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Dating Someone with Bipolar Disorder
Ups and downs are normal in any healthy relationship, but a mental illness like bipolar disorder can incorporate unique challenges that can be difficult to manage. When you’re dating someone with a mental illness, the relationship can feel like an emotional roller coaster. It’s normal to become frustrated or feel emotionally exhausted at times in these situations. As a mental illness treatment center in Boca, we understand how difficult dating can be when a mental illness is involved. We’re sharing some tips for dating someone with bipolar disorder, as well as some things to look out for if you suspect your partner has this illness.
What is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a mental condition characterized by intense mood changes. A person with bipolar disorder may switch back and forth between mania and hypomania. Mania is marked by great excitement or an elevated and excitable mood. Someone who is bipolar and experiencing a manic episode may seem extremely happy and euphoric. Hypomania is a milder version of mania that can last for a few days compared to a week or longer. In addition to mania and hypomania, a person with bipolar disorder may also experience symptoms of depression.
There are two different types of bipolar disorders:
- Bipolar 1: This is a severe form of this disorder, defined by manic episodes that may cause symptoms like hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, and impulsive behavior. When people are manic, they may pursue any enjoyable activity without regard for the possible consequences. This is why substance abuse and mental illness often occur simultaneously.
- Bipolar 2: A person with Bipolar Two disorder may experience hypomanic episodes that aren’t as extreme as those of Bipolar One. This type of bipolar disorder may cause symptoms like decreased sleep, increased energy and drive, and rapid speech.
Banyan Mental Health is a facility that offers a variety of mental health treatments, including bipolar disorder treatment. Our mental health programs address both the apparent and underlying issues related to mental illness, and any contributing factors like substance abuse. If you or a loved one is struggling with this disorder, our treatment program can help.
Signs You Are Dating Someone With Bipolar Disorder
If you’re dating someone with bipolar disorder, symptoms may present themselves. Some common signs that you’re dating a bipolar man or woman include:
- Feeling as if you’re their caretaker
- Experiencing frequent burnouts from caring for them
- Sacrificing your goals or needs to be with the person
- Frequent mood swings that mimic the symptoms of mania and hypomania in your partner
If you recognize the signs or symptoms of bipolar disorder in your partner, the first thing you should do is get them help. The Banyan mental health program offers a variety of mental health treatments that can help your loved one regain control over their life and learn how to manage their symptoms properly.
Tips for Dating Someone Who’s Bipolar
Dating someone with this disorder is not easy. Here are several tips for dating someone with bipolar disorder that are helpful to both you and your partner.
Knowing when to say goodbye
Do not break up with the person while they’re experiencing a manic episode. This can worsen symptoms and cause further problems. If you want to break up with them, wait until they’re in a cooling-off period and do so with one or two other friends with you.
Learn more about the disorder
The best way to help someone with bipolar disorder is to learn as much as you can about it. It’s difficult to be calm and to understand the person’s actions and symptoms without being educated on the condition. Learn as much as you can about bipolar disorder and mental health so you can be there for your partner to the best of your abilities.
Be patient with them and with yourself
Not only is it important for you to be patient with your partner, but it’s equally important to take it easy on yourself. The more you learn about this disorder, the easier it is to be patient with your partner when they’re experiencing mania. However, caring for a spouse who has this disorder 24/7 can burn anyone out. Don’t wait until you’re about to explode with frustration to take a break. Patience is developed from habit. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and you’re able to, go to another room and breathe. Also, try to incorporate self-care into your routine by going for walks, practicing yoga, watching a favorite movie, or doing anything else you enjoy.
Go to couples counseling
Bipolar disorder can affect a person’s ability to be intimate with their partner, work, pay bills, and take care of their family. These issues can strain a relationship and cause a lot of tension if not properly addressed. Couples counseling offers a safe space where you and your partner can lay out these challenges and receive advice from a licensed therapist that can help to improve the situation.
Mental illness does not have to define your relationship. If you or your loved one is battling bipolar disorder or any other form of mental illness, we can help. Call our facility at 888-280-4763 to learn more about our mental health programs in Boca.