Eventually, time passes on and our mood becomes better and we become “ourselves” again.Unlike the normal population, individuals living with bipolar disorder cycle through extreme mood swings that cause disruption to daily life. All three terms are synonymous with each other and the name of a mental health disorder affecting approximately 3% of the American population.But feeling in love with everything made it hard to tell how I felt about her.
That’s a pretty hefty chunk of the dating pool, not to mention the unreported cases and the probable addition of cases since that report was published.
Mental health conditions come in far too many forms—depression, suicidal tendencies, anxiety, bipolar disorder, OCD, substance abuse, addiction, eating disorders, schizophrenia, personality disorders, autism and Asperger’s, those that don’t immediately come to mind and so many layers within each of those conditions—to try to come up with a one-size fits all approach for how to deal with dating someone who is mentally ill.
You know you’re superficially compatible, but what about the important things—values, life goals, political beliefs?
Let’s say you care about this person enough to consider spending the rest of your life with them.
On the top bunk I woke early, thinking of weddings: the one where we met, the one I saw in our future.
Thoughts raced to whether our kids would have her blue eyes, or my brown.
You just failed a big test and are pretty bummed about it.
Or, you’re going through a bad breakup and feeling pretty down. In day-to-day life, everyone experiences ups and downs every now and then.
It was those same myths that had convinced me that I could not have the disorder and discouraged me from asking for the help that I desperately needed.
In the interest of creating a culture that is more welcoming of neurodiversity, we need to examine some of those unchecked ideas about bipolar disorder and the people who live with it. The mood episodes that happen with bipolar far exceed your normal ups and downs.
I wasn’t like “those people.” And yet, when my doctor explained to me the reasons for her diagnosis, it all started to make sense.