Bipolar disorder is a pretty common mental health condition. About 1 in 40 American adults live with it. So no , not everyone who has bipolar disorder knows they have it. There are lots of reasons why someone with bipolar disorder might not realize it—or why they might deny having it even if they do. If you think someone you know might have untreated bipolar disorder, there are a few things you can do to help. People with bipolar disorder usually get diagnosed with something else first—depression and ADHD are some of the most common. Depression is a part of bipolar disorder , and most people are more familiar with what depression looks like than mania. ADHD can also look very similar to bipolar disorder, especially in children. Once a person discovers they have bipolar disorder, that might replace any previous diagnosis—or they might have multiple mental health conditions at once. Even after a person learns they have bipolar disorder, it can be hard to accept the reality of it.
Have you recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder? You know how this disorder affects you and what to expect when living with it. Mental health can cause challenges in a romantic relationship, but relationships come with challenges either way. Your challenges can be overcome with the right tips in mind.
We asked five adults with bipolar disorder to share their best dating tips and relationship advice, here’s what they said.
If you are in crisis , you may feel your world has fallen apart, that everything is black, that nothing makes sense or that you are in danger. Having bipolar is more than a temporary feeling of being depressed when you are stressed out, or of feeling great when something goes really well. People with bipolar disorder usually experience more lows than highs. Some of the extreme phases of bipolar disorder make everyday life difficult and can include a loss of touch with reality psychosis.
Bipolar generally begins between the ages of 15 and 40 years and occurs equally across all cultures. Most people return to their usual level of functioning after periods of illness. Some will have some ongoing difficulties.
Dating someone with bipolar depression
It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, patience and listening. Bipolar depression can consist of irritability, low energy, negative thoughts, lack of motivation, no interest and large amounts of sleep and solitude — and the manic phase can be just as difficult. The erratic and risky behavior, high levels of energy, extreme stress, rash decisions, euphoric feelings and odd sleep patterns can be damaging.
The drastic change in moods, mood swings, anger and fits of rage can be draining at points and feel like things are going in circles. Symptoms should be conquered and not define who you are or the relationship you are in. Being bipolar can put a strain on any relationship.
A person with bipolar disorder may feel empowered by sharing their diagnosis in a new relationship. Sharing this information may not be first date.
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.
Bipolar disorder, dating and relationships
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.
Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition marked by intense mood changes. People with the illness switch back and forth from mania or hypomania (an.
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. Bipolar disorders are typically chronic conditions and require lifelong attention, with treatment aimed at managing the symptoms. These depressive episodes will result in lower levels of communication, self-esteem, and a lack of interest in life itself.
In this depressive period, the euphoria and elation are long gone and have made way for hopelessness and sadness. Some sufferers say the depressive episodes may make it feel nearly impossible to get out of bed, eat, or answer the phone. In the mixed episode moments, a person with bipolar disorder may exhibit symptoms of mania or hypomania and depression simultaneously.
Dating With Bipolar Can Be an Exhausting Cycle of Intensity and Bailing
Photo by Lidya Nada on Unsplash. But it doesn’t have to be. Meet Jess. She’s is in her mid-twenties and was diagnosed with bipolar when she was 21, but she’s been with her partner since she was Before she knew she had bipolar, she felt like there was constant tension.
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. Elspeth Rawlings, 23, a student in Frederick, Maryland, tends to only date people she already knows, which helps minimize anxiety. At age 17, Rawlings was misdiagnosed with major depressive disorder. She was formally diagnosed with bipolar I in early and is now thriving with the right therapy and medication regimen.
Low-key first dates — like watching movies together — are best for her, Rawlings says. According to Greenberg, not disclosing right away is okay if doing so would be uncomfortable.
Podcast: Should I Date Someone With Bipolar Disorder?
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.
Type 1 bipolar disorder means you have more extreme mood swings with longer periods of mania. Type 2 usually means you have more low.
Can a relationship work when one person has severe mental illness? What are some positive signs that the relationship can last? And what are the clues that you might need to call it quits? Tune in for a heartfelt discussion on living and dating with severe mental illness. Gabe Howard is an award-winning writer and speaker who lives with bipolar disorder. He is the author of the popular book, Mental Illness is an Asshole and other Observations , available from Amazon ; signed copies are also available directly from Gabe Howard.
To learn more, please visit his website, gabehoward. She lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her husband; enjoys international travel; and orders 12 pairs of shoes online, picks the best one, and sends the other 11 back. Thank you. Together, we created the mental health podcast for people who hate mental health podcasts. Gabe: Hey, Lisa, before we get started, are you struggling with your mental health during the pandemic? Lisa: Well of course I am.
Gabe : Well, I want to tell you about a 4-week, fully remote program that I found developed by experts in digital therapeutics.