Dating Someone Bipolar

posted 5 months ago in Relationships
Post # 16
10704 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

sweetdee89 :  

But, is he or is he not in treatment, Bee?

Diagnosed Bipolar 1, and not in treatment would be a hard no for me.  

How did his diagnosis come about?  What were the circumstances that got him in front of a mental health professional qualified to make that diagnosis?

Bipolar is one disorder that often responds very well to treatment, which is almost invariably going to include meds.  The olden days of lithium as the only option are over.  We’re up to 50+ different available medications. 

There is a licensed therapist who has made about a million YouTube videos on every imaginable psychological issue.  Her name is Katy Morton, and I find her delightful. She has a way of making complex topics easy to understand and an engaging personality.  You may want to check out what Katy has done on Bipolar.

Post # 17
2300 posts
Buzzing bee

sweetdee89 :  I guess my only advice here is to not allow his (untreated!!) mental-illness suffice as an excuse if/when he does something unacceptable. Don’t feel sorry for him if he does or says something hurtful to you and brushes it off as an irrational reaction that only happened because he’s suffering from a mental illness. He is a fully-grown adult and needs to take responsibility for his own mental health. 

It is concerning to me that he refuses to seek a diagnosis or medical advice. My father wasn’t diagnosed with bipolar disorder until recently (within the last 3-5 years) because he refused to seek medical advice. The only reason he’s diagnosed now was because he had an outburst at work that put him on the brink of losing his job—how convenient it was for him to go to the doctor at that point to be excused for his unacceptable behavior. He’s always been abusive and obnoxious, and even though he’s been diagnosed he still doesn’t take his medication. Because of my experience, I would never date someone with this type of mental disorder. 

Post # 21
2300 posts
Buzzing bee

sweetdee89 :  I am very glad to hear that you’re confident in your ability to recognize poor behavior and not make excuses based on mental illness. If that’s the case, you’ve got nothing to worry about! Best wishes on your new relationship ๐Ÿ˜Š

Post # 23
266 posts
Helper bee

ladyjane123 :  “Also in my experience it is a huge lie to try and claim that with meds someone will be ok, will stabalize, will get better when it comes to mental illness.”

I strongly disagree. Some patients (such as your brother’s partner) are treatment resistant. However, there are plenty of people walking around with a bipolar diagnosis and you would never know. Many patients respond to medications and can have decades of stability. I’m sorry to hear that your brother’s girlfriend doesn’t fall into that category. 

Post # 24
735 posts
Busy bee

sweetdee89 :  

You sound like a strong woman and a smart cookie, and I’m sure you will be fine whatever happens. I thought you handled your break up with your last boyfriend with strength and confidence, and you sound resilient.

There’s no way to know whether this relationship will be one which can work, except to give it time.

The only caution I’ll give you is that all people, virtually without exception, put their best foot forward at the beginning of a relationship. Nearly everyone downplays their flaws and their baggage because they don’t want to scare a new partner off.

I’m just saying, I would fully expect him to say that his highs last for extended periods and that his lows are very minimal and that he has good coping mechanisms and can recognise his triggers. It does not mean this is an accurate reflection of reality. I hope for your sake that it is, but be prepared for a more realistic scenario and the rose coloured glasses to fade a bit.

Everyone is extremely optimistic and full of fuzzy feelings during the honeymoon phase, and this is a good thing. However, just anticipate a bit of a bump when the two of you come back to earth. It’ll help you prepare.

Post # 25
60 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

My husband has Bipolar 1. He does not have depressive episodes (which are not required for the diagnosis) but does have the very occasional severe manic episode, one of which hospitalized him. I think the most important thing is seeing his commitment to treatment. Before my husband and I got engaged, I made him promise he would always take his medications or I would not marry him. He has been serious about his treatment and has not had an episode in 2 years. We have been careful to monitor his sleep and stress levels (lack of sleep can trigger mania). He talks to me about his feelings and sees his psychiatrist every 4 months for his meds. When he is not manic he is a completely normal, loving guy with a career and degree.

During an episode, giving love and support are really important. Remembering they don’t realize their delusions are not real. Mania can feel great to the person, but it can also feel uncomfortable and scary. 

I love my husband to death. He has impacted my career choices in a positive way (I am becoming an MD psychiatrist in one short year!) Him having this completely manageable mental illness does not impact our relationship a ton but my husband is 100% committed to his treatment. Make sure your guy is too.

Post # 26
1891 posts
Buzzing bee

amongclouds :  Not playing this game with you. THis is an extremely touchy subject for me. I know, and have known several people with bipolar and none of them had success with treatment.  One of them was a family friend who had a manic episode, got in her car and killed 2 people as well as herself getting into an accident. Not to mention my brothers girlfriends issues that I have been front and center for for the last 20 years.

It is not curable, many are always changing their meds as it is a guessing game pure and simple. Yes there are people out there with mild cases of bipolar but many aren’t. It is not something you can guess about. If someone as an adult doesn’t have it under control with meds and help, you can’t assume they will someday get it under control. That serves no one to think that way. It is important for anyone in any situation to evaluate a potential life partner based on who they ARE not who they could be. Whether that is a mental illness, or that they are bad with money, or have anger issues. It simply isnt’ healthy to ever date potential and not reality. 

Post # 28
1631 posts
Bumble bee

I would clarify whether he meant borderline as in “mild” bipolar or of he meant comorbid with borderline personality disorder. If it’s the former, continue with the advice in the thread. If it’s the latter, run and leave now. My experiences with people with borderline is that every negative stereotype about women being “crazy”  that I haven’t seen in people without borderline (e.g. the crazy ex who calls 20x, the crazy ex who threatens to kill herself if you don’t take her back, the crazy ex who threatens to murder your family if you don’t pick up her call, the crazy ex who is still stalking you 5 years later, etc.) seems to actually be true with them. 

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