New boyfriend is bipolar Watch

Anonymous #1
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I've just started going out with a guy. I think he's great; he's smart (Cambridge grad), funny, cute. We share the same interest in history and law. We have similar tastes in music and TV shows. He's got a great body.

He told me that he is bipolar. He seems fine so I suppose it's under control. He is a little bit eccentric and manic, but not in a way that seems outside the normal spectrum of personality types.

I was wondering what I can expect from someone with bipolar, how I might respond or deal with things that arise, etc
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Anonymous #1
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I've just started going out with a guy. I really, really like him. He's exceptionally smart (Cambridge graduate), he's funny and cute. He has a great body. We share a deep interest in history, law and languages.

He told me that he is bipolar. I suppose he has it under control, he does seem slightly manic and a little eccentric, but it seems totally within the normal spectrum of personalities and because he's smart, charming and cute I can see that most people would not think too much of his manicness/eccentricity.

I do really like him, I was wondering what I might expect from someone who is bipolar?
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Anonymous #1
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Bumpity bump.
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Andrew657Thomas
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Read into ''Bipolar'' a lot more...

My step Dad is Bi-polar and can be fine one minute and raging the next. I just want to say you may really like him and he may seem fine now but what happens in 20 years when you have children and married to him?!
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superwolf
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(Original post by Andrew657Thomas)
Read into ''Bipolar'' a lot more...

My step Dad is Bi-polar and can be fine one minute and raging the next. I just want to say you may really like him and he may seem fine now but what happens in 20 years when you have children and married to him?!
Surely that question could be asked of anyone, irregardless of mental health issues?


OP, I think the best thing you can do is talk to him about what to expect. He might have it fully under control now, or he might be hypomanic (meaning he'll get some of the symptoms but not full-blown mania) or something more mixed. Ask him how he is, and what are the signs of him becoming manic/going into a depressive episode. You'd probably notice for yourself to be honest, as he'd be acting out of character most likely, but if you can get involved with keeping a lookout for issues then it might bring you closer together, rather than those issues pushing you apart.

I know some absolutely lovely people with bipolar, who I'm proud to call my friends. Yes it's difficult living with a mental health issue, but it's great that you're giving this relationship a shot. Here's some useful info you might want to read through, and once again I'd stress communication with the guy in question is the best way forward. :yep:
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bittr n swt
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NHS it. Simple or watch YouTube vids
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by superwolf)
OP, I think the best thing you can do is talk to him about what to expect. He might have it fully under control now, or he might be hypomanic (meaning he'll get some of the symptoms but not full-blown mania) or something more mixed. Ask him how he is, and what are the signs of him becoming manic/going into a depressive episode. You'd probably notice for yourself to be honest, as he'd be acting out of character most likely, but if you can get involved with keeping a lookout for issues then it might bring you closer together, rather than those issues pushing you apart.

I know some absolutely lovely people with bipolar, who I'm proud to call my friends. Yes it's difficult living with a mental health issue, but it's great that you're giving this relationship a shot. Here's some useful info you might want to read through, and once again I'd stress communication with the guy in question is the best way forward. :yep:
Thanks so much for your answer, I really appreciate that. I have read up on it a bit, I understand the basic elements (mania and depression etc), the kind of behaviours that fall into both categories. But sometimes those lists of symptoms can be so dry... I thought talking to someone else with their own experiences might help.

Particularly from the perspective of a person who is a friend/lover/family member of someone with bipolar, any advice they may have and so on.

Thanks for the link, I'll check it out.

it's great that you're giving this relationship a shot.
It would be mad (pardon the pun) for me not to. When I met him, I thought (and still think) he's amazing. He is really attractive (I thought I was reaching, that he was a bit out of my league), very funny and exceptionally smart. We both have a slightly obsessive interest (and academic/professional involvement) in the law, and both history buffs. And he has a great body

I suppose his disclosure of bipolar didn't immediately cause me to think "Whao, I should rethink whether I want to be with him". It did concern me insofar as I want him to be happy and healthy. And I'm realistic enough to know things may change in the future, I know I'm not strong enough to carry two people, if his bipolar is really intense. But if it's manageable, and he's doing everything he can to manage it and things are working, I don't see why it should be a big deal.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Andrew657Thomas)
Read into ''Bipolar'' a lot more...
I have read up on bipolar, even before I met him I had a vague interest in learning about these things and I consider myself reasonably knowledgeable (insofar as someone who does not have it and is not involved in medicine/treatment can be). I suppose my interest was to hear from people who are friends/lovers/partners/family of people with bipolar, their experiences, how they cope etc. In that vein, I appreciate you adding what you wrote

My step Dad is Bi-polar and can be fine one minute and raging the next. I just want to say you may really like him and he may seem fine now but what happens in 20 years when you have children and married to him?!
I suppose all I can really do is give it a go. Just fyi (I forgot to say in my initial post) I'm a guy (not that it matters I suppse), so the children thing (while not totally out of the question, and actually I'm fairly keen) is not something I'm really immediately thinking about.

I'm realistic, I know that if his bipolar is bad, I probably don't have it in me to have a relationship. I simply don't have enough gas in the tank to carry two people. Having said that, if it's manageable, if he's making every effort to manage it, then I think it's worthwhile. He really is a great match for me, we have so much in common and we enjoy each others' company so much. He's smart and attractive, and a really decent guy. So I think I will give it a go, and see how it pans out
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Squaresquirrel
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I would echo Superwolf's sentiments. Bipolar disorder can vary massively from person to person. It's probably for the best to sit him down and talk to him about how it effects him etc.
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Baron of Sealand
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Might be more drama.

Dated one once.
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Jay84
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I would just be aware to look for changes in mood and behaviour and ask about his past experiences and take it from there.

I have bipolar and between episodes I am generally very 'normal' and have been in relationships but as of yet nobody has been able to stick me when I get really ill (I don't blame them, I don't think I could handle it in a partner either)

In terms of other people, I had a bipolar uncle but he was always heavily sedated on meds and didn't say much. He was pleasant to be around in that the family cared for him and wanted him to do well but he lived in a hostel and had nobody except my grandparents. I have also been around a lot of other bipolar people in hospital wards and to be honest it is extremely trying and difficult and wakes me up to what I put people through.

At this stage, there is no point in having preconceptions anyway. It is impossible to know what to expect and you have only just got together. The fact that he told you about it early is positive because it most likely means he fully accepts the problem and is consciously trying to control it.
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Tiger Rag
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(Original post by Squaresquirrel)
I would echo Superwolf's sentiments. Bipolar disorder can vary massively from person to person. It's probably for the best to sit him down and talk to him about how it effects him etc.
This is important. I have a cousin is who bi polar. She seems to be fine and since being diagnosed, has probably had a few episodes. I have a friend whose wife has it. Hers is much harder (from what I've seen) to control, she gets sectioned a lot, etc.
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Tillybop
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I've just started going out with a guy. I think he's great; he's smart (Cambridge grad), funny, cute. We share the same interest in history and law. We have similar tastes in music and TV shows. He's got a great body.

He told me that he is bipolar. He seems fine so I suppose it's under control. He is a little bit eccentric and manic, but not in a way that seems outside the normal spectrum of personality types.

I was wondering what I can expect from someone with bipolar, how I might respond or deal with things that arise, etc
I've moved this to Mental Health. Hopefully you'll get more responses here.
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Anonymous #2
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I've just started going out with a guy. I think he's great; he's smart (Cambridge grad), funny, cute. We share the same interest in history and law. We have similar tastes in music and TV shows. He's got a great body.He told me that he is bipolar. He seems fine so I suppose it's under control. He is a little bit eccentric and manic, but not in a way that seems outside the normal spectrum of personality types.I was wondering what I can expect from someone with bipolar, how I might respond or deal with things that arise, etc

its lovely that you're tying to prepare and understand a little more about the condition to be supportive.

Bipolar when under control will seem quite normal so perhaps he is good at controlling it, which is awesome as its quite a tricky condition.

From my experience depressive periods are quite easy to identify, and when this occurs you just need to be supportive, he might want space, he may cut contact for a day or period of days, he might not even leave his bedroom. If these things occur try not to take them personally, leave the lines of communication open but don't push things. Ie respond to texts if he texts you, but don't continuously text him asking if he's okay. He may OfCourse be able to articulate his depressive periods to you, so perhaps ask him casually about them and how he'd like you to respond.

Manic episodes are harder to spot, but you will learn too. A few of my friends have bipolar and their manic periods manifest themselves (and last for about 4 days-week) by them talking incredibly fast, not really making loads of sense, excessive spending, excessive partying and basically wanting to be around people all the time and being quite self destructive. Again he maybe able to articulate his manic periods so might be an idea to bring it up in convos

it's great he's told you about his condition so he seems quite open, the above signs may not apply to him but I do think talking casually about it will help. And I'm sure he'll appreciate you learning about it.
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