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Advice needed...bipolar date

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Angeles85 posted 8/11/2014 11:31 AM

I have been talking to this guy for around 2 weeks. Yesterday was our 5th date...I enjoy spending time with him. He is a gentleman, we haven't even kiss. Just yesterday we held hands. He is nice to me but it is not overwhelming. He has a career and a decent job. Soooo yesterday he told me that around 2 years ago he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 1, he said it happened right after he broke up with his long time GF, he got into depression, lost his job, etc. then and he ended up in the hospital. He was very nervous when he told me. I like him a lot and I feel bad since it is not his fault to have this disorder, on the other hand I'm scared of getting hurt again. Has anybody else dated a bipolar person before? I will read and try to educate myself if I decide to go for it but I really need to hear what you guys think of a situation like this.

[This message edited by Angeles85 at 11:33 AM, August 11th (Monday)]

norabird posted 8/11/2014 12:00 PM

Well, two weeks is early in to decide either way in my opinion. I don't see anything wrong with logging this as part of the discovery period and continuing to see him. I had an ex who was I think either manic or bipolar, and it could be very hard; he was a very kind, smart person and is married and stable now from what I can tell. It can be managed. If the person doesn't do the work to keep it under control that's a different story but I think it's good he disclosed.

Dating anyone involves the risk of getting hurt, it is not necessarily a higher risk here though obviously it will be a factor in the relationship if one develops.

Are you able to be hurt and be okay right now? Are you ready for being vulnerable? Those might be the larger questions to ask.

IrishGirlVA posted 8/11/2014 12:17 PM

I am not a doctor and I am certainly not disparaging all the physicians out there but sometimes a diagnosis like this can be dispensed like candy. After a terrible break up 13 years ago, I had very "manic" episodes. Such as excessive cleaning. After a 30 minute conversation with my therapist I was being written a prescription for Bipolar. I stopped taking the meds shortly thereafter. I was over the break up and my behaviors after the breakup was my way of coping. I haven't been like that since.

My point is, it is possible he is Bipolar but it could just have been situational as well. Just like depression. I get depressed from time to time but I don't think a prescription is necessary.

This is just my point of view. I think it was very brave of him to tell you and glad he did so you have all the facts, as he knows them, in front of you.

Have fun and enjoy him!

Angeles85 posted 8/11/2014 15:05 PM

Thanks for the response Nora and Irish, I needed to hear what other people thought of it since I am so ignorant in this matter. I will educate myself more in this topic and I will keep seeing him. I will try to take it slow and see what happens. Thanks again :)

somer222 posted 8/11/2014 15:12 PM

I have never dated anyone with this disorder but had a friend who had it. If she didn't take her medications, she experienced a lot of difficulties in numerous areas of her life - namely her job, marriage and finances.

That said, I think it shows a lot of integrity on his behalf that he disclosed this so early on. If you like him, get to know him better, read up on bipolar and see how it goes.

Good luck!

kg201 posted 8/11/2014 15:47 PM

The most difficult the with folks who are bipolar is that many refuse to do what they need to to take care of the issues (I.e. Refuse to take their medication). So if you continue to see him you should absolutely stay on top of whether he is keeping up with his treatment.

I think the other thing that is inevitable is that he will have episodes even with the treatment, which will be scary. It is not an easy diagnosis. So the question you may want to ask, if you decide to keep going with him, is how will you respond if he does have an episode? I think being open with him about your concern and asking for his advice on what he would need from you in that situation is one approach.

The fact that he is keeping a job and has a career sounds like he is fairly stable, but his description of the last time, when he lost his job, is an indication of how difficult it can be.

Good luck in your decisions.

Angeles85 posted 8/11/2014 19:22 PM

Thank u Somer! Yes, in a way I felt special that he shared with me something so personal.
KG- great advice, thank u, later on I will ask him about his treatment and medication. I will also educate myself more in this matter to know how to respond.

Rainbows posted 8/11/2014 21:42 PM

I would suggest take it slow and observe.

My ex is bipolar and was great while on his meds, but when he went off of them it was a whole other story. The bipolar roller coaster was very hard.

I used to tell him that it must be hell to live inside of his head and I walked on eggshells all the time. I wouldn't get involved with someone who is bipolar again.

It was hard because I never knew what mood he was in, what I was walking into when I came home or what would trigger them.

I would make sure that he is truly bipolar. There are a lot of labels thrown out there. Take your time and really get to know him.

DepressedDaddy posted 8/11/2014 23:13 PM

I figure I should chime in a bit on this topic. Most of the time I'm on here as an A survivor, but as a therapist by profession, I can give you a lot of great resources.

First, can you successfully be in a relationship with a person diagnosed with Bipolar DO?


Second, can you get hurt while in a relationship with a person diagnosed with Bipolar DO?


However, you could answer yes to both of those questions with anyone you are in a relationship with.

What is Bipolar DO?

The simplest answer is that it is a form of depression where individuals fluctuate between periods of depression and mania. More specifically, people can go between periods of depressive episodes, manic episodes, hypomanic episodes and mixed episodes. Without making it more complicated than that, depending on the combination of those episodes, that will dictate the type of Bipolar they have. For Bipolar I DO, it is a fluctuation between manic and depressive episodes.

What is a depressive episode?

A short period of time where someone has some of these symptoms - depressed thought, feelings of hopelessness/worthlessness/helplessness, poor concentration, sleep problems, appetite issues, problems with self-esteem, low energy, low motivation and suicidal thoughts.

What is a manic episode?

A period of time where an individual experiences grandiose thoughts, entitled beliefs, euphoria, racing thoughts, tangential thoughts, impulsivity, irritability, increased physical activity, anger, rapid speech, decreased need for sleep and lability (rapid fluctuation between crying and laughing).

How can someone that is Bipolar be successful in a relationship?

First, they need to be open to being vulnerable in a relationship - just like everyone else. Second, they need to be able to allow their partner to help support them within the relationship. Third, they have to be aware of their symptoms and stress levels. Fourth, they have to be willing to exercise good judgment. Lastly, most individuals with Bipolar DO require medications and it is necessary that they remain consistent and compliant with those meds.

Is Bipolar DO curable?

Nope. It is a permanent chemical imbalance. It is fairly easy to manage, but most times as individuals with Bipolar decompensate, judgment becomes greatly impaired. Thus leading to poor decisions that leads to increased symptoms.

What should you look out for?

Any of the symptoms above. Also, if this guy does not allow you to be active with discussing your concerns of him, if he begins to show symptoms.


I could show you a ton of clinical videos on Bipolar, but this video is one that I have shown to many clients that is genuine and very real. It is of a younger person (early to mid 20's), so it seems more relatable. Plus, it is not in technical jargon. Here is the link:

If you have more questions about this, just ask. I have worked with probably 350-400 clients who have been diagnosed with Bipolar DO.

Hope this helps.

[This message edited by DepressedDaddy at 11:18 PM, August 11th (Monday)]

Angeles85 posted 8/12/2014 11:37 AM

Thank you soooo much DepressedDaddy!! I really appreciate it. Your explanation was 1000 times better than all the articles I have read so far. It is definitely a challenge for me...I will see where things go and if in the future I decide to start a relationship with him I will follow your advice and I will have a talk with him about his medication, etc.
I do have more questions and I will probably send you a PM eventually if that is ok with you. Thanks again!!

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