At the end of my first date with Sara, she moved in with me. Until that night, we'd only spoken on the phone a few times. By the time the ice in my soda had melted, I'd fallen in love.
We'd gone to a Hollywood hamburger stand and gabbed about bands and writers for four hours.
“I was excited about this blossoming relationship and enamored with this man,” recalls Hope, a freelance communications consultant in Denver, Colorado.
“But I remember thinking, ‘He’s going to freak out when I tell him I have bipolar disorder.’” The “when and how” decision was taken out of her hands when her new love dropped a bombshell: His soon-to-be ex had bipolar and her illness was one reason they were divorcing.
There are general parameters of symptoms, but they can vary wildly from person to person.2. Part of having bipolar can be what is called "anosognosia," a weird word for a simple idea: a mentally ill person who's unable to perceive that they are ill.
This means a huge part of bipolar is that, when your partner most needs help, they will be least likely to look for or accept it.
Fast forward six years: we were madly in love and engaged, then married.
“It brings up a lot of fears and those fears ignite the temptation not to talk about it,” acknowledges Lisa Little, MSc, a chartered psychologist in Calgary, Alberta.“Pretending [the illness] doesn’t exist is more likely to cause problems in the relationship.” When telling a prospective partner that you have bipolar, Little suggests sharing details about how the illness affects your behavior, including symptoms of mania, hypomania and depression, as well as emphasizing how you manage the disorder.It’s important to recognize that your date probably will have concerns—some legitimate, some stigma-induced—about getting involved with someone who has a chronic mental illness.I'm frequently asked, "What's the best way to love someone with bipolar disorder?" Usually the person asking me has the traces of a frown on his face. We're not the easiest bunch in the world, the 5.7 million of us with bipolar disorder.