Dating a manic depressive person

"An illness that is unique in conferring advantage and pleasure," writes Dr.

Kay Jamison in one of the most famous memoirs of bipolar illness, An Unquiet Mind. The popular caricature of the disease -- people swinging rapidly between happiness and sadness -- isn't the whole story.

"Top this off with sensational misinformation from people like Oprah, and you build a population that fears us and looks for us in dark corners."As a result, half of all American adults say they wouldn't date a bipolar person. I'd read in Psychology Today that ninety percent of marriages involving a bipolar person end in divorce, but I figured that statistic applied to couples who were ill-informed about the illness, people who weren't prepared to meet it head-on.

At the end of my first date with Sara, she moved in with me. Until that night, we'd only spoken on the phone a few times. By the time the ice in my soda had melted, I'd fallen in love.

We'd gone to a Hollywood hamburger stand and gabbed about bands and writers for four hours.

Before L had found an effective combination of meds, she drove halfway across the country in a mixed state, buying expensive clothes and jewelry for herself, with the goal of committing suicide when she reached California.

Fortunately, her mania dissipated before she made it there. All relationships suffer from irrationality, which is why they can be particularly susceptible to the ups and downs of bipolar.

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It took her all day to clean the bathroom, and when she was done, she would begin all over again. " she'd say, as if these predictable tasks were the only options.

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