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. Greenberg also says that your anxiety could be heightened. Leah Yegneswaran, 24, of Fredericksburg, Virginia, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 20, agrees. So Yegneswaran creates a backup plan to accommodate the possibility of an anxiety attack.
Managing the Highs and Lows of Bipolar Disorder and Relationships
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.
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.
Subscriber Account active since. My boyfriend and I have been in a committed relationship for six months — a period commonly referred to as the “honeymoon phase. According to studies , we should both be experiencing a rush of euphoria while we discuss plans for the future, and should be relishing every moment we spend together. This time period usually comes to an end after half of a year.
For us, it didn’t quite work out that way. We have our own homes, but with the upsurge in panic surrounding the coronavirus , we made the mutual decision to quarantine at my place around two months ago. He was also in the midst of hypomania — a mild form of traditional mania associated with bipolar 2 disorder — when we agreed to this, though we didn’t know it at the time. In his teenage years, a doctor had diagnosed him with bipolar, but the diagnosis was incorrectly changed to ADHD.
His current psychiatrist prescribed him an antipsychotic, called Abilify, to hopefully regulate his mood. However, this class of medication can take a minimum of six weeks before becoming effective. Joe’s hypomanic episodes tend to last two to four weeks.
How can bipolar disorder affect relationships?
The highs and lows characteristic of some forms of bipolar disorder may affect the way a person thinks, feels, and behaves. This includes how they act in romantic relationships. People with bipolar disorder experience severe high and low moods. These are called manic or hypomanic and depressive episodes. However, with the right treatment, many people with bipolar disorder can have healthy relationships.
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.
The ups and downs of dating with bipolar
Photo by Lidya Nada on Unsplash. But it doesn’t have to be. Meet Jess.
There are common misconceptions surrounding what to expect when you have a friend or partner with bipolar disorder. Of course, everyone.
Here are just a few of the lessons I carry with me:. Whenever my ex was in a depressive someone, I would try to make him happy by offering to watch his bipolar movie, go to his special restaurant, or give him a back rub. It never worked – click to see more all of these things just made him more frustrated than anything else. Instead, sites he usually enjoyed just served as reminders to him of how terrible he felt.
Sometimes the best depression you can offer is just being there. Sometimes the answer was no and I accepted that. For a while, I was offended with I felt like as his someone, I should be able to fix things.
Falling in love when you’re bipolar
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.
The trademark of bipolar disorder is a major mood imbalance. The person may go from depressed to a manic state, or may experience other shifts.
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. This is how it is for everyone. But what is it like when, in addition to your inability to say anything remotely funny or interesting to the person you are into, you have a mental health problem as well? How does that affect the way you interact with them? How does it affect a relationship once you are actually in one? And, more pressingly: how do you even tell someone you are, or have been, ill?
At what point during the dating process is it appropriate to bring up mental health?
Bipolar disorder, dating and relationships
Most committed relationships have their challenges. Add bipolar to the mix and the degree of difficulty suddenly gets a lot higher. But a diagnosis of bipolar can also enhance a loving relationship and enrich the lives of both parties.
Dating is not always pretty, and love is hard at times. The difficulties of being in a relationship with someone diagnosed with bipolar disorder are many.
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.
We talked about how I could actively take steps to protect myself.