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Dating someone with bipolar disorder

Dating With Bipolar Disorder
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I am currently dating someone who has bipolar disorder. He's been honest since the beginning about everything. Something, that to me, means a lot. I was just wondering, though, how do I show him I accept him and his disease, that I support him and care about him? Does anyone have any tips? ~ from Sarah

Insights from Real Personal Experiences

  • The easy answer is just to love him - it's all one package. I'm not saying you have to love the disease - and there may be times when you hate it - but he is who he is because he has bipolar disorder. There are several people here who would disagree with that, but I, for one, cannot winnow out which traits I was born with and which I can attribute to this disorder.
  • Be sure about you are in agreement on children - that can definitely be a deal-breaker.
  • If you really want to see him blossom and your relationship deepen, you need to convince him that you consciously chose to be with him knowing full-well his affliction and that the good stuff he brings to your life far outweighs the baggage of his disorder. When my wife did this with me it changed everything.
  • Continue to study bipolar disorder.
  • Offer to join in his counseling or attend a support group for families/lovers with BP in your area...if he wants you to. Don't be pushy about that. Just a casual but sincere, "Hey, just so you know...if you ever want me to join you at counseling or join a support group with you, I'd be happy to do. It might help me to understand and love you better."
  • When you see progress, praise it. When he has a victory, celebrate it. Self-image is a bigger issue with most beepers than we could ever admit to a "normie." And, people love to be around people who make them feel good.
  • Sit down with him when he's most balanced and establish some warning words/phrases. He needs one for mania and one for depression. Our loved ones can see the warning signs before we can. This way, if he's going manic, you can say the agreed upon word/phrase to him lovingly, and it is very likely to cause him to bust out of the fog temporarily and perhaps seek professional assistance immediately or make a few changes in the daily routine, etc. If not so severe and caught early enough, this can be an extremely effective management tool - a very concrete way you can be of great value to him in managing his condition. It will also help you feel more empowered against the disease.

    ~ Insights contributed by Dizabeth & RoughRider

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