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When Hope, 45, developed feelings for a local restaurateur in 2009, she knew she would have to talk to him about her diagnosis before things got serious.“I was excited about this blossoming relationship and enamored with this man,” recalls Hope, a freelance communications consultant in Denver, Colorado.With only his wife as an example, she adds, “He was shocked that someone could live a good life with this illness.” Opinion is divided on the best time to bring up the subject.
Having bipolar disorder adds layers of complication: Should I trust this new love interest with my diagnosis? If we do move forward, how will the new relationship weather my mood shifts?
“But I remember thinking, ‘He’s going to freak out when I tell him I have bipolar disorder.’” The “when and how” decision was taken out of her hands when her new love dropped a bombshell: His soon-to-be ex had bipolar and her illness was one reason they were divorcing.
Listening to her date explain how his wife refused treatment and how the disorder took its toll on her health and their marriage, Hope realized she had to share her diagnosis even though she was terrified he would end their relationship.
People suffering from bipolar disorder experience extreme mood swings.
Sometimes known as manic depression, bipolar disorder causes those with the condition to feel great energy and impulsiveness, followed by great sadness and lack of energy.