Having bipolar disorder adds layers of complication: Should I trust this new love interest with my diagnosis? If we do move forward, how will the new relationship weather my mood shifts?
“It brings up a lot of fears and those fears ignite the temptation not to talk about it,” acknowledges Lisa Little, MSc, a chartered psychologist in Calgary, Alberta.
More than 80% of people who seek treatment get relief from symptoms, according to Mental Health America.
You need to take good care of yourself before you can take care of someone else in a relationship.
To do this, be sure to engage in positive self-talk, Friedman says.
And if you are on medication, take it religiously; be consistent with therapy; surround yourself with a support system of friends and family; and be around upbeat, positive people.“Don’t push yourself to date if the timing doesn’t feel right,” she says. You might need to lick your own wounds first.”You don’t owe it to the person to discuss your depression on a first date, Friedman says.
If you’re depressed, dating can magnify some of your challenges, such as fatigue, irritability, low self-esteem, and reduced libido. Therapy and/or medication use is common and often very successful.“It’s hard being in a relationship with someone who suffers from BPD.But it is nowhere near as hard as being the one with BPD.There are times [when our relationship] has plummeted to the depths whereby we were both ready to give up.” Between the periods of elation and bliss come what Paddy calls “bad phases.” “Sometimes among the arguments, the fits of anger and rage, the distrust, the paranoia, the mood swings, it seems like my girlfriend is a completely different person.” In the worst of times, he likens dating someone with Borderline Personality Disorder to having a relationship with someone who has dementia.“Sometimes they look into their parent’s eyes and they see a spark. The person they knew and love is still there, somewhere deep down inside.You know you’re superficially compatible, but what about the important things—values, life goals, political beliefs?