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 ChicagoStevey
Joined: 6/7/2009
Msg: 178
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Is there a good reason not to date someone who is bipolar?Page 6 of 12    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12)
9 times of 10 the answer is no way! I have had two long term relationships with bi polars. I did not know this at first obviously and after time they both had told me the truth. My last relationship was for 3 years on and off and it was very rocky. I do believe her to be more than just bi polar, probably closer to boderline personality disorder. She was completely self absorbed, always some sort of drama going on. When I first met her she came across as normal, exciting, fun, attractive, confident, secure, and simply just hadn't met the right guy to settle down with. The first month or two was great, I thought she was a dream come true. But after that I had found out it was more like a nightmare. Where do I start. Supposively she had been broken up with her ex boyfriend for a few months when I started seeing her which I figured to be enough time for her to have moved on. Apparently they were very co-dependant on eachother, and kept in contact. Now I have no issues with ex's being friends or staying in touch but this was taken alot further. He would sleep over frequently, supposively as just friends. I once read an emai she sent to him how she wanted his big well you know, and she needed it asap and for him to come over. I confronted her on this and she simply said nothing had been going on and she was mad at me that day for no reason basically so she wrote him that. She claimed when he saw it he was like why did you send me that since they were just friends. So I let that go but that shoulda been a warning sign. She had so many issues, depression, manic episodes, problems with drinking, gambling, relationships in the past, suicide attempts/threats, self mutilating, eating disorders, prescription medications, u name it. I supposed some of this was partially my fault since I stayed so long and was always trying to be supportive in hopes she would change and things would get better and maybe she was just having a phase. Things would be great one day, then the next she would fight with me, break up with me, then tell her never to contact her again for no reason. We wouldnt talk for a few days then one of us would contact the other, more times than not it was me feeling lonely and sad and perhaps some misunderstanding, but it was all her mental illness. This woman hurt me so bad I really did love her, and I woulda done anything for her. I saw this women go from over 100k in the bank to broke with over 50k in credit card debt all from gambling, and ofcourse nothing was her fault. Everything was always my fault, I didnt do this or I said this or why cant I be more caring like her ex who constantly hung around her. This woman almost ruined my life, she stole money from me, got me fired from my job, gave me a black eye, threating to blackmail me in certain ways if I didnt do what she wanted or give her money, used sex to manipulate me, always pouted and fought with me if she didnt get her way, manipulated me to pay some of her bills etc.. She would repeatedly verbally abuse me out of her own pain, destroying my self confidence. Ofcourse it was my fault she acted this way. Eventually after 3 years I left her for good, and it wasnt easy, I was addicted to this person for whatever reason, but I knew in the longrun I had to go, I think after 3 years I had a good idea of if we could be together down the road or not. She used other men to make me jealous, Im sure she cheated on me just never found the proof, she never trusted me probably because she didnt trust herself. Its been 2 years now and we have no contact. I emailed her recently simply asking her to take my cat since I had to move and I know they were close, ofcourse she says no and asks me not to contact her again, completely wrote me off since Im of no use to her anymore. Like Im the one that did something wrong lol. Shes a miserable person no matter what front she puts up to others. She has all the symptoms of boderline personality disorder, and hasnt had a relationship since I have been gone, unless you count the ex boyfriend which kept falling for her abuse and games and kept believing she would get better, yet she never did. People like her are a blackhole, they suck you in and drain you emotionally, financially, pretty much anyway they can, and theres no return on your investment. One day they will leave you if you dont leave them first, and it will be real cold when she does trust me. Sometimes I miss the 5% of her which was good but I definately dont miss the other 95% of pure evil and selfishness. The morale of the story, run! You cant fix some people you just cant. If they arent happy by themselves, dont ever think they will be happy with you. I gave this woman my heart and everything I could just to be screwed over and over with nothing but bad memories to show for it. So if you meet someone like this, RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 AlphonseO
Joined: 9/6/2008
Msg: 185
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Is there a good reason not to date someone who is bipolar?
Posted: 9/15/2010 11:04:59 AM
Okay, Interesting Read. I have been dating a terrific woman for 2 years but like others have said there are for the most part great day then out of the blue she calls and breaks up and blames me for what she can't explain, has not seen a doctor since the birth of her last child 17 years ago. The last 6 months have been pure hell!! I am convinced she is Bipolar, it all fits, even after she described her now ended marriage. what does the affect of alcohol have on this? mind you she is not taking any meds for anything. but does drink allot. Her brother died 4 years ago of alcoholism due to depression.

This thread has shown me that I am not crazy with what has been happening, and do not intend to continue this relationship any longer.

I'm getting to old to have to deal with that. I just the love of a good woman.
 AlphonseO
Joined: 9/6/2008
Msg: 187
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Is there a good reason not to date someone who is bipolar?
Posted: 9/15/2010 12:15:00 PM
Oh I have been doing research.
Like I said she has not seen any type doctor in 17 years and refuses to. I first thought PMS maybe, but the bipolar describes it, and what she says happened in her past marriage, i can understand why her husband was as she says if she treated him anything like she does me. I give him credit for hanging in 25 years.

I love this woman dearly but cannot deal with the wild ride weekly.

I'm pissed at my self for being sucked in, But Love is blind...Leason learned.

If I were only so smart so young.
 ohwhynot46
Joined: 6/28/2009
Msg: 188
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Is there a good reason not to date someone who is bipolar?
Posted: 9/15/2010 6:44:57 PM
There are many good reasons. Why would you do that to yourself? Nuff said.
 Padawan61
Joined: 3/1/2008
Msg: 189
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Is there a good reason not to date someone who is bipolar?
Posted: 9/15/2010 11:10:28 PM
I like my bipolars in the guts of a radio or TV ... not in a relationship partner.
 evrybdy
Joined: 12/14/2005
Msg: 190
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Is there a good reason not to date someone who is bipolar?
Posted: 11/4/2010 6:05:19 PM
Thank you so much for this forum! I was dumped early in October by someone I was seeing for 8 months as a long distance relatioship but I was making plane trips three times to see him. In the beginning he was sooo affectionate with me, even over text, was saying the L word in less than a onth, and asked me to marry him when I first met him a month later! We went to high school together so I was really excited and obviously ignored the signs of moodiness and attributed it to the distance, then in early october he just turned into someone else completely and dumped me. I eneded up in hospital (I was on a school trip to LA) and when I got back home, he was very mean to me, saying "we are done" slamming the phone in my ear, and saying never to contact him agai, and no reason was given.

I had a trip a few weeks later to see him and he didn't want me to even visit him, hurting me greatly. I still visited my friends in the are for those whole 10 days and I was going that long to celebrate his daughter's birthday and take her out. I asked everyone what I might have done, what went wrong, etc, and one of my friends had bipolar but was on meds and once she said some stuff, I checked out the sites the other night and wow, all the stuff fit. The hypersexuality, the drinking, controlling, moody, the problems with money. I know veyr little about this disease but am learning more now. He never mentioned it at all, but has lots of headaches and sleep problems (works graveyard shifts) and won't take any pills, even a Tylenol. I am so thankful for this forum, people's thoughts are really helping me not blame myself and realize I didn't do anything wrong. I am diabetic and it knocked me and my illness down so yeah, I love him very much but if he is unwilling to at least go to a doc and see what makes him so moody (in case it is not bipolar) there is nothing I can do.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 196
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Is there a good reason not to date someone who is bipolar?
Posted: 12/4/2010 3:54:27 PM
[quote[flat out told me her issues will never go away and that if I let them they will ruin my life

I don't know what this therapist's medical qualifications are, but I would take her assessment with a big grain of salt. It sounds like she was giving you a view that's already out of date in a very fast-changing field. And one that's wrongly and unnecessarily condemned a lot of women, especially, to the "hopeless" category as "borderline personality" cases. (Some of the literature suggests that's often made easier by the tragic fact their disorder makes them so unpleasant and hurtful that most doctors really aren't too motivated to try to help them.)

It's possible she'd resent your help, especially if she were in this angry, cruel phase where she wanted to hurt you. Any yet, she apparently agreed to this couples therapy.
I don't know if she'd already been prescribed medication for this--but if so, I'd that fact and the way she must sometimes suffer must make it hard for her not to realize she's to a medical problem. Having a bipolar disorder, I understand, is at times like living in he!!. If there were a good chance she could get out of that he!!, you'd have to suspect she really must be having a delusion, if she didn't want to know about it.

Doctors know far more about this group of disorders than even ten or fifteen years ago, and some of the newer drugs seem to be *very* effective. Especially when someone who *really* knows what they're doing gets the combination just right. THAT'S the trick, but there are some specialists who know how to pull it off, and you can find them. And even if you had to sell half your possessions to pay for it, it would be the best deal you ever made. Get well and happy, and you'll find a way to make it all back, and then some.

Some of best psychopharmacologists in the world who specialize in this area now think the so-called "borderline personality"--the self-centered, manipulative, cruel "B---h from He!!"--is probably just a misdiagnosis of a form of bipolar disorder. And very recent research suggests the core elements of this supposedly fixed "personality" respond to the newest medications just like bipolar disorders do.

No one who has this problem should live with it any longer. Life is too short--and bipolar disorders can make it even shorter. As if the unhappiness they cause weren't bad enough, they're also very hard on your body. Untreated--or not properly treated--they can gradually destroy cells in certain areas of your brain, and the stress of the agitation, insomnia, loneliness, etc. they cause often slowly damages your heart and other organs.

People with some untreated bipolar disorders grandly imagine they're like the hub of a wheel around which other things and other people revolve. And the main purpose of everyone they meet is to serve their needs, while they largely ignore the needs of anyone else. That's a recipe for a deeply unhappy, unsatisfying life.

But these grandiose delusions are part of their their disorder, just like the delusion that the moment anyone they like is less than absolutely perfect, that person suddenly becomes perfectly awful. But just maybe, now, for the first time ever in history, medical researchers understand this problem and how to fix it well enough so the people who suffer so much from it (and cause other people to suffer, too) can finally be happy.
 bucsgirl
Joined: 5/13/2006
Msg: 198
Is there a good reason not to date someone who is bipolar?
Posted: 12/4/2010 6:29:11 PM
I have had some good friends who were involved with people who are were bipolar. While I understand it's a syndrome or whatever it's called, it's like diabetes, it's not something someone can help. But without fail, the people I knew who dated people who were bipolar did not regularly take their meds or do what they needed to to help manage their symptoms.

While I won't say I wouldn't, if someone were upfront with me about it, I'd also be frank to expect them to do what they needed to to manage their symptoms. If if's someone who has a casual attitude about it, then absolutely NOT! I did go out a few times with someone, and he just blurted out "I'm bipolar" and it did explain some of his quirky behavior. Next time we were supposed to meet, well let's just say he did something that caused me to tell him to forget about it. He didn't seem to think any of it was a big deal.

I do know the behavior, unmanaged and unmedicated can be very destructive to other people. One friend of mine, who was NOT bipolar, went to therapy for a while after he broke up with his bipolar girlfriend. It's just not an acceptable way to live, IMO.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 203
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Is there a good reason not to date someone who is bipolar?
Posted: 1/13/2011 1:55:15 AM

I understand you may well be gone, I want to thank you for actually understanding


Kuyan, No, I'm still here. I'm sorry to hear you're not feeling so great. I noticed about the alcohol on your profile--I guess you know that's like pouring gasoline on a fire right now.

Do you have confidence in the doctor who diagnosed you? I don't how recent all this is. Is he also treating you for this?

For Christ's sake, get someone who's very, very skilled. The whole business of diagnosing and medicating these disorders is difficult, and if they don't get it right, guess who pays for it.

They've probably already started you on some medication; but if not, I'd ask why. That's usually the first thing, because most of the drugs for this take a few weeks to kick in.

Probably no one said anything to you because they didn't notice anything much. Or if they did, they didn't know you well enough to want to bring it up.

I've never been in your he!!, but I *have* spent some time in the one next door. Same landlord, and it looks about the same, I hear--just slightly different decor. So although I'm not a doctor, I'm not exactly clueless about depression. Here's some food for thought as to yours--a few things you can do on your own.

Lose the idea that this makes you socially unacceptable. It doesn't, at all, not to anyone who counts. Let the lames go bore each other.

Obviously, cut back the alcohol--if not entirely, then as much as you possibly can.

There are quite a few sites where people with bipolar support each other.

Exercise is free and easy--and it helps a lot. You just grab your watch and walk out each morning--make it a little brisk--for 8-10 minutes, and then turn around and walk home. Marking it on a calendar where you can see it each day is a good way to encourage yourself to do it.

There's also a lot of research that suggests keeping to a regular schedule--for getting up, eating meals, turning in--is important. Yes, I know it's boring, and you bp's hate boredom. But then consider the alternative.

It's also probably important to keep it dark where you're sleeping. Light the rest of the day; but not when you're trying to get the Sandman's attentions. You can read more about how messing with this sleep-wake "clock" in your brain may affect bipolar cycling.

If you just can't get to sleep, ask your doctor if it's OK to take a couple Benadryl an hour or so before you turn in. It usually works and is safe. Or, if you like, I could send you a copy of a paper I once wrote, which has no side effects and works great. I keep one in my bedside stand, and I've never yet made it past page two.

There is a LOT of research being done on this right now, with new drugs on the way. So chin up, keep punching, and never, never quit on yourself.
Mike
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 204
Is there a good reason not to date someone who is bipolar?
Posted: 1/13/2011 9:09:30 AM
Given the number of people who either claim to be bipolar or claim to know someone who claims to be bipolar, I'm beginning to think bipolar disorder is becoming the latest trendy mental condition to throw out as an excuse for almost anything. I've known a woman who was truly bipolar and her behaviour couldn't be called simply lrge mood swings. During one manic episode she was up for 3 days going wild and burned down a house before being picked up and taken to a mental hospital. Even on medication, it wasn't that difficult to tell she was a little out there. That's one good reason to not date someone who is bipolar.

If a woman told me she had bipolar disorder, I'd put it on the same footing as schizophrenia in terms of severity and I would need a lot of convincing to take on that responsibility if I knew that before becomming seriously involved with her. If I was having difficulty dealing with a woman's mood swings and she told me that it was because she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, she's just upped the ante because I'd assume the mood swings were just the tip of the iceberg. A full blown manic episode goes a bit beyond an unusually great mood. I certainly wouldn't accept a diagnosis of bipolar disorder to explain my behaviour without getting opinions from several different psychiatrists over a period of time sufficient to pin it down.

If I were married to someone who at some point, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, that would be a different story, but I wouldn't get into a relationship with someone who is bipolar without a great deal of thought and a good bit of talking with her psychiatrist so that I understood what I was dealing with.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
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Is there a good reason not to date someone who is bipolar?
Posted: 1/13/2011 4:42:59 PM

I'm beginning to think bipolar disorder is becoming the latest trendy mental condition to throw out as an excuse for almost anything.


I thought the same thing a few years ago, when a lady I knew in St. Louis used to talk about a good friend of hers who was bipolar. But it's completely real--there are all sorts of neurological studies that show unusual things going on in the brain. And it goes way beyond just being moody. Whether it's as serious as schizophrenia depends on how severe it is. But it can be stabilized pretty well with medications, in most cases.

The biggest factor in my mind would be her willingness to stick to a treatment regime. A lot of people with bipolar do not, and that unwillingness itself may be part of the disorder. And if their moods aren't stabilized, they are almost impossible to be around for long.

It's not their fault, but they often treat other people very badly. Sometimes they'll feel terribly guilty about it later, when they're depressed. But other times, the paranoid delusions they sometimes have take over, and they'll change the facts so they can blame the person on the receiving end of whatever hurtful things they said or did for provoking them into it.

Lying and manipulation aren't uncommon, either. I'm not sure why, but distrust seems to be part of it--as if they didn't think they could count on anyone to like them if they were just themselves. Or, they may try that, but then turn on the person they've opened up to. They probably wish more than anyone that it weren't so, but given the way they act, whoever is with them just can't win.

And that tends to take most of the mutually rewarding relationships they probably yearn to have with people out of their reach. It's hard to imagine how they could have enough fun during the good times to make up for all that unhappiness. I guess it's possible that the thrills are good enough to make a few people with uncontrolled bipolar disorder glad they have it, but I think most of them wish to God they didn't.

The full-blown, classic mania like you're talking about ("Bipolar I") isn't as common as a lot of the other types. And what some people experience in the "manic" cycle can be anger and anxiety as much as euphoria. Or it can euphoric one time, and not the next. The newest thinking is that bipolar is a spectrum of disorders where mood cycling is the common feature. And the time between cycles varies from many months to zero, where there's a mix of anxiety, agitation, depression, anger, delusion, etc. at the same time.

The good part about all this is that it's a very hot area of research, and there will probably be some big breakthroughs during the next few years.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
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Is there a good reason not to date someone who is bipolar?
Posted: 1/15/2011 1:41:47 AM
^^^^The problem I see with bipolar and many other emotional disorders it that other disorders often are present at the same time--"comorbid." And there seems to be some sort of "kindling" effect among them.

Watch most episodes of "House," and you'll see this same effect portrayed--one thing goes wrong in a patient's body, and that sets off something else, and so on. And fixing one problem may make the other ones worse. Same with emotional disorders. That makes them tricky to medicate and requires the doctor to keep a close watch on how the treatment's going.

A good percentage of people with bipolar have one or more anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc. Or they may have some symptoms of these things, but not all. But where that's the case, and the symptoms go untreated, they're more likely to grow into the full-fledged disorder than just fade away on their own.

Not saying it can't be done--but don't count on the family doc to do the job with some med samples the sales rep left him. And some bipolar/borderline patients seem to be their own worst enemies. Their grandiose delusions may convince them that they're just fine, and it's everyone else who's off base. So why should *they* change anything?
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
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Is there a good reason not to date someone who is bipolar?
Posted: 1/16/2011 1:59:36 AM

I am pretty normal most of the time and I resent the implication.
It is unfair.


Kuyan, If I was unfair, I'm sorry. That's not at all what I meant it to sound like. I don't know you, and I was only going by what you said about having been diagnosed with bipolar.

I just meant that *some* people with this disorder hurt themselves by refusing to do what their doctors tell them--or even worse, by refusing to believe they even have any problem. Not everyone with bipolar has grandiose delusions. But when they do, that kind of thinking can be part of the delusion. That's all.

I didn't mean to imply you were anything like that. In fact, I'm sure you're not, or you wouldn't have posted here. You just be yourself all day and every day, and it'll be fine with me.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 215
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Is there a good reason not to date someone who is bipolar?
Posted: 1/16/2011 2:38:06 PM
Kuyan--You don't owe me an apology for anything, and you didn't say anything even close to mean and nasty. And no, you haven't proven you're a leper. No need to be ashamed about anything at all--give that a rest. Also, please read my first post to you again.

You're not feeling quite yourself, that's all. Now stop apologizing, and thinking dopey thoughts, and focus instead on searching for some really good professional help. The nearest university hospital is a good place to start. A lot of them have anxiety or mood disorder clinics, and people who can advise you. But just go ahead, right away.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
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Is there a good reason not to date someone who is bipolar?
Posted: 1/17/2011 10:36:32 AM

Meds can be a good thing.


I'd take that even further and say that everything I've read suggests meds are usually the most important thing. Bipolar disorder, in any of its various forms, is nothing to take lightly. One of the most diabolical things about it seems to be that it sometimes tricks people who have it into doing just that. It's a little like an anorexic person believing that if they have any problem, it's that they're overweight.
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 218
Is there a good reason not to date someone who is bipolar?
Posted: 1/17/2011 12:18:42 PM
I thought the same thing a few years ago, when a lady I knew in St. Louis used to talk about a good friend of hers who was bipolar. But it's completely real--there are all sorts of neurological studies that show unusual things going on in the brain. And it goes way beyond just being moody.

I understand all of that, and I'm not really discounting bipolar disorder as a real disorder, nor even limiting it to the most extreme examples. My comment about bipolar disorder being the latest trendy mental illness to have is based on a few of things:

(1) Lots of people self-diagnose based on the flimsiest criteria stated in ridiculously simplistic language found on web sites that would make even Dr. Phil cringe. Just about anyone looking for an excuse to justify anything can easily find a disorder to fit the bill. Bipolar disorder seems to be the disorder du jour at the moment. Most people who have surgical procedures can't even tell you what their surgeon did beyond some vague notion of having something done somewhere near the scar from the incision, so I'm inclined to doubt anyone who claims to have bipolar disorder without knowing exactly how that person arrived at that conclusion.

(2) I've been told I have ADD. Before that, I was told lots of other things, too, including that I was bipolar. However, apart from ending up taking Adderall and that having the desired effect, I was prescribed a few other things along the way that certainly changed my behaviour, but not in a way that I considered beneficial. I took lithium for about a week until I found that being a zombie was not an acceptable way to live. However, I'm very proactive when it comes to my own medical care and I never talk to physicians without reading the medical literature, so I'm less likely to accept a diagnosis and just go along with what a physician tells me than most anyone I know. I could just as easily be a medicated zombie claiming to be bipolar if I just bought into that diagnosis. I can't even say for sure that I have ADD. I may just like the way I feel and the enhanced menatl performace I get with Adderall. I think it's best to be very suspicious of being diagnosed with any disorder (especially a mental disorder) and I'm a little wary of how many people seem to not only have it, but inform everyone of it. I'll cop to ADD because Adderall has made a major improvement in my life. To the best I can tell, though, just about anyone could get a diagnosis of ADD. Writing prescriptions for control drugs or expensive drugs is big business, so where there is profit to be made from drug sales, there will be diagnoses to generate customers.

(3) I'm not sure where you draw the line between a disorder and normal variation in human behaviour. In particular, Thomas Szasz makes that point to the extreme in ``The Myth of Mental Illness.'' He may be extreme, but at some point, you have to allow for people to think differently without classifying everything but complacent conformity as a disorder. I feel fortunate that I had high school teachers who bent the rules and let me wander around and teach myself rather than tell my parents I needed counseling and medication for what amounted to being bored silly and frustrated with having to waste my time just sitting in a classroom. The more people are forced to be like everyone else, the more any differences will be labeled mental disorders. (The short story, Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut comes to mind as carrying this to its logical extreme.)

(4) Given the multiple subtypes and the range of extremes between phases (like not so much to full blown mania), it's not very productive to lump everything together under bipolar disorder. Personally, I think that sort of labeling ought to be reserved for the cases that are clear cut, not more subtle affective disorders. As an example, I'd use schizophrenia. I've known a couple of schizophrenics and it was pretty clear that they were not all there, even when medicated. The cause is clearly tied to elevated levels of dopamine and I doubt that there would be much argument between any two psychiatrists about the diagnosis.

Basically, I question whether the number of people claiming to be bipolar is really representative of how many people have a disorder that has been accurately diagnosed and something that obviously needs to be fixed.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 220
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Is there a good reason not to date someone who is bipolar?
Posted: 1/17/2011 5:44:13 PM

Given the multiple subtypes and the range of extremes between phases (like not so much to full blown mania), it's not very productive to lump everything together under bipolar disorder. Personally, I think that sort of labeling ought to be reserved for the cases that are clear cut, not more subtle affective disorders.


Good points. You're right that it's questionable how accurately these conditions are usually diagnosed. And the milder they are at the time, the more questionable the diagnosis--those aren't easy calls, like the extreme cases.

One problem, I think, is that most people are not diagnosed or treated by the first-line specialists. Unavoidable, maybe, but it may account for a lot of the baloney you're talking about. The doctor may be the guy a couple local mental health clinics go to when medication seems to be in order. But how well will someone in that position usually understand the patient's problem?

So when Dr. X makes his scheduled stop at the Miasma Valley Community Wellness Center and glances through Mr. Schlumpf's file, he thinks either spectaculol or wonderzine might be a good bet in his case. But he already knows which one he'll try; he just had a drink the other day with that sales rep for wonderzine, and God, is she a babe! As long as there's some evidence it works for problems like Schlumpf's symptoms seem to indicate, he's in the clear.

I don't know this, but I'd guess a lot of people are (incorrectly) diagnosed bipolar because they complain of being depressed, but not all the time. The official criteria are not even that clear--one complaint is that they don't account well for very fast mood cycling, or for "mixed states/ "dysphoric manias." Apparently the top researchers have plans to change this is the next DSM.

One of the most interesting things about bipolar disorder, to me, is how it differs--if it does--from "borderline personality disorder." The whole idea of fixed personality traits strikes me as outdated--literally something out of the 1930's.

Obviously some mental and emotional characteristics of a person are more fixed than others. But we also know certain drugs cause radical changes in the way people think and act, regardless of what personality traits they tend to have. Hard for me to see how it makes sense just to accept a certain set of maladaptive thoughts and actions as such-and-such "personality disorder," if drugs could relieve suffering by changing those thoughts and actions.
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 221
Is there a good reason not to date someone who is bipolar?
Posted: 1/17/2011 7:49:22 PM

Hard for me to see how it makes sense just to accept a certain set of maladaptive thoughts and actions as such-and-such "personality disorder," if drugs could relieve suffering by changing those thoughts and actions.

For one thing, I'm not sure how one distinguishes between maladaptive thoughts and the type of thinking that produces innovation. A lot of very gifted people have been rather disturbed people. John Nash is just one of the more familiar examples. A recent example is Grigori Perelman. He turned down the European Mathematics prize, stating that the committee was not qualified to judge his work, even positively. He is the only person to have ever declined a Fields Medal (the mathematical equivalent of a Nobel Prize) and he has so far declined to accept the $1,000,000.00 for solving one of the Clay Mathematics Institute's millenium prize problems (the only one solved so far). The other details of his life tend to suggest he's a little different than other folks, but if he were to have been medicated to make a little more normal, would that have simultaneously destroyed the thinking process by which he's managed to be so successful at mathematics?

Brain chemistry is a long way from being well enough understood to create drugs which fix what they are intended to fix without having undesirable side effects. It may turn out to be impossible to seperate maladaptive thoughts from creativity. What would you give up in mental ability to avoid being depressed, if that was a choice you had to make?
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 222
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Is there a good reason not to date someone who is bipolar?
Posted: 1/17/2011 9:36:00 PM
^^^^^If I were depressed, I'd say all of it. And if not, I'd have some other answer. If something hurts bad enough, you'll do almost anything to get rid of the pain. That's all great about creativity, but it's up to the person involved to make the call. I'm convinced that the pain involved in some emotional disorders is beyond what most people can imagine.

The evidence is the accounts of people who have suffered through some of these things, saying how they were already feeling worse than they ever had in their lives--or had ever even imagined anyone could feel--when suddenly the bottom fell out, and it got ten times worse yet. That's when just sitting up in bed becomes a half-day project, and your usual thought is, "Someone, please, shoot me, and get it over with!"
 LAgoodguy
Joined: 8/21/2008
Msg: 223
Is there a good reason not to date someone who is bipolar?
Posted: 1/17/2011 11:22:37 PM
I didnt read all the threads. But here is my one cent worth. A good reason to go ahead and date a bipolar is that you have the excitment to wake up to a brand new person in the morning that you never meet before. It would be even more exciting if that new person has a violent tendency. Well i would rather have same boring person but thats just me.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
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Is there a good reason not to date someone who is bipolar?
Posted: 1/18/2011 12:16:45 AM
^^^^^^One cent's too high. And if the LA stands for my hometown of Los Angeles, I'm sorry about it. You're free not to date anyone who has bipolar disorder, just like everyone else is. But why go out of your way to poke fun at those women?

I have nothing against you personally. But for saying something so unkind about people who are suffering from a very serious medical problem, you should be ashamed of yourself. Is there a hole where your heart ought to be?
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
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Is there a good reason not to date someone who is bipolar?
Posted: 1/18/2011 8:27:34 AM
Kuyan, Thanks so much for the kind words--I am blushing. It's just that seeing someone kick people when they're down really pisses me off.

I'm not planning any trips down your way, unfortunately. But if I were, you bet I'd look you up. Hope you are doing all right, and I'm sure things will keep getting better for you.

As for the people who don't want to know you--well, too bad for them.
 LAgoodguy
Joined: 8/21/2008
Msg: 228
Is there a good reason not to date someone who is bipolar?
Posted: 1/18/2011 6:50:15 PM
Sorry if i offended any one as i didnt read all the posts. But i do know of a few bipolar people. I do understand that some can be in worse condition then others. There is one guy i know for many years who is in the hospital now for the last 3 years. He got real bad in less then 2 months. Toward the end he had a very short temper and they had to take him in. He went after a customer cause he didnt like how the guy talked to him. My Ex GF brother was one. Man has an IQ of 167 but he cant hold a job. The things he would sometimes do are not funny. With meds he would be one of the most intresting guys to talk to and very smart. With out you dont want to be around him. Ex GF son was one and when he was good he was the best child you would ever see. Then he would just flip and go into rage. Twice i had to get a hold of him when he started to chase his sister with knives or forks. I know we all have diffrent exp but i wont ever go tru that again. Again i say it from what i dealt with. Dont want to be mean but i just wont ever do it again. We all go on with what our exp teach us. So when someone asks should they i say no as that was the heading of the thread.
 AlphonseO
Joined: 9/6/2008
Msg: 230
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Is there a good reason not to date someone who is bipolar?
Posted: 1/19/2011 7:13:27 AM
All right, I need to vent on this subject. I dated a beautiful woman for over two years. at times early on in our relationship she would just seem to snap, and **** at me for no apparent reason. I assumed it was that she was going through an ugly divorce, and was just overburdened, and stressed. But as her divorce became final, and we became closer thing worsened. Since she no longer was able to direct all her anger at times toward her Ex I became the recipient of unmanaged anger issues. After doing much reading on the subject of Bipolar, I am quite sure she suffers from this, and drinks a lot. All of her children have moved out as soon as they were able, leaving her with a big house with three empty bedroom and the kids living in friends basements all close to home. They only visit for short times as she always starts something with them about why she needs to drink. One night we would be talking of marriage and spending our life together and the next day I would receive hateful nasty mean text messages from her and mean phone calls, for no apparent reason. And she would never offer an answer to why, Just that I was so F**king stupid if she really needed to tell me why, projecting all her issued on me. I had recently discovered she had tried to commit suicide in the past. Claims everyone of her family has issues and all create drama in her life, and that she is the only one normal. In her manic state she was the perfect person, caring and loving. My family adored her until I let them read the text messages and listen to voice mails she left.
I love her and feel sorry for her BUT in no way am I willing to hitch my wagon to that. I hope she gets help, as I fear not the she is divorced and family members have moved out she will get worse, but she will not seek help.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
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Is there a good reason not to date someone who is bipolar?
Posted: 1/19/2011 4:58:44 PM
I love her and feel sorry for her BUT in no way am I willing to hitch my wagon to that.


And neither would anyone else in his right mind. You can give people tips on where and how to get help--but the final responsibility for doing that--and for taking their treatment regime seriously, once it's been set up--is theirs. If a person's disorder has made them too blind to see how they sabotage their lives even though everyone else can, or if the disorder has led them to abuse alcohol or do some other thing which aggravates it, they may be beyond all hope. Tragic--but that's on them.

But it's already possible for most people with bipolar disorder to have very good lives, and as new drugs appear, "most" may become "almost all." This may even come to be true of the very closely-related "borderline personality." As someone who has a lot of faith in psychopharmacology and very little in Freudian personality theories, I doubt most of what I've read about that disorder--or if it even exists.

And yet people who get that diagnosis--75% of them women--make up a fourth of psychiatric inpatients. Sounds like they're just being warehoused to me--and the fact a lot of the therapists and doctors who deal with "borderline" patients apparently dislike them makes me suspect that all the more. I'm sure their disorder makes many of them very easy to detest.

But is it so great to be what they often appear--pretty, selfish drama queens with a strong sense of entitlement and a willingness to lie, manipulate and viciously attack people without a second thought? If so, it's odd how often they feel lonely, worthless, and despairing, or have paranoid beliefs, or feel enraged without being just sure why, or are afraid to trust people, or that one in ten of them finally decides to end it all.

As long as I liked the rest of a woman just fine, and she could control her symptoms very well and was absolutely committed to doing that, I'd no more hesitate to get involved with her because she had bipolar disorder, in whatever variation, than I would is she had diabetes, or epilepsy. I can't see any unreasonable risk, if we really knew and loved each other.

Remember, there's also a risk in getting involved with someone who has none of these identifiable problems, but even so is self-absorbed, dishonest, demanding, unkind, etc. It's the risk of investing your feelings in someone who will always put herself first.
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