Dating a bipolar girlfriend silicon valley dating website
According to Louisa Sylvia, Ph D, a psychologist at the Bipolar Clinic and Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, it definitely needs to be discussed before making any major moves.
“I typically recommend that individuals with bipolar disorder tell their partner about their illness before they decide to make long-term commitments to each other [such as] deciding to live together, get married or have children,” Sylvia says.
Hope says that learning how committed she is to managing her illness through medication, regular counseling and healthy habits went a long way to alleviating any worries her boyfriend had about dating someone with bipolar.
“When I met him, I was in a well-managed state and able to hear his questions and respond to them in a positive way,” she says.
“My anxiety over waiting too long to tell them is greater than the worry over how they might react,” explains Chris, 24, a college student in Tucson, Arizona.
“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.
“Pretending [the illness] doesn’t exist is more likely to cause problems in the relationship.” When telling a prospective partner that you have bipolar, Little suggests sharing details about how the illness affects your behavior, including symptoms of mania, hypomania and depression, as well as emphasizing how you manage the disorder.
With only his wife as an example, she adds, “He was shocked that someone could live a good life with this illness.” Opinion is divided on the best time to bring up the subject.
The conversation could happen on the first date to get the issue settled one way or the other, or later in the relationship when there is greater commitment and trust.Similarly, sharing details about his illness provides a context for his shifting moods and opens the door to conversations about how that might play out in the relationship.