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  #31  
Old 09-09-2012, 03:32 AM
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Mental illness isn't fun to deal with anyway and I find it really problematic that we even have this thread to pile on how undatable people with a psychiatric DX are. It seems kind of ablist and it's definitely depressing for those of us who do. I also think it's sort of generic to have a red flag over that diagnosis. There are some neurotypical people who are just not capable of handling a poly relationship, and there are some people with diagnosed mental disorders (or otherwise neuroatypical) who are better than average. If you asked "hey, are wheelchairs a red flag for you?" you'd be unlikely to get one answer and you might get looked at a little funny and this isn't much different.
It has to be said that not everyone is equipped to deal with a partner who has a mental illness and that shouldn't be looked down on. It can be intensely draining to deal with a partner, even just one, who has a mental illness and there are people out there who simply dont want to get involved in something like that.

As I mentioned before, I was with a woman for five years and for three of those five she was experiencing very severe mental health problems. She was dealing with PTSD, suicide attempts, crippling depression, and a number of other problems. It was absolutely exhausting to deal with that for two years and its part of why our relationship crumbled.

I wouldn't fault anyone for not wanting to get involved in something like that. I'm certainly not in any hurry to jump back on that train. Its the same as someone with an extremely high-strung other partner or an intolerable family or a drinking habit or a high-stress job that leaves them a mess when they're at home; regardless of whose fault it is or what it is, there is something that makes being around that person onerous to someone's emotional and mental well-being.

I think we also need to differentiate between someone who has something that is well-managed and relatively unobtrusive in a person's life, something they may only need occasional outside help to deal with, and someone who has an untreated mental illness that significantly interferes with their life and the lives of those around them.

I would think that most people here would be alright with the former and far less so with the latter.
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  #32  
Old 09-09-2012, 03:57 AM
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I think we also need to differentiate between someone who has something that is well-managed and relatively unobtrusive in a person's life, something they may only need occasional outside help to deal with, and someone who has an untreated mental illness that significantly interferes with their life and the lives of those around them.

I would think that most people here would be alright with the former and far less so with the latter.
I think that this is my main issue with the thread title. There are many, many people who have diagnosable mental illnesses. Many of them are well-managed in some way; many of them are not. Lots of them can't even be compared. Someone with depression and someone with OCD and someone with Asperger's aren't at all the same and won't have the same problems with relationships but they all have diagnosable mental illnesses.

I don't look down on ANYONE who can't handle a situation, who knows their own boundaries or who steps away from something that isn't going well. That's GOOD.

My point is more that get any two people - even two people with the same diagnosis and similar upbringing - in a room and they'll handle a relationship differently, so generalizing isn't particularly fair. And sometimes it even helps to know that their fears or anger are caused by an irrational source.

Obviously I'm biased and it makes me sad to see people go "oh yeah, I would never date someone with a diagnosable problem", being very diagnosable myself. But it's less that someone might have an issue with that and more that by itself, being ill doesn't prevent someone from being a loving trusting partner, especially since 'mental illness' is pretty encompassing.
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  #33  
Old 09-09-2012, 04:03 AM
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Originally Posted by winged View Post
Mental illness isn't fun to deal with anyway and I find it really problematic that we even have this thread to pile on how undatable people with a psychiatric DX are. It seems kind of ablist and it's definitely depressing for those of us who do. I also think it's sort of generic to have a red flag over that diagnosis. There are some neurotypical people who are just not capable of handling a poly relationship, and there are some people with diagnosed mental disorders (or otherwise neuroatypical) who are better than average. If you asked "hey, are wheelchairs a red flag for you?" you'd be unlikely to get one answer and you might get looked at a little funny and this isn't much different.
This.

Well, and a lot of the rest. But... yeah. I'm not NT, but I've learned how to manage mine. I see no reason why I shouldn't date someone similar. Key word: managing.

I can imagine there are people for whom physical infirmity is a red flag, however. Lots of outdoorsy types wanting their partner in rock-climbing or some such. I wince whenever I read an otherwise lovely profile -- sorry, I can't hike with you! But I'm happy to wait back at shelter with hot drinks and a roaring fire going!
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  #34  
Old 09-09-2012, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by winged View Post
My point is more that get any two people - even two people with the same diagnosis and similar upbringing - in a room and they'll handle a relationship differently, so generalizing isn't particularly fair.
In the totality of things, it may very well be unfair but we humans tend to communicate in generalities (zing!) and I don't see a better and less horrendously awkward way to ask the question.

As a side note, this is always something that bothers me. People get upset about generalities being used because they're not 100% accurate but spelling things out exactly is extremely laborious and hinders communication. If logical sense should tell you that a person doesn't mean to be horribly offensive with the use of a generalization, then chances are very good they didn't intend to be. Getting offended by it really does no one any good because you're upset with someone who probably agrees with you already.
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  #35  
Old 09-09-2012, 02:10 PM
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Well, point well taken, we do tend to communicate in generalities ;P

I do think there are ways -lots!- to generalize on this subject that are more specific - 'is noncompliant mental illness a red flag?' 'is depression a problem for you?' "is serious mental illness a red flag?" "could you cope with severe mental illness in a partner?" - and closer to what the OP and you have issues with. The word "diagnosable" implies 'undiagnosed' far more than it does 'intractable', so while it does stir up discussion to ask something that goes beyond what you yourself have an issue with, it's also grouping a lot of people in together (I bet most people have had a diagnosable partner that they didn't even realize) and inviting blanket statements.

Obviously, also, not everyone agrees with me (or you) on this subject or there wouldn't have been outright yeses or nos on this thread.

I mostly agree that people DO have to speak in generalities, but I don't think it's only the offended party that needs to be careful about WHAT generalities. Regardless of intent, sometimes words hurt feelings or perpetuate stereotypes and that's not wrong of someone to say. Discussions can be had without getting upset.

Last edited by winged; 09-09-2012 at 02:11 PM. Reason: clarification
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  #36  
Old 09-12-2012, 01:48 AM
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. . . I find it really problematic that we even have this thread to pile on how undatable people with a psychiatric DX are. It seems kind of ablist and it's definitely depressing for those of us who do.
I highly doubt that BlackUnicorn, the OP, started this thread to talk about "how undatable" mentally ill people are. She was simply conducting a "reality check." I believe her question and purpose of this discussion was based on her struggles with her own mental health issues and that of her partners, and she wanted to know if other people would see it as a red flag to be involved with her and/or the people she's been involved with. If you click on her profile and read her other threads, including her blog thread, you might see that she really is not the type to point fingers and she was sincerely asking the question as a way to sort stuff out for herself in the process of self-discovery and recovery from what she's been going through. So, while you were seeing some kind of negativity or judgment coming across in the topic, you yourself may have been a little quick to judge as well.

Furthermore, regarding the point about the word "diagnosable" as more problematic than other possible word choices, remember that this is an international message board. English is not the OP's first language. Although she is rather fluent in English, she probably chose the word that made the most sense to her in its translation to her native Finnish.
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Last edited by nycindie; 09-12-2012 at 01:56 AM.
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  #37  
Old 09-12-2012, 07:21 AM
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SourGirl SourGirl is offline
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It is a red flag/deal-breaker for me, if the mental disability manifests as violence/rage/anger oriented. No exceptions.
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  #38  
Old 09-12-2012, 02:32 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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It's my sense of the thread that most posters would date someone with a mental illness but there were certain conditions that had to be present as well. For me, I won't date someone with a mental illness who is not taking responsiblity for their treatment and doing what they can to treat and manage their disorder. And I certainly agree with SG that violence is a complete full stop, red flag. Other folks have other considerations, conditions.
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  #39  
Old 09-12-2012, 05:08 PM
CattivaGattina CattivaGattina is offline
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The only time I think I would see mental illness as a red flag is if the person is in denial about it and/or refusing treatment.
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  #40  
Old 09-12-2012, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by BlackUnicorn View Post
To answer my own question:

Yes, IF
A the person afflicted has not sought any treatment or kept up with treatment in the last year
B us being together and/or being poly has for the last two years objectively made them worse
C if their condition is very similar to mine, involves a lot of mood swings and shifts in identity
D they are using drugs and alcohol to self-medicate
I cared solely for someone with Paranoid delusions and Schizophrenia for 7yrs. It was an abusive and dangerous environment. I stayed with them because, as the disease developed all her friends left her and found herself increasingly isolated and avoided. I was a major support in her life. This experience has shaped me more that I would care to admit. I have only the greatest concern for mental illness and understanding just how deadly they can ultimately be.
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