Tips for dating a bipolar person

Content
  • Dating Someone With Bipolar Disorder
  • 9 Rules for Bipolar Relationships
  • 5 Secrets to Dating When You Have Bipolar Disorder
  • Bipolar Disorder Dating Tips
  • How can bipolar disorder affect relationships?
  • This is what you should know before dating someone with bipolar disorder
  • How can bipolar disorder affect relationships?

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. However, dating—when you live with a mental health condition—can be complicated: When should you tell your date about your diagnosis?

Dating Someone With Bipolar Disorder

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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.

Here are some real-life tips on dating a person with bipolar disorder, including caring for yourself, gaining knowledge, and setting boundaries. Are you bipolar and dating or dating someone with bipolar? My advice to those who live with bipolar disorder and ready to enter the dating.

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.

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.

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.

5 Secrets to Dating When You Have Bipolar Disorder

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. You just need to be mindful of the hazards and establish some rules for moving forward with love and compassion. Here are some rules to apply to a relationship with someone with bipolar that will help you emerge from the tough spots even stronger in your relationship.

Bipolar Disorder Dating Tips

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. It can also make us incredibly impulsive. For example, doing things like getting tattoos or piercings that we may not have thought about beforehand or spending a lot of money. The lows that bipolar offers are not simply a day of not wanting to get out of bed. They can last for long periods of time and can make us feel as though there is no point to life. They can be accompanied by tearfulness, suicidal thoughts and feelings of guilt. If you or a loved one may be worried you have bipolar disorder, seek help by visiting your GP, or find support at http: Follow Metro.

The prospect of dealing with a lifelong, life-threatening condition can be overwhelming.

Bipolar disorder can be tough for the person affected; some people learn to control it, some don’t, but it’s important to understand how they’re affected and how you can help them. Dating someone with bipolar is no different to dating anyone else.

How can bipolar disorder affect relationships?

For answers, we turned to four couples who illustrate key aspects of maintaining a long-term, satisfying partnership while living with bipolar disorder. Since both individuals live with bipolar even if only one has a diagnosis, seeing yourselves as a team is a given. When Sammi S. Before meeting Sammi, James knew little about mental health issues. Shane McInerney, MD, a psychiatrist specializing in mood disorders, takes it a step further: I try to get her to eat, sleep, take her pills, go for drives. I take her to her mom for a visit. And they go for long walks with their beloved Border Collies, Bug and Dazey. It can be in the middle. For some couples, bipolar symptoms erupt after the relationship is already established. Jacob and Drea, who live in Arizona, with their infant daughter, had been married for four years when Jacob entered an extreme manic episode. Even before Jacob was diagnosed and started medication, Drea went into help mode.

This is what you should know before dating someone with bipolar disorder

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.

How can bipolar disorder affect relationships?

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.

For people with bipolar, dating means taking it slow, minimizing anxiety, and putting yourself first. Last Updated: From Mania to Memoir: One Man’s Journey. Please enter a valid email address.

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