Dating someone with bipolar symptoms
But as Dr Nick Craddock points out, dealing with a mismatch in sex drives is a problem for many couples, irrespective of bipolar.
One in four people claimed it affected their relationship in the recent Natsal 3 survey.
Individuals learn to watch out for triggers that may send them spinning into an exaggerated mood state.
Yet, sex for those who are bipolar can prove a real minefield.
On the other hand: “If you have bipolar and are trying to manage an elevated mode,” says Suzanne Hudson, “a highly sexed relationship might not help.” Looking back, it’s easy to see now why my undiagnosed ex might have thought hooking up with a sex columnist would be a good foil for his hypomanic libido.
Now I know I was pretty much the worst choice he could have made.
Bipolar is essentially a mood disorder which causes an individual to swing between depressed and elevated states.
Some 2.4 million people are thought to be affected in the UK, with most diagnosed with either bipolar 1 -characterised by the most severe ‘up’ states, known as mania (which can also lead to hallucinations), or bipolar 2: the less severe form - defined by hypomania, a milder elevated state.
But because I can't control my actions, thoughts and feelings sometimes, I find it hard to show him how much I love and appreciate him.” Which brings us on to the depressive lows.Years ago, I dated a guy with undiagnosed bipolar disorder. When low, his habit of stumbling out of bed to browse porn as the kettle boiled, or spending hours trawling the profile pictures of escorts had me convinced he had some sort of addiction issues.A few months into our relationship, I dragged him off to sex therapy because of his seemingly uncontrollable behaviour. Up until the escort point, I’d thought that the other signs – the spending sprees, sporadic drug-taking, or staying up all night to work - were nothing more than foils to his ample creativity.I go weeks without wanting sex, can’t bear to be touched. It’s emasculating.” Mismatched libidos The tension caused by mismatched libidos can really rock a relationship.
When my former partner went from wanting sex every day to not at all for weeks, I’ll admit I was pretty cut up.Hours lost to masturbating; the impromptu orgies; the damage caused to marriages by extra-marital affairs or the risk of seeking out more and more extreme sexual activities in order to try and “scratch an itch which can never be scratched”, as one web user puts it. Those with a more liberal approach to sexuality in general seem to cope better, probably because they don’t worry so much about being considered promiscuous.