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Dating someone with mental health disorders

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  • Mo
    replied
    This is a challenging topic to talk about.
    I have personally never experienced one myself but have heard from others about their experiences.
    At the end of the day, I can say your mental health should be a priority over everyone else, and if being in such a relationship affects that in any way, you should consider ending it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Wednesday L.F.
    replied
    Yes, she did. After a few months, she suggested that he check in with his therapist and see if he needed an adjustment. That’s when he told her he hadn’t taken his meds in a year. That was very soon before they split, but I can’t speak to other issues they might have been having.

    Leave a comment:


  • atskitty2
    replied
    Wednesday L.F. Did your friend see the changes in his behavior during that year he was off his meds? Is that what led to the break-up?

    Leave a comment:


  • Wednesday L.F.
    replied
    This is a tough issue. I’m bipolar one myself, so being with another neurodivergent person can cause a ton of problems. For me, I’m willing to accept and work with a partner who struggles with mental illness, so long as they’re actively in treatment, taking meds as prescribed, etc. I do feel tremendous guilt at times because of what I put my husband through. He doesn’t see it that way, but I know it’s difficult for him to watch me struggle—especially when he can’t “fix” what’s wrong.

    luckily, my husband has boundless patience for me and my issues.

    I have a friend whose (now ex) spouse went off his meds for a year without telling her. To my mind, that’s a type of abuse. I’d find that intolerable.

    I think one key to living with or loving so one with mental illness is to clearly define boundaries, limits, or what symptoms necessitate follow up with a doc or therapist. Suddenly spending lots of money, substance abuse, mania and its aftermath—you’ll need to know how you’ll respond to these things should they occur.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kayla Lords
    replied
    I've been that person with undiagnosed mental illness (bipolar disorder II) and I was married to someone who I think had undiagnosed mental illnesses and/or neurodivergence. For me, it's not whether someone has a mental illness that determines if I'll be in a relationship or stay in one -- it's how they handle things either when they have a diagnosis and a treatment plan or when they realize something might be off or wrong. In my ex-husband's case, he never wanted to admit anything might be wrong, even as it seemed the world was burning down around his ears. A lot of factors lead to the end of our relationship, but one of those were his actions (and inactions) that most likely stemmed from mental illness.

    In my current husband's case - with my diagnosis - we both agreed I needed to get help, and he was supportive as I started on that path. It would have turned out much differently if I'd refused or pretended nothing was wrong, etc. Sure, I was scared about what I might be told or what the treatment plan might be, but I could see how my mental health was impacting everyone around me, including myself, and wanted to find some kind of solution.

    Leave a comment:


  • JonnyR
    replied
    This is a great topic atskitty2 In fact it dovetails nicely with some of our work on our sister site The Roots Of Loneliness Project, where we've had some excellent articles recently that dealt EXACTLY with these types of issues -- Bipolar loneliness, and other related, like Autism loneliness.

    I agree too that most of us have probably dated someone with some type of "mental health issue" -- whether it was depression, loneliness, or borderline this or that.

    However, the worst is when neither THEY know they have something or YOU know it...until you're well into the relationship and something just slips, or goes completely haywire, and you're both sitting there looking at each other like "WTF just happened?"....

    Then it's like "oh crap...what do we do now? Was that SOMETHING or nothing?"...

    It is down this curious and ignorant road that I myself have traveled a few times.

    The first time it was with a partner that had been sexually abused as a child (and still was even as a 20'-something!) by her father. I don't even need to tell you the amount of trauma this caused both latent and in her behavior (which at the time, red flags abounded, but I was only 20...so I didn't even know what red flags were) in real-time.

    Of course, being in an intimate relationship (in all facets of the word) and the closeness that brings often brings about trauma in the worst possible way, and unbeknownst to the partner on the receiving end, or the affected party, manifests in deeply troubling ways that are brought about by that closeness, fear, PTSD, etc.

    I also dated someone else that was abandoned by her parents when she was younger (though she still lived with her mom) and carried all sorts of PTSD and really extreme behaviors that would again show themselves to me in very spontaneous and combustible ways...Looking back, there were red flags here too -- just different ones.

    I am getting REALLY good at spotting those flags now, and "feeling" the inherent energies of the person that I date, and the moment I feel those "issues", I'm like "nope!"

    So, all of this is a long way (and hopefully helpful to some) of saying, at this point in my life, I want someone stable, predictable, and who has worked on their **** to straighten it out with therapy, self-help, etc.

    I don't think I'd be up for dating someone else with mental health issues -- unless they were the type that I could handle, or actually appreciate (like someone with OCD, anxiety, etc) that can be turned into positive and good things to help them succeed if dealt with properly.

    The other stuff, it's just too draining, too unpredictable, too triggering for me as well, and not something that I want to deal with.

    I won't say never -- there are folks likely who have done all the work, have their meds and stuff under control, and it's no longer a long-term issue that affects their day-to-day -- but for most, it would probably be a hard pass.

    Leave a comment:


  • atskitty2
    replied
    I tend to agree with you - their level of self-awareness, and their ability to manage their symptoms and stay on the medication/therapy recommendations is a big factor. When in the manic phase, they can be very impulsive and behave erratically-depending on the type of Bipolar and severity of it. They can become hypersexual and be an unfaithful partner. They can be financially irresponsible and charge up thousands in debt that they may be incapable of paying off reasonably, and that can obviously effect their partner as well. Some will become dishonest, aggressive and even abusive during these times, and even commit criminal acts. I agree that it would be a bridge I'd cross when I got there - and totally dependent on the individual case.

    Leave a comment:


  • jns
    replied
    Originally posted by atskitty2 View Post
    Have you ever dated someone with a mental illness? Would you ever date someone with mental health disorders?

    I'm not necessarily talking about depression or anxiety, as I think those are so common that we all have probably dated someone with them, either knowingly, or not. Many of us likely struggle with those ourselves. But someone diagnosed and struggling with diseases like Bipolar, Schizophrenia and others-would you date them?

    I was able to spend 2 semesters training on a psych unit and a common complaint with my patients was the difficulty maintaining romantic relationships. It's obviously a very difficult thing to work with in an intimate relationship, and if a patient is non-compliant with treatment, their behaviors could potentially be in violation of what most partners would tolerate.

    What do you think?
    Just considering bipolar, I've known a few bipolar people. When they are in their up phase, they can be very interesting people to be around. But during their down phase, their changes can be challenging for others around them as well as themselves. Some are not compliant to medications because the meds leave them in a fog (their description but probably paraphrased). One at work had his medications changed by his doctor so he went into a depressive stage when he didn't dose correctly. He had a wild look in his eyes while driving a forklift (his job) so I got him into his office where his coworkers knew of his condition and were able to get him help. Other than that, he seemed like a normal guy. I think that many people would date a bipolar individual without knowing it. I probably wouldn't be put off dating a person I knew to be bipolar if it was under control. Dating someone who I knew was bipolar and was not in control would be a bridge I would have to cross when I got there, or not.

    Leave a comment:


  • atskitty2
    started a topic Dating someone with mental health disorders

    Dating someone with mental health disorders

    Have you ever dated someone with a mental illness? Would you ever date someone with mental health disorders?

    I'm not necessarily talking about depression or anxiety, as I think those are so common that we all have probably dated someone with them, either knowingly, or not. Many of us likely struggle with those ourselves. But someone diagnosed and struggling with diseases like Bipolar, Schizophrenia and others-would you date them?

    I was able to spend 2 semesters training on a psych unit and a common complaint with my patients was the difficulty maintaining romantic relationships. It's obviously a very difficult thing to work with in an intimate relationship, and if a patient is non-compliant with treatment, their behaviors could potentially be in violation of what most partners would tolerate.

    What do you think?
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