating scene and the crucial question of when to disclose their mental health issues.
Dattaro was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder right after her 23rd birthday. Greenberg agrees, noting that in someone with bipolar disorder , that excitement can be heightened. So to those with bipolar who are entering the dating scene, she advises, “since bipolar people can be impulsive, you might want to prepare yourself for taking your time.
While no marriage is easy, challenges stack up when a mental health condition is added to the mix. The diagnosis of bipolar disorder.
I know I used to, anyway. I thought of Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest , sweet and soft-spoken one moment, harsh and abusive the next. I thought of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. I mistakenly thought bipolar 1 looked like the intense highs and lows depicted in these films, and that bipolar 1 and 2 were pretty much the same. To me back then, being bipolar meant having two different personalities. But I was just me.