Dating Someone Bipolar

posted 2 months ago in Relationships
Post # 46
Member
245 posts
Helper bee

ladyjane123 :  As someone with bipolar, who has dated people with bipolar, who has close friends who are bipolar, who has close friends who have dated people who are bipolar – everyone is different. There are people with bipolar who do struggle visibly. It can be horrible if treatment isn’t managed properly. However, what you see is driven by selection bias – you see the people who are either so ill that it’s obvious, or they’re ill enough for the illness to be a big part of their life, meaning that they discuss it with people. 

What you don’t see are the people who are in remission with treatment, because whilst these people are out there, you wouldn’t be able to identify them unless they told you. 

I’m not trying to get into an argument, but bipolar is heavily stigmatized. It’s easier for people to notice the crazy rather than the successful treatment. But there are tons of people who are able to live normal lives when medicated. 

Post # 47
Member
10436 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

amongclouds :  

This is excellent information, Bee.

The biggest takeaway from your post is that you are referencing people who are receiving treatment for bipolar.

This is crucial.  Thankfully, today, we have effective medication options.

Well done, Bee!

Post # 48
Member
1891 posts
Buzzing bee

I get for people who are bipolar, it’s stigmatized and I understand how tough that can make it to date hold a job etc. my issue from the side of watching someone sign up for a life with a partner with bipolar is that there isn’t guaranteed treatment because there is no cure. The people I have known who have it are in constant treatment and on meds and At best it helps for a few months before a different medication is tried next. So no, treatment doesn’t automatically mean success. Marrying/ dating someone with any mental illness is a hell of a lot to sign up for. After seeing what I have seen I would never in a million years date someone with any mental illness because I choose to have a life free of that hardship, I choose to not subject any kids I have to that either. I want the OP and anyone else considering being with someone with a mental illness to really understand how hard that can be, and know that they can opt out and not want that for their life without feeling like a jerk for not wanting to be with someone with that particular illness. And I would say to anyone picking a life partner, you date reality not potential whether that is personality traits or an illness. And the reality of mental illness shouldn’t be sugar coated for the person who is thinking of committing their life to shouldering that burden. 

 

amongclouds :  

Post # 49
Member
245 posts
Helper bee

ladyjane123 :  I’m not sugar coating it, I’m just saying that your experiences with the illness are not representative of the spectrum that exists. People signing up for this should understand what it may mean as a worst case scenario, as well as the other paths that may evolve.

Personally, I’ve been on the same medications for years and haven’t had a major episode in as long, despite having severe symptoms at diagnosis. I do also have anxiety though which isn’t managed as well. I know other people who’ve been symptom free for decades. It’s also not unheard of for people to be well for most of the time, but need to adjust meds every few years/decades to deal with blips, but mood stabilisers tend to “poop out” much less often than antidepressants.

When I was diagnosed, I was in really bad shape. My university psychiatrist told me that there were so many people walking around campus with the same diagnosis, living normal and meaningful lives. I didn’t believe him. Now I do.

I also wanted to say that while your experience is valid, as the sister of a carer, that it is also limited. As someone with this illness, who is abrest with the academic literature, and who has met dozens of others through treatment, I have felt frustrated reading some of your responses. There have been claims that are just factually incorrect. 

I think you are doing a noble thing by explaining your perspective and warning others, but please do not overreach and speak over those of us who live more intimately with this illness. I would never lecture a diabetic about how their illness would progress based on my uncle’s death. It doesn’t mean his experience isn’t relevant, but I would recognise my understanding of the condition is much less deep than those who battle it.

Post # 50
Member
57 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

ladyjane123 :  I hear your reservations and It is your choice who you date and who you marry. But this narrative you are setting about people will mental illness is the exact reason it is stigmatized. Would you never date someone with diabetes? What about asthma, I mean they could have an attack and be hospitalized at any moment! I definitely agree that there is a spectrum to mental illness and someone who is unstable is probably not the best partner. But what about the majority of people who are doing great with their bipolar, haven’t had an episode and years, taking their meds as prescribed? We only hear about the super sick ones unfortunately. 

I guess I signed up for a “hell of a lot”. Making sure to get my husbands medicine every month is such a task! I mean the pharmacy is on the same street as our place! And gosh the cost, his pills are $7 a month!!!

At the end of the day, it is 100% up to you who want to date and marry 😁 but do not forget about the millions of people who have mental illness who are in remission living their best lives!

Post # 51
Member
10436 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

ladyjane123 :  

Your side observation of one person’s involvement with a partner struggling with bipolar is damn close to meaningless.

How many people with bipolar are you actually talking about?  And, from what vantage point was all of your observing?  Over what time frame? How do you know what combo of meds were tried; for how long; and, with what results?

Constantly in treatment; on this point, you are correct. The diagnosis of bipolar carries with it the implication of ongoing treatment.  So does a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes or epilepsy.  What’s your point?

 

At best, it helps for a few months before another medication is tried.

 

And, from what esteemed scholarly journal did you pull this tidbit? Or, are we back to your extensive personal observation? This statement makes it sound as if you’re tossing out empirical facts.

As I have said; more than once, we are now up to 50+ Bipolar meds.  This is a good thing. In the early stages of treatment, trial and error can be common and quite unpleasant. Struggling with untreated bipolar is no day at the beach either.

You are completely, totally wrong.  Bipolar meds do not typically just stop working after a few months.  If you had the expertise you seem to think you have, you would also be aware that the current crop of mood stabilizers are typically prescribed in conjunction with other meds.

The SSRIs and SSNIs are by far more likely to lose their effectiveness over time and require a med change.

Ok, so you choose not to date anyone who is not 100% mentally healthy.  Fair enough. Good luck with that. What battery of tests are you relying on for screening purposes?

What is your mental health cut off?  Or, must your potential mates be entirely free of any signs of any type of disorder; say, a bout with situational anxiety or depression? 

You may run into difficulties.  Like most traits, it’s all on continuums.  We all experience anxiety, we all experience depression, we all experience mood swings; hopefully, you get the idea. It’s a matter of where we fall on each continuum.

The reason mental health issues are stigmatized is precisely because of the kind of ignorance presented in your post.  You are certainly entitled to your own opinions. You are not entitled to your own facts.

 

Post # 52
Member
1375 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

ladyjane123 : I’m sorry but who the fuck are you to judge people with an illness that you absolutely know nothing about? (Bipolar II here, hubs is bipolar I). Who are YOU to tell someone else that they are sugar coating things when you are absolutely misinformed? WHO are YOU to say that you have an issue with someone else dating someone who is bipolar?

Unless you’ve personally dealt with this disorder and HAD it you know nothing and I stand by that.

Your choice, your opinion, but don’t sit there stating your opinion as fact. Mental illness is like any other illness: they all require constant care and attention and treatement revision. Nothing is going to work 100% of the time forever whether its diabetes or bipolar.

 

Post # 53
Member
4958 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

 

ladyjane123 :  I have a mental illness, three diagnosed anxiety disorders. And my number one concern in life is to protect my daughter from it. I talk to her pediatrician about my anxiety and my fears of it spilling onto her and my daughter is a happy, healthy three year old with an enormous amount of self esteem and her number one worry is making sure she gets some chocolate when I’m eating some.

Let’s let the parents with the mental illness worry about protecting their kids from it. It’s fine that you don’t want to date someone with a mental illness, that’s your choice.

But you have no idea how those with mental illness handle their symptoms and how they protect their kids from it

Post # 54
Member
780 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2016

FWIW: It is actually impossible to select someone who 100% promises to be free from mental illness til death do you part, you can only choose someone who doesn’t currently have a mental illness; mental illness can manifest itself at any stage of life.

Post # 56
Member
10436 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

sweetdee89 :  

You’re pretty close there, Bee.

Trazadone is an oldie.  It’s an antidepressant and still often used to treat bipolar.  The problem with it is the sedation effect.  Some people even take it for insomnia.

Seroquel (Quetiapine) is an antipsychotic.  In 2006, the FDA approved it for use in the treatment of bipolar.

Lithium is actually a salt and it acts like sodium in the body. It’s been around the longest; since the 1970s for bipolar. It works; but, it does have a lot of side effects and drug interactions.

It is probably the trickiest to work with, in terms of getting the dosing exactly right. But, it was the beginning of real progress.

What made him discontinue treatment?

Suicidal ideation is very serious stuff, Bee.  Please do not let him try to minimize.  The diagnosis of bipolar carries with it a high risk for self harm, including suicide; if not properly treated and monitored. 

Did he bring himself to a psychiatrist, on his own, for treatment? Or, were others involved?

Try to remember that he may go through long stretches during which he can appear okay.  At least, to the untrained observer. Or, to the inherently and unconsciously biased observer.

It’s good that he is opening up to you about his history. The kindest, most loving thing you can do for your bf is encourage him to get back into treatment.  Let him know that you will be there for him; even during the not so fun days when his doctor is trying to get his meds adjusted just right.

 

Post # 58
Member
1891 posts
Buzzing bee

amongclouds :   simplesoutherngal :   sassy411 :  

I never tried to tell people they should make my choice to never date or marry someone who has a mental issue such as bipolar. I did what everyone else on this post did. Share their experience with it and encourage the OP to get the facts from the actual guy she is dating about how HIS situation is and decide what is right for her based on that information. I never told the OP to do anything other than base her decision on the facts of this guy’s situation. I 100% stand by that. 

My last post I made clear that FOR ME PERSONALLY it isn’t worth the risk. I NEVER told anyone else to make the choices I would. We all have different experiences with bipolar, and I am not the only one that posted here about a negative experience. There are varrying degrees and lots of people have a manageable case that lets them lead a normal life and it is great that works for them.  I still am not willing to take that risk based on what I have seen, and I have every right to feel that way.  Anyone has the right to a life that they want, with a partner that is a good fit for them. If to me that is someone free of being bipolar I have every right to that choice and it is in no way a threat to someone else. 

My observations of bipolar and medication is based on my personal experience with my brother’s girlfriend of 20 plus years who has bipolar. Seeing it every day for years, how it affects her daughter, the things her daugher has had to see when she has a manic episode. The long list of medications and treatements that didn’t work. No i don’t know what medications she has tried, or the science behind it. I do know that the medical field has no answer for her, no solution. THey are contstantly trying to treat her with little success. My brother’s life has been a living hell dealing with it on a daily basis, and those are his own words. So its no suprise i wouldn’t want to even take the risk of that for myself. And that is completely fair that I feel that way. That is what works for me.

 ladyvk :  So stop telling me I know nothing about this. Stop telling me that me getting to choose who is in my life is me judging someone. Stop telling me I am misinformed. We ALL make decisions based on our own personal experience which is exactly what I am doing. YOu have no right to tell me that my experience is wrong or not factual just because your experience has been different. I can make whatever choices I want for ME. 

 

Post # 59
Member
878 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

ladyjane123 :  Soooo you know ONE person with bipolar?

And to clarify, you didn’t just post your experience. You also stated that “marrying/ dating someone with any mental illness is a hell of a lot to sign up for” and that medications only work for a few months (both untrue statements for many people with bipolar and other mental illnesses).

For many people with partners with mental illnesses, it isn’t any more of a “hardship” or “burden” than having a partner with any other illness. This type of uneducated post helps to keep mental illness stigmatized.

Post # 60
Member
1891 posts
Buzzing bee

blushingbee2019 :  I know more than one. I am not going to list all my examples and honestly it doesn’t matter. I don’t need a binder full of experiences to have the right to my opinion based on the experience I do have.  

I already clarified that there are people who have meds that work, and others it doesn’t work. 

In future I will make sure to state it more clearly. I thought it was implied that my comments are obviously how I personally feel. 

– ” I FEEL that it is a hell of a lot to sign up for, and I wouldn’t personally want that.” 

And no its not an uneducated post. I wouldn’t go undermine your life experience because it was different than mine and then go call your experience “Uneducated”. 

My opinion is based in the fact of my experience. So is yours. Neither is wrong or uneducated. They are just different. For my brother it is a horrible hardship. For others it isnt’ that way. My brother’s experience isn’t fake and shouldn’t be discounted just because there are people out there that haven’t had the same experience. The OP deserves to hear both sides of this coin. I am glad that she has heard from both sides. 

 

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