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#1 In_Remission_Cyngirl

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 10:34 PM

Do you think it's possible for someone with bipolar disorder/depression/whatever to have a deep, meaningful relationship with someone who doesn't suffer from a mental illness? For instance, does your diagnosis generally scare off people who don't suffer from it or something similar. I'm thinking boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife relationships.



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#2 martasi2

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 11:08 PM

Do you think it's possible for someone with bipolar disorder/depression/whatever to have a deep, meaningful relationship with someone who doesn't suffer from a mental illness?

Yes.

For instance, does your diagnosis generally scare off people who don't suffer from it or something similar

Yes.

But a BP diagnosis doesn't have to be disclosed to everyone you meet. You control who knows and when they find out. It's like any other personal health condition. It's private until you choose to disclose.
There are more books on the market now about BP and relationships if you're interested in reading about this.
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#3 In_Remission_Cyngirl

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 09:41 AM

I definitely don't tell all my friends about my bipolar disorder, just a few whom I've know for years and really trust.

I'll take a look at those books.

Thanks.

#4 jook

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 11:52 AM

Do you think it's possible for someone with bipolar disorder/depression/whatever to have a deep, meaningful relationship with someone who doesn't suffer from a mental illness?


My wife suffers from some anxiety issues associated with pain.
We've been married 25 years this summer.

So a definite yes.

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my brain hates agonists and reuptake-inhibitors

former rx= Lexapro, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Zoloft, Topamax, Lamictal, Depakote, Lithobid, Trileptal, Gabitril,
Zonegran, Seroquel, Risperdal, Invega, Zyprexa, Abilify, Geodon, Ativan, Xanax, Valium, BuSpar, Nuvigil
various combinations with all of the above

#5 martasi2

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 12:01 PM

Some reading on the topic:

Loving Someone With Bipolar Disorder by Julie A. Fast and John D. Preston, Psy.D.
The Bipolar Relationship by Jon P. Bloch, Bernard Golden and Nancy Rosenfeld
When Someone You Love Is Bipolar: Help and Support For You and Your Partner by Cynthia G. Last
Friends and Family Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide by Debra Meehl and Mark Meehl
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#6 shiny

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 03:00 PM

Do you think it's possible for someone with bipolar disorder/depression/whatever to have a deep, meaningful relationship with someone who doesn't suffer from a mental illness?



Yes.
19 years since I met my husband.
He's the most mentally stable person I've ever met.
He doesn't need to fully understand - just empathize enough to be supportive.
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Stuff I've taken (that I can remember): Trazodone (good), Amitriptyline (3 days asleep), Risperdal (instant relief), Lamictal (great), Wellbutrin (mania + panic attacks), Zoloft (good sometimes), Paxil (good but fat), Prozac (hospitalized 10 days), Ambien (awesome), Pamelor (did nothing)

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

#7 In_Remission_Cyngirl

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 03:38 PM

This is very helpful. Thank you.

Some reading on the topic:

Loving Someone With Bipolar Disorder by Julie A. Fast and John D. Preston, Psy.D.
The Bipolar Relationship by Jon P. Bloch, Bernard Golden and Nancy Rosenfeld
When Someone You Love Is Bipolar: Help and Support For You and Your Partner by Cynthia G. Last
Friends and Family Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide by Debra Meehl and Mark Meehl



#8 In_Remission_Cyngirl

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 03:40 PM

God, would I love to get involved with a mentally stable person. It's hard enough to manage my ups and downs, let alone someone I live with.

Do you think it's possible for someone with bipolar disorder/depression/whatever to have a deep, meaningful relationship with someone who doesn't suffer from a mental illness?



Yes.
19 years since I met my husband.
He's the most mentally stable person I've ever met.
He doesn't need to fully understand - just empathize enough to be supportive.



#9 Anna

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 04:42 PM

My husband is also completely non-psychiatric, although we both share the substance abuse piece.

It works well, actually. We can sort of help each other out, in a whole bunch of ways. He can get cranky/stuck in a rut, I can get awfully, um, mercurial?

No reason it should be impossible, although the choice when/where to disclose is really up to you.

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#10 panic!

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 08:37 AM

well it's nice to know it's possible...
when I start getting close to someone, I don't want them to feel like I'm trying to hide this part of my life.
but I guess I've had poor timing every single time so far :mad:

of course it might be the whole lack-of-self-confidence vibe (because I know I'm crazy).
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#11 crazy at heart

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 02:42 PM

my last relationship i worried and worried about how to tell him about my depression, medicine, and so on. He took it really well. I was so scared he would run away - of course now i wish he did, but at the time when i didn't think he was crazy it was nice to know someone could accept that.

Its def possible though. My mom and dad have been married for 30 something years and my mom has depression and my dad doesnt. They have the best marriage i've ever seen.
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#12 Maddy

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 04:34 PM

You don't have to be crazy to love me but it sure does help!

It's possible to have a good relationship despite crazy.
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#13 creepy

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 09:58 AM

Ive been single for the last 20 years since I cant make commitments to anyhting.. who knows if Ill be too depressed to be able to function a week from now? Id imagine this is a common scenario.
Maybe a relationship like that could last for a few months but after awhile I could see it getting very tiresome for the other half. I mean, who wants to be around someone whos like a motivational black hole?
Suppose it all depends on the type of illness and how well its controlled. There are also issues of psychological maturity. Many of us whose illness is based in early trauma have clawed and scraped our way to catch up, but are still not 'normal' by a long shot.
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#14 Elsewhere

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 06:54 AM

It's good to hear hope about this subject. I was married for 10 years but had a several month long manic episode that ended the marriage (by my actions, I don't quite *regret* walking out, but I do wish I had been more informed about *why* I was leaving). He was a complete normie who totally accepted my crazy (mostly undiagnosed at the time). I'm now dating another normie and so far so good. It gets difficult at times (sometimes I feel like he pins EVERYTHING onto my disorders, or vica versa) but that could just be me.

It is very useful, though, to have a more objective partner in recovery, though. He comes with me to my psych appts sometimes and is able to put things more coherently than I am sometimes.

And he is good about learning about the disorders and treatments and symptoms and whatnot, keeps educated about it. That helps A LOT.
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#15 In_Remission_LDC

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 03:17 PM

Married over 20 years, but I wasn't being treated for depression at the time - though I had been through one course of temporary treatment. I didn't hit a major low again until post-partum, 3 years into our marriage. And for the last several years - including a few years of career-ruining self-destructiveness and withdrawal prior to getting medication again. It's been no picnic, but he has stood by me, not always understanding, and not altogether willing to tell me to get help and see that I do, before this last time around. But he does try.

#16 CrazyDog

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 08:53 PM

Married over 20 years here too! My wife has put up with all kinds of shit from me - sometimes I wonder why.
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#17 arieswmn

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 10:12 PM

To be completely honest, the people that are my closest friends, my best friends in the world, have all struggled with some form of mental illness, albeit never exactly the same flavor as me.

I have meaningful relationships with people who aren't mentally ill, but I don't feel they understand.
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Lexapro, Buspar, Celexa, Effexor, Wellbutrin, Keppra, Trileptal, Prozac.

 


#18 jessica

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 08:18 PM

Absolutely it's possible. I know that Jerod et al. often refer to them as brain cooties, but I've never liked that term simply because "cooties" are something that children tell each other they can catch from each other. I prefer the less cute name of "brain dysfunction".

You are not contagious. As long as you are honest and forthright with your friends and lovers, you will be surprised at how strong your support network grows. Many people hide mental illness. You will find people you did not ever suspect of having a mental illness struggling with it themselves. You can do very good things by coming out of the crazy closet, so to speak, which in turn empowers you because you see the worthwhile things you can give to friends.

My husband of five years has no diagnosed mental illnesses.

If you become extremely close to someone, you can often find support groups for them as friends and family of psychiatric patients to attend in the way of PFLAG or Al-Anon — groups that are about venting frustration or dealing with things that can seem overwhelming. It is no shame for them to take advantage of what help is out there, anymore than it's shameful that you have a mental illness or that you're seeking treatment for it.

As a parallel to this, consider the number of counselling groups and social workers that help any family dealing with chronic illness issues, usually from a hospital, but sometimes from a clinic or a local advocacy group. Being a partner or a family member of someone who is ill and may get better but also may not get better is not all that different from dealing with anyone else with a debilitating illness.

If you are always up front about your ambient levels of crazy, you will find that people love you for yourself and if someone decides to get into a relationship with you (except, God forbid, not the people who want to go in with the goal of fixing you!), but wants you, they don't cherry pick parts of your personality and have the rest hit the road. They want you in your entirety, and they're willing to deal with your illness in exchange for being with you. It is not fair to deny them that opportunity and that choice. They are adults making autonomous decisions. Just as you'd bristle at the idea of someone telling you what you can and cannot have when it's entirely within your ability to make choices, you don't make choices for people who are walking into this with their eyes wide open.
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#19 ces-nymphes

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 11:54 PM

My very close friend is pretty much the epitome of stable. I feel like he understands me better than I understand him (he says he hardly ever has 'strong emotions')!

I worry that I depend on him as a carer, not just a friend.
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Previously: citalopram, sertraline, venlafaxine, fluoxetine, bupropion, lamotrigine, trazodone, quetiapine.
Hyperthymic temperament or BPII?


#20 In_Remission_pusspuss

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 01:27 PM

I've only been with troubled guys (I know, shame on me) but I've had friends that have had more or less successfull relationships with mentally challenged people. It's possible, you just gotta find the right person like everybody else!

#21 Rockie

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 03:00 PM

Having only been with normies, I'd say that it wasn't so much the diagnoses, rather my periods of instability that ended relationships. This applies regardless of who broke things off.

While I believe they all cared for me and had the best of intentions going in, they didn't know what they were getting into and/or didn't know how to deal with me during dysphoric periods (and I can't say I blame them either). Things tended to be fine when I was up; in fact it was usually during my "happy times" that I entered into the relationships in the first place.

At this point, I'm really resistant to getting into another serious relationship until I feel like I'm at least somewhat stable.

(Oh, and I thought that I should mention that pdoc/tdoc as well as close friends and family don't agree with me on this point. They're of the opinion that the MI doesn't define you since everyone has their positive and negative aspects. To them, it's more a matter of finding and gelling with the right person, whether it be with a normie or a crazy.)

Edited by Rockie, 27 September 2011 - 03:10 PM.

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#22 SmokeInTheWind

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 08:07 PM

I've been married over 25 years to a normal. I have had MI since I was a child. I did not seek treatment until 3 years ago when I had a (silent? hidden?) breakdown- I secretly went to my GP and got meds and kept them hidden from my hubby. I was afraid If I told him he'd leave me. Well, I told him after a month of medication. He didn't leave. He doesn't really understand, either. I eventually went to a pdoc and am getting my meds fine tuned. Hubby even had a private session with my pdoc to help him understand my illness- that helped some, but not enough; he still doesn't understand why I have to take "so many" meds.
So it is possible to have a relationship with a normal.

Edited by SmokeInTheWind, 27 September 2011 - 08:08 PM.

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#23 Myshkin

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 03:25 PM

Absolutely possible. I am married to a very sane and mentally healthy husband.

Depends on the nature of your MI and the way you deal with it.
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#24 catnapt

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 01:23 AM

My very close friend is pretty much the epitome of stable. I feel like he understands me better than I understand him (he says he hardly ever has 'strong emotions')!

I worry that I depend on him as a carer, not just a friend.

my best friend is so stable it's scary, and i worry about the same thing.

but then i am able to be there for her so if you can be there for your friend when he needs you, that is, if it's reciprocal, i wouldn't worry
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BPI or schizoaffective disorder- depends on what shrink you ask and PTSD
meds, that have not worked (or I wouldn't take again even if they did because the side effects were so horrible):
stelazine, thorazine, haldol,risperdal, elavil, prozac, serzone, geodon, trazadone, effexor, lamictal, trileptal, luvox, synthroid, tegretol, topomax, remeron, serzone,lyrica, wellbutrin, amoxapine, trilfon/triavilm, seroquel (although great as a sleep med)

meds that have helped when needed: zyprexa. lithium, depakote, celexa, lexapro, zoloft, and the various sleep meds: ambien, restoril, klonopin, ativan, serax, valium

current psych meds: fish oil capsules, lexapro and prn of klonopin that I rarely use

#25 My Caribe

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 08:23 AM

I've found being close to someone (even friends) is tough when you feel ten miles apart inside. Maybe 'they' dont feel ten miles apart though. Maybe thats just me.

Edited by My Caribe, 18 January 2012 - 04:41 PM.

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Anxiety, Panic, Depression, Insomnia, Migraines, PTSD, OCD(ish), Aspergers'(ish), Cyclothemia'(ish), ED'(ish), Fibromyalgia'(ish) ...
Possible sleep seizures(ish) Pituitary growth, Undiagnosed tiny 'cyst' in left tempporal lobe. ADA is borderline (1:80) & ESR is 30 "So theres some sort of connective tissue disorder going on"

#26 drewinthebu

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 10:10 AM

I'm so lucky to have someone as stable and understanding as my boyfriend. He has saved my life in so many ways. He is one of those weird people who naturally and generally feels okay about life. However, his family has substance abuse issues, and his mom has battled MDD for years. So he gets it, as much as a non-crazy can.
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