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.
What You Need To Know About Dating Someone With Bipolar Disorder
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.
Just as a bipolar person myself, if I didn’t have the support of my boyfriend and him making sure I’m always on my meds or else we wouldn’t be dating;.
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?
Will they think of you differently once they know? You have self-doubt, you question yourself, and mainly you assume you are the underdog in romantic relationships. When I accepted my diagnosis and life with bipolar disorder, I finally found my confident self, but I had to overcome some obstacles to get there. I was in a toxic relationship where I was gaslighted by my boyfriend: he manipulated me into questioning my own sanity.
He turned out to be a miserable person all around. We started dating around three years after my diagnosis—when I was just starting to publish my blog and open up about my struggle with mental health. Slowly he began to use my diagnosis of bipolar against me. In his mind, everything I said or did was a result of my mood disorder. When I suspected him of cheating, he made me feel as though bipolar prompted delusional ways of thinking. I questioned myself and my sanity, which was the wrong thing to do.
Dating With Bipolar Can Be an Exhausting Cycle of Intensity and Bailing
You may feel frustrated around a person with bipolar disorder who is having a manic episode. The high energy level can be tiring or even frightening. The person may also actually enjoy the mania and may not take medicines, which can prolong the episode. Also, the person may say and do unusual or hurtful things.
You’re like, bipolar,” my ex-boyfriend once told me. When you’re dating someone like me — someone with bipolar disorder — you have to be.
I should have seen it coming. My moods were extreme, and at the good old age of 20, he wasn’t much help in the situation due to his lack of understanding. I would tell him to shut up and say he was rude for saying that. Little did I know that, about six months later, I would also tell him he was right. Turns out, I have bipolar II disorder. About a year and a half ago, I was diagnosed. And although a lot of things began to make sense, it killed a part of my self-esteem.
Like many others with a psychological or mood disorder, I tend to feel shame and embarrassment in the fact. But it is who I am. In a relationship, it takes two. I can look back now and realize that. In the grand scheme of things, my ex and I both took part in the failure of our relationship.
‘So, you know I have bipolar?’ – the perils of dating with a mental health problem
Do you suffer from this mental health condition yourself? If so, you likely have found that navigating relationships can be a roller coaster ride. Roughly 2. For these individuals, one of the most challenging aspects of living with the condition is holding onto friendships and successfully managing long-term relationships.
Do you love a person with bipolar disorder? Do you suffer from this mental health Bipolar Romantic Relationships: Dating and Marriage. WebMD. Available at.
If you love her put your personal bias about mental health to the bipolar and educate yourself. Let go and grow. One of my favorite quotes is:. It has helped me tremendously. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Hopefully I will have more books to share bipolar! Teen Vogue:. Bipolar Disorder Dating Tips. Gaslighted By My Boyfriend:. Dating with Bipolar Disorder.
“Dating with bipolar: how I learnt to be open about my mental health issues”
Every girl who is looking for her Prince Charming always envisions a tall, dark and handsome man. Few descriptions of this person ever describe his mental condition; however, psychology tells us that if a person is tall, dark and handsome, the halo effect that we ascribe to him will automatically include intelligence, wit and mental stability.
If you are unfamiliar with the halo effect, it simply means that a person with one good quality is seen to have many good qualities. Few, if any women will ever achieve this perfect vision in their real lives.
How Accurate Is Anne Hathaway’s Modern Love Episode About Dating With Bipolar Disorder · PHoto: Courtesy of Amazon Studios. · Warning.
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. Having honest conversation with a new partner about living with mental health issues can help to avoid hurt feelings and confusion, Campbell says.
As long as I take my medications and keep going to therapy, bipolar does not get to define my entire personality. However, one of the scariest parts of dating with bipolar is actually telling a date about it. Thankfully, Campbell says that talking about mental health issues can be a conversation that happens naturally. Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of Tonic delivered to your inbox. By signing up to the VICE newsletter you agree to receive electronic communications from VICE that may sometimes include advertisements or sponsored content.
The ups and downs of dating with bipolar
Dating is a tricky business at the best of times, but even more so if you have a history of mental illness. D ating is hard. I continued to stare at the back of her head from my desk, in the full knowledge that she would never speak to me again.
To get beyond her own experience of dating while bipolar, journalist Hattie was with her boyfriend when she locked herself in a bathroom.
Credit: Bigstock. You like him, you like his friends, you like his moves in the bedroom. You wonder if he could be husband material. Then he sits you down and tells you that he has bipolar disorder. You find yourself unsure about whether or not your courtship should continue. OK, so we go to therapy and take medications every day, but so do half of the people in New York City. You will never know how much time we spend overthinking about something you said at dinner last Tuesday.
Chances are, we either know how to handle it, or we are working on it. People with mood disorders — bipolar, depression, borderline personality, anxiety and others — have learned that holding in our feelings is bad. It makes us feel very intense negative feelings, and they are usually about ourselves. Moreover, when we feel bad, we have bad thoughts and might want to do bad things, like polish off a whole bottle of liquor, call up our ex, or get behind the wheel while in an agitated state.
To ensure that we do not end up drunk dialing someone, or worse, we have to make sure our feelings do not get the best of us. So we have to talk. If we fall off in our treatment, experience a traumatic event or our meds stop working, we could go into relapse.
Living with bipolar disorder can be a roller coaster of highs and lows, with moods constantly shifting between euphoric happiness and unusually deep sadness. While occasional mood swings are common for most people, the emotional ebbs and flows experienced by bipolar sufferers can be so deep and all-encompassing that they can interfere with daily functioning. Once known as manic depression because of extreme moods, bipolar disorder affects an estimated 4.
These manic and depressive states may continue for periods of months or even years, while in between episodes the sufferer may experience relatively stable moods.
A diagnosis of bipolar disorder doesn’t have to mean the end of love or a meaningful Woman comforting her distressed boyfriend on a bench.
If you are currently dating someone with bipolar disorder , you may struggle with a number of challenges like how you can support him or her while still caring for yourself. Knowledge is power, so learn as much as you can about your partner’s disease. This will also be a healthy sign to him or her that you care. That being said, bipolar disorder is a complex disease. Try not to get too bogged down in the details. For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.
It is important when you are dating someone with bipolar disorder to recognize that their disease is a piece of their life pie, and not their whole identity.