Dating a guy with manic depression
Here are just a few of the lessons I carry with me:. Whenever my ex was in a depressive state, I would try to make him happy by offering to watch his favorite movie, go to his favorite restaurant, or give him a back rub. It never worked — all of these things just made him more frustrated than anything else. Instead, things he usually enjoyed just served as reminders to him of how terrible he felt.
Dating Someone With Bipolar Disorder
If you do not agree to such placement, do not provide the information. 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 have healthy relationships. This article discusses how bipolar disorder may impact relationships.
It also gives relationship tips for a person with bipolar and their partner. It is likely to be the symptoms of bipolar disorder, not the condition itself, that may cause relationship problems. There are many ways to treat bipolar. A combination of medication and psychotherapy often successfully reduces symptoms. With the right treatment, people with bipolar disorder may have long periods during which their mood is stable.
Or, they may only have mild symptoms, which are unlikely to significantly affect their relationship. Without effective treatment, manic episodes may cause a person with bipolar disorder to become irritable. A person with bipolar may disagree with their partner more easily during a manic episode. Risk-taking behaviors, such as spending sprees or binge drinking, may happen during a manic episode.
These behaviors may create tension within a relationship. If the person with bipolar disorder experiences major depressive symptoms, they may be less communicative during a period of depression. They may become tearful or feel hopeless and pessimistic. It can be difficult for a person's partner to know what to say or do to help. They may feel rejected, mistaking symptoms as a lack of interest in the relationship.
During a mixed episode, a person with bipolar may have symptoms of mania or hypomania and depression at the same time. This may be confusing or stressful for their partner, who may not know what kind of reaction to expect. All relationships take work, and being in a relationship with a person with bipolar disorder is no different. A healthy partnership requires empathy, communication, and self-awareness. Reading reputable, well-sourced health information websites can help give a balanced view of the condition.
Triggers are events or circumstances that could disrupt the mood state of a person with bipolar disorder. This could increase their risk of experiencing a manic or depressive episode. Triggers could include dealing with a stressful work scenario, not getting enough sleep , or missing doses of medication. Not everyone with bipolar will have triggers, but if they do, they may have learned about them through their own experience with the illness.
Asking about personal triggers can help someone support their partner when those events or circumstances arise or help them avoid triggers. However, many mood changes can occur without triggers. Asking what behaviors are typical for a person with bipolar disorder during high or low periods can help someone recognize their partner's shifts in mood. Some behaviors may be a warning sign for one person but not for another.
For example, for a person with a high sex drive, wanting to have sex often may be normal. For others, however, it could be a sign of a manic episode. Likewise, for those whose libido is usually low, showing little interest in sex may not coincide with a low mood. However, for someone whose sex drive is usually high, losing interest in sex may indicate a depressive episode. Learning which behaviors are usual for a loved one and which indicate a shift in mood can be very helpful. This enables the partner of a person with bipolar disorder to distinguish usual behaviors from bipolar symptoms.
To support a person's treatment plan, start by discussing what the plan involves. This may help reduce any anxiety in the relationship. While some people appreciate being asked about how their treatment is going, others may find it intrusive or paternalistic. It is crucial to talk about how best to support treatment and whether there are aspects of treatment that a person does not want to discuss. Creating a support plan is a useful way for a partner to learn how to help a person with bipolar when they are unwell.
This might include planning activities, making a list of useful contacts, such as a trusted relative or therapist, and making adjustments to daily routine. A support plan reassures both partners that they will know how to respond to a very high or low period. This can reduce anxiety around the idea of the person with bipolar becoming unwell. High or low periods may be emotional for both partners. For this reason, open communication is crucial. A partner should explain how the behavior of a person with bipolar makes them feel, without judging them or stigmatizing the condition.
Talking openly can be a powerful way to reduce the negative impact that certain behaviors may have. It is vital for the partner of a person with bipolar disorder to support their own mental health by practicing self-care. Through self-care, a person can strengthen the relationship. It can also improve their ability to care for their partner. A person with bipolar disorder may feel empowered by sharing their diagnosis in a new relationship.
Sharing this information may not be first date territory for everyone, but it is important to discuss in the early stages of a relationship. Not everyone will understand how bipolar disorder can affect a person's life. Telling a partner about bipolar disorder and noticing how they respond is one way to gauge whether they are likely to be supportive. Being consistent with treatment is the best way to reduce symptoms, but which treatments work best may vary between individuals.
A combination of therapy and medication works for many people. Regular exercise, yoga , mindfulness, or journaling may also help support a person's overall well-being. Sharing any changes in mood with a partner can help both parties recognize and respond to a high or low period before it escalates. Telling a partner what to expect during manic or depressive episodes, as well as recognizing and telling them about warning signs, can help ensure that they do not blame themselves.
For example, if a person with bipolar is starting to feel a low mood, telling their partner early not only helps the partner be supportive, but it can also prevent them from thinking that the low mood indicates a lack of interest in the relationship. If a partner tells a person with bipolar disorder that they have noticed signs of a mood change, it is vital to listen to them.
Listening to and discussing feedback without being defensive can improve intimacy. Of course, not all mood changes are due to bipolar. It is human to feel happy or sad in response to life's events. Having a diagnosis of bipolar disorder does not mean that a person will have relationship problems. However, without effective treatment, bipolar disorder symptoms may cause relationship tension. By sticking to a good treatment regimen, a person with bipolar disorder may have long periods with few or no symptoms.
All relationships require empathy, communication, and emotional awareness. These qualities help a person be a supportive partner to someone with bipolar disorder. People with well-managed bipolar can build healthy, long-term relationships. Article last reviewed by Wed 6 February Visit our Bipolar category page for the latest news on this subject, or sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest updates on Bipolar.
All references are available in the References tab. Grover, S. Lewis, K. Sleep loss as a trigger of mood episodes in bipolar disorder: Individual differences based on diagnostic subtype and gender. Pavlickova, H. The dynamics of mood and coping in bipolar disorder: Longitudinal investigations of the inter-relationship between affect, self-esteem and response styles. Sheets, E. Predictors of relationship functioning for patients with bipolar disorder and their partners.
MLA Burgess, Lana. MediLexicon, Intl. APA Burgess, L.
Dating With Bipolar Can Be an Exhausting Cycle of Intensity and Bailing For many, it'll include recurring cycles of depression and mania. Are you bipolar and dating or dating someone with bipolar? most empathetic people I know live with bipolar disorder, depression or anxiety.
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.
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.
There are common misconceptions surrounding what to expect when you have a friend or partner with bipolar disorder. Of course, everyone suffers and deals with bipolar differently, and there are many different types on the spectrum, with Type 1 and 2 being most common.
5 Tips For Dating Someone With Bipolar Disorder
Or maybe we live in such confusing, crazy times as to push us all a little closer to the edge. Intimacy is important to our health and happiness , so we need strategies for love in these maddening times. Bipolar disorder is more prevalent these days. In any given year, 2. The more you date, the higher your odds are of running across someone with this disorder.
Dating With Bipolar Can Be an Exhausting Cycle of Intensity and Bailing
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. In her marriage, Elizabeth of British Columbia makes a point to talk to her husband about her symptoms at least once a week. You will come to realize the signs of stress, the signals to triggers and when to offer a hug or give space. Focusing on shared goals and your commitment to each other helps make your partnership work, and the more both partners know about symptoms, treatments and coping strategies, the more hope there is for recovery and the relationship.
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.
How can bipolar disorder affect relationships?
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.
6 Tips to Remember When Bipolar Disorder Is Part of Your Relationship
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, so try not to get too bogged down in the details. 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. That being said, to a large degree, a person's bipolar disorder contributes significantly to their behavior, personality, and relationships.
Bipolar Disorder Signs and Symptoms
Dating is enough of a challenge when you are 39, divorced, have 5 kids, and are roommates with your best friend and her kids. That inevitable train wreck, soon-to-be-psycho-ex. Crazy has been my word for years. My word to despise, my word to prove wrong, my word to embrace, all depending on the day and the context of its application to my life. I DO suffer from mood swings, highs and lows, manic anxiety and haunting depression. I have become acutely aware of my body and its warning signs in my 39 years on Earth.
Dating Someone With Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder once known as manic depression or manic-depressive disorder causes serious shifts in mood, energy, thinking, and behavior—from the highs of mania on one extreme, to the lows of depression on the other. More than just a fleeting good or bad mood, the cycles of bipolar disorder last for days, weeks, or months. And unlike ordinary mood swings, the mood changes of bipolar disorder are so intense that they interfere with your ability to function. During a manic episode, you might impulsively quit your job, charge up huge amounts on credit cards, or feel rested after sleeping two hours. During a depressive episode, you might be too tired to get out of bed, and full of self-loathing and hopelessness over being unemployed and in debt.
Hope dated several men after she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder II in , but none of the relationships lasted long enough to make her mental health an issue. When Hope, 45, developed feelings for a local restaurateur in , she knew she would have to talk to him about her diagnosis before things got serious. His soon-to-be ex had bipolar and her illness was one reason they were divorcing. Listening to her date explain how his wife refused treatment and how the disorder took its toll on her health and their marriage, Hope realized she had to share her diagnosis even though she was terrified he would end their relationship. He could not have been more positive and agreed to give our relationship a chance. Dating is always fraught with expectations, anxiety and disappointment.
The intense zeal for life or passion of your significant other may be what attracted you to them. You may have been drawn to their sensitive and caring heart. These may be the strengths of the disorder that they suffer. Many mental health clinicians have the opinion that Bipolar Disorder is over diagnosed when often major life stressors or past events that need to be addressed in therapy play a bigger role than we know in the disease; do not dismiss them for their weaknesses if you are captivated by their strengths. Another common positive trait among those who suffer from Bipolar Disorder which is depicted in many books is how gifted they are and how strong their imaginations are. The last thing you want to do is put a label on someone you really enjoy when they tell you they have bipolar disorder.Out of Darkness: Joanna's Story