Bipolar, or Bipolar affective disorder (BPAD) was previously known as manic depression and is a mental condition in which severe mood swings occur along with depression. The illness affects around 1% of people globally with symptoms appearing around the age of 25.
The illness can have 3 categories. Bipolar disorder 1 is where just one diagnosis occurs, so confirming the diagnosis. Bipolar 2 is where no manic episodes happen but one or more hypomanic episodes and one major depressive episode occur. Cyclothymia is a history of hypomanic episodes along with bouts of depression.
In recent surveys, some bipolar were found to have experienced traumatic or abusive childhoods, and often associated with reduced levels of specific DNA repair enzymes along with increased levels of oxidative DNA damage. Symptoms vary in different sufferers from being on extreme highs (mania) to extreme lows (depression) and can last for weeks or months. With BP you may experience varying patterns in depression and mania; however you will also have ‘normal’ moods. The extreme nature of the condition often makes being employed difficult and relationships may be tense and challenging. Men and women are affected in different ways and treatment in the form of mood stabilisers is commonly used with lithium being the main prescribed drug.
Main symptoms of a BP depression episode:
Bipolar sufferers may also experience what is known as a mixed affective episode, in which both mania and depression take place at the same time. They are considered to be at a much higher risk of suicidal behaviour and substance and alcohol abuse which often accompanies this particular mixed phase.
The golden rule to remember is that if you’re in a relationship with a bipolar, then both of you are affected by the condition. You will need positivity to work together to manage it, and the term ‘blowing hot and cold’ really is the case. It’s often a good idea to make a schedule to control mood swings, something that’s a positive daily plan and something that you can both easily work with. Non-bipolar spouses are usually more supportive of the depression aspect of the condition, rather than the mania side. Bipolar relationships often include two with the same condition, however, when only one is a BP when married, divorce rates are often higher. Episodes of mood swings vary from only experiencing them rarely or just a few times per year. There are even some bipolar who never experience any.
Psychotherapy counselling is advised and requires a long-term management plan that includes maintenance medication, along with adjunctive psychosocial therapies requiring careful study throughout. Other symptoms which may overlap the illness are attention deficit hyperactive disorder, substance misuse, and schizophrenia.
Due to the nature of the condition BP’s need excitement during their mood swings; however, when looking into romantic affairs there are elements that need to be understood as quite often life can be a roller coaster ride. Because the symptoms are unpredictable and destructive in various ways, relationships are often tough and any small thing can trigger aggravation. With this in mind it is best not to enter into arguments but wait until he/she has calmed down. Infidelity is very common and is a consequence of a mania episode.
BP women are often highly promiscuous during mania swings and they are prone to reckless one night stands and hypersexuality. They are also prone to taking multiple sex partners and have more interest in pornography.
There are 5 rules to take aboard in falling in love with a BP
Understanding and coping with the five rules may seem a very difficult task, however, just imagine a brain trying to take aboard the super magical love rush and all that accompanies it, through a deep foggy unclear haze of a deep depression episode? Being in love with a BP is hugely challenging and requires empathy and great understanding.
As with any relationship you need to work at it, but contending with a mental illness such as BP requires a very different strategy. There are many reasons why BP relationships fail however the following are the main reasons:
BP relationships can be highly toxic, and should be a mix of ‘givers and takers’. Throughout challenging times it’s always an idea to join a support network to see you through difficult times.
There are several websites to look at which offer free membership and where you can create a profile and enjoy flirting and chats. Bipolar Dating Service is a good place to start your dating experience.
Take a look at Tendermeets.com which is a fast growing international dating site and whatever your sexuality, bisexual, lesbian or gay, you can link up with like-minded BP’s. Online dating can be mind numbingly exhaustive, but key to specific sites for BP dating where you can enjoy all the benefits that dating sites offer, plus free live chat rooms to join.