A woman with chronic illness describes what it's like to date and reveal her illness to the man she's falling in love with.
Table of contents
- Would You Date a Person with Chronic Illness?
- Are you currently managing a mental illness?
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- The Top 5 Realities of Dating Someone with a Mental Illness
To a non-chronically ill person these can be normal, but if they are a side effect from from a chronic illness they will manifest in a different light. So please, partners, do not downgrade our side effects, and be ready for them because they can affect us as much as our original diagnosis at hand.
Would You Date a Person with Chronic Illness?
When dating someone with chronic illness, there will likely be bad days that will test your relationship. The bad days can be bad for me with such a extreme amounts of pain, needing help with everything, or a bad diagnosis. So as a partner, do not let these affect the relationship because the bad will pass.
With these bad days it can make our relationship stronger, so I know if you can sit through this and be strong for me, then I know I can trust you. By being there when I get sick you can experience what it is like with my illness, and can help me through it. While helping support me, it can be easy and hard at the same time. So even having you there just to sit with me can help me, make me feel more at home, or take some of my pain.
For a non-chronically ill person dating someone with chronic illness things can become really scary.
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However, at times I will need you to be the strong one. Such as when I have a medical emergency, or have an upcoming surgery, I will need you support and you to be the strong one, because again — millions of things can be going through my mind. Also, by you being the strong one, it gives me the confidence to know things will be OK.
All of these simple questions can make my day because my partner is keeping my illness in mind, but also my over all well-being, and not just the illness itself. Even little things such as getting my pills out for me when I wake up, or bringing a nice dinner home instead of going out, are little things a partner can do for someone with me.
By doing this, you are helping with my illness, or making it so my illness is not limiting our relationship.
Are you currently managing a mental illness?
So please, on the days when I feel energized, or can do anything, do not take them for granted. I do not know how many of those days I will have. I ask you value our times together because I do not know how many of these good days I will have. These are a collective of points I have found throughout the chronically ill community about dating someone with a chronic illness, as these are ways that can alter our relationships. We want to hear your story.
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Her husband wasn't fazed by it, but he also initially thought in the early stages of dating that ADHD was a "bullshit diagnosis that doctors give to kids who don't behave. Other partners learn the reality of a mental illness later in the relationship, sometimes through dramatic circumstances. Alex Koby, 32, said that when he started dating his wife in Los Angeles, she mentioned her bipolar 1 diagnosis but it "went in one ear and out the other. It usually starts in someone's late teens or early 20s, but older people can also develop the disorder.
The Top 5 Realities of Dating Someone with a Mental Illness
About four or five years into their relationship, Koby experienced the full range of his wife's bipolar symptoms. One of the things that happened is that she was in an extremely long manic phase and I didn't realize it. She was like a super hero," he said. Koby said that after a year and a half of this "super hero" phase she started spending money "recklessly" and she would get into fights and lose control. After a Grammy party she got into a car accident, went into a depressive phase, and then took a large amount of pills at their house.
They went to a courthouse to get married so that he would have the ability to hospitalize her when necessary. As a partner, you've got to be able to support them. Victoria, 29, lives in New York and plans to marry her fiance in October after dating for four years. She said she's been diagnosed with anxiety and she's borderline depressive. Victoria, who asked ATTN: It's a constant struggle and it's something we work on everyday.
Koby said that the pressure and responsibility he feels to support his wife during bipolar episodes has affected his mental health. I've never had depression before. Some studies suggest that at least 25 to 50 percent of people with bipolar disorder attempt suicide at least once. I don't want that on me," he said. Healthy relationships are important for someone managing a mental health issue because an illness can lead to isolation, which can lead to worsening symptoms, according to the Mental Health Foundation in the United Kingdom.
Finnegan said that her husband praises her for the support she gives him, but she worries about the pressure her mental illness could put on him.