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Old 07-15-2011, 12:34 AM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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Default mental illness in the poly community

Hey, all. I'm poly and proud, so please don't take this as an attack against the community in any way (I would also never disparage someone for having a mental illness, so it's doubly not an attack )! But I've been wondering... are there any mental illnesses that are more or less common in the poly versus the mono community?

Specifically, I'll thinking about bipolar. My gf and her hubby used to date a girl who had bipolar. No biggie. But then my roommate mentioned that his brother, who has bipolar, happens to be poly. And I noticed that the woman who writes the excellent blog The Polyamorous Misanthrope had a post about her bipolar. When I saw another member here mention that the new person she's seeing has bipolar, I really started to wonder! Is it just a relatively common thing which I had failed to notice before, is it a coincidence, or could there be a correlation?

I don't want to offend anyone and I'm hardly an expert, so if you know more than I do please speak up! It did occur to me though, that if there was a correlation maybe it was because people with bipolar, seeing as they are in very different states at different times, could be better served by having multiple partners for support/connection.

What do you think? Am I entirely out there with this, have you noticed any positive or negative relationships between poly and various mental issues?

Last edited by AnnabelMore; 07-15-2011 at 02:45 AM.
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Old 07-15-2011, 12:48 AM
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Bipolar Disorder is a more recent name for Manic Depression, I've been told, and that has been around a long time, and is prevalent in modern society. My mother had it. I don't think it's mostly in poly circles. Poly attracts a wide cross-section of people, with all types of personalities, predilections, and afflictions.

There was a similar thread about this a few months ago, but I can't recall the title.
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An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/

Last edited by nycindie; 07-15-2011 at 02:27 AM.
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Old 07-15-2011, 01:05 AM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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I suspect there are a lot of people with Borderline Personality Disorder who might say they "are poly" as a way to try to justify some of their pathological behaviour patterns.

This could cause the results of such a demographic survey to become skewed.
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Old 07-15-2011, 01:16 AM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeonKaos View Post
I suspect there are a lot of people with Borderline Personality Disorder who might say they "are poly" as a way to try to justify some of their pathological behaviour patterns.

This could cause the results of such a demographic survey to become skewed.
Very possibly.
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Old 07-15-2011, 03:11 PM
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Short Answer : Yes.

I was curious about this too, and did research on it last year. It seems that people diagnosed with Borderline PD / bi-polar / depression / anxiety / OCD and those with histrionic tendencies, tend to be drawn to polyamory. Also a high number of people who are alcohol, or drug dependent.

Where it gets interesting, is figuring out, if they are drawn to poly for the 'wrong' reasons, or that their issues stem from denying themself of living authentically for x-number of years. Jury still seems to be out on that one, as there is very little study into people knowingly living poly lives. One research team, was aiming to track poly couples for up to 5 years. Unfortunately, most poly relationships end long before then.

I don`t have time to find, or leave links, but you can do your own searching.



Ahhh... back to work.
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Old 07-15-2011, 04:58 PM
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Carma Carma is offline
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I'm not scientist, but I learned in school that whenever there's a correlation, it helps me to stop and question: chicken or egg?
Maybe some people have become depressed because they have been trying to mold themselves into a mono life.
Maybe some people are lonely, and that leads to depression, and poly brings more people around them to love.
I've also heard that many people with bi-polar disorder are very creative, and poly is another creative way of looking at life and love.

I posted this quickly because I have to run, but I just had to throw something in there to subscribe to the thread, haha! Looking forward to further discussion on this topic.
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SourGirl View Post
It seems that people diagnosed with Borderline PD / bi-polar / depression / anxiety / OCD and those with histrionic tendencies, tend to be drawn to polyamory. Also a high number of people who are alcohol, or drug dependent.

. . . One research team, was aiming to track poly couples for up to 5 years. Unfortunately, most poly relationships end long before then.
The problem is that there are likely many more folks out there living polyamorously who have never even heard of the word, would not identify themselves that way, and are not stepping into the spotlight about it. The studies are only dealing with a small subset of people.
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The world opens up... when you do.

"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
"Love and the self are one . . ." ~Leo Buscaglia "

An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SourGirl View Post
It seems that people diagnosed with Borderline PD / bi-polar / depression / anxiety / OCD and those with histrionic tendencies, tend to be drawn to polyamory. Also a high number of people who are alcohol, or drug dependent.

Where it gets interesting, is figuring out, if they are drawn to poly for the 'wrong' reasons, or that their issues stem from denying themself of living authentically for x-number of years.
NRE looks like mania, and break ups look like depression... BP may be a therapist labeling standard poly behaviors.
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Old 07-15-2011, 01:15 AM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Bipolar Disorder is a more recent name for Manic Depression, I've been told, and that has been around a long time, and is prevalent in modern society. My mother had it. I don't think it's mostly in poly circles.
For the record, I definitely wouldn't theorize that it's "mostly" in poly circles, just that it could possibly be more common in our crowd. I have an inlaw who was bipolar/manic-depressive (you're right that they're the same thing) so I know it's in no way confined to our crowd, it's just that I seem to see it come up in a poly context more often than not lately... heh, maybe it's just that my contexts have changed.
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Old 05-26-2014, 02:59 AM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is online now
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It seems this thread may have been necro'd by a spammmer...BUT MrS has Bipolar II (or at least cyclothymia), I have GAD, Dude may have undiagnosed MDD, Lotus had a history of MDD with SI ... and I won't even get into possible Personality Disorders...

To be fair I ID'd as poly before my GAD surfaced so I don't credit my diagnosis as being instrumental in my ability to love more that one...

One thing I have noted, in my years of clinical experience, is that, if you add up all the numbers (1 in 20 have this, 1 in 15 have that, etc.) then MOST people carry SOME diagnosis or another. (...or some people have the majority of diangnosis ... and are REALLY crazy...)

Regardless, not everyone that can claim a diagnosis requires psychopharmacology, and meds don't work for everyone (I am, however, of the opinion that NO ONE's life is so perfect that therapy is of no use). BUT, I would encourage anyone who feels that they are not coping with their current situation to pursue therapy/treatment.
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Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (4+ yrs) and MrS's best friend
Lotus: poly bi married female, "it's complicated" relationships with Dude/JaneQ/MrS (1+ years)
+ "others" = FBs, FWBs, lover-friends, platonic G/BFs, boytoys, etc.


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Last edited by JaneQSmythe; 05-26-2014 at 01:15 PM.
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