How to Date Someone with Bipolar Disorder
Living with bipolar disorder is a challenge, and dating someone with this illness is a challenge as well. If your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife is a manic-depressive, here is a guide to help you and your partner build and maintain a healthy relationship.
First, learn as much as you can about bipolar disorder. Understand its origins as an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain, and how an imbalance of these important chemicals can manifest as unstable moods.
Learn to recognise when your boyfriend or girlfriend is in a low period. The depressive phase of bipolarity is characterised by a general loss of interest in regular activities. There can also be decreased sexual appetite, irritability, or physical fatigue.
Be patient and understanding with your partner when he or she is going through a depressive phase in the bipolar cycle. If he or she has prescribed medication, make certain the medicine is taken on schedule. Be kind and affectionate, even if your gestures are ignored, and remember that the phase is temporary. Keep in mind that sunlight and vitamin D can alleviate symptoms of depression.
Learn to recognise when your boyfriend of girlfriend is in a high period. The manic phase is characterised by intensity of emotions and sensory experiences. Some bipolar people feel like they can do anything they set their minds to, no matter how impractical or dangerous. Your partner may experience increased libido, impatience, sleeplessness, creativity, or forgetfulness.
Monitor your boyfriend or girlfriend closely during a high to ensure that risk-taking behavior does not get out of control. Your partner may be much more adventurous and fun during a high, but realise that it will not last.
Although bipolar people cannot control their moods and emotions, they can still control their actions. You should not tolerate abuse, cheating, or illicit drug use from anyone, no matter the excuse. You should neither be guilted into staying in a relationship that is damaging to you. Take care of yourself first.
Decide if you can handle your partner’s bipolarity long term. If your partner controls his/her bipolar disorder well and puts little burden on you, then you can probably sustain in the long run.