Dating a woman with bipolar disorder
“This could be anything from same-sex encounters to sex in public.“Given the social double standard we have around male and female sexuality, women in particular can find themselves ‘shamed’ for what they get up to.As Suzanne Hudson, chief executive of Bipolar UK explains, it’s not so much that everyone entering an elevated mood becomes hypersexual, but that feeling ‘high’ can lead to some individuals engaging in more ‘pleasure-seeking’ behaviours - which include things like shopping, gambling and sex.“Someone about to go into hypomania usually becomes very productive,” she tells me.But as Dr Nick Craddock points out, dealing with a mismatch in sex drives is a problem for many couples, irrespective of bipolar.
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.Like anyone with clinical depression, libido often evaporates as the mood plummets.As Tina puts it: “Sex never really impacts my mood; my mood impacts sex.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.But the notion of feeling out of control is what really seems to gnaw at sufferers’ self-esteem, as well as affecting their relationships.
Individuals learn to watch out for triggers that may send them spinning into an exaggerated mood state.