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Old 02-06-2013, 05:20 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: US
Posts: 2,136

Originally Posted by Velvet View Post
In and of itself alone, a diagnosis of any sort would never deter me from being friends with or pursuing a relationship. What would worry me, and be a red flag, is anyone using medications to treat a diagnosed mental illness. From my experiences and of those in my family, I am against medications. Unless every cognitive, behavioral, counseling, (you name it) was tried and someone still wanted to try drugs to relieve symptoms, until then I would not support someone using drugs to suppress themselves. I have a very strong opinion on this.

This links into how I will not date anyone who uses recreational drugs or drinks alcohol. You can be my friend and do those things, but don't do them around me at all. And I do think a lot of people use alcohol way too much to cover up problems rather than deal with them.

I'm not against drugs for physical illnesses. And yes some mental illnesses possibly have physical roots, but in my experience drugs are only a bandage that needs to be reapplied every day. Being dependent on medication is never a cure. Not that I believe in cures, but someone who takes control of their own thoughts and actions with their own willpower (and support) is what I value and look for.

I would much rather talk with my partner and be part of helping them on a daily basis for any mental illness they may have. If they had a or desired to have a plan of action I would do all I could to help. I suppose the general advice you can read about on the internet says that how you handle yourself as a single person is important. And something along the lines of you should choose partners who can live alone and function fine by themselves. I see this type of advice and philosophy a lot, and I don't believe it at all. Humans are social creatures who need each other. How my partners are codependent on me, and vice versa, is something I want out of life. Hope that makes sense for anyone that reads this.
Mental illness IS physical illness. This is a false dichotomy. We don't have anywhere near a full understanding of the brain. But that does not change the fact that thought is a physical action in the brain. Feelings are biological, and have a physical reality. The emotional swings of a bipolar person are physical realities. The psychosis of a schizophrenic is not a failure of willpower.

The drugs used to treat mental illness can have terrible side effects. They are definitely over-prescribed, particularly for depression. We throw drugs at people when what they really need is a comprehensive support system. That is sadly lacking in the U.S. Non-drug treatments, lke the various types of therapy, alternative medicine - are not used enough or supported enough in our current medical system (assuming you are in the US). They can also be invaluable used in conjunction with drug treatments.

But it has been my experience that with some conditions, like bipolar, drugs save lives. Some mental illnesses do respond to non-drug treatments. Some don't. There are conditions where there are currently few effective drug treatments, like borderline personality disorder. And it varies dramatically from person to person. Some people with the less severe bipolar condition can treat it successfully without drugs. Drugs are useful to get a person back to a base of sanity, to stop psychosis. Talk therapy with someone in a full blown paranoid delusional state is an exercise in futility.

I personally find it worrisome when people discount drugs to treat mental illness. I get that you would encourage people to explore all options first, and that can work in many situations. But sometimes it doesn't and could lead to situations where the risk of death by suicide, out of control behavior, impulsive extreme risk taking, and so on. It has been my experience that people with bipolar - which is what I am familar with - who do not use drugs as an element in their treatment are more likely to fuck up their lives, if not outright kill themselves through behaviors like what I noted just above.

Mental conditions are also currently chronic illnesses. Medicine doesn't know enough about them to really offer cures. I hope that changes soon. They can be managed and treated but not truly cured - as in one never has to worry about them again. Someone with bipolar will not suddenly become not bipolar. They may not show symptoms for decades but the condition is still there. Someone with clinical depression will need to be cognizant of their mental and emotional health for the rest of their life. This is hard to cope with. People with mental illness don't get a break from dealing with their illness - they will need to deal with it for the rest of their lives. It is wearing and frustrating for them and for their partners.

I also agree that too many folks use drugs or alcohol to cover up problems. But it is possible to use alcohol responsibly. Unlike smoking or drug use, alcohol can be enjoyed in moderation without negative impacts. I do agree that our social attitude toward alchohol is all kinds of messed up and unhealthy, and encourages alchohol use as destructive coping mechanism.

I think some people can use some drugs, like marijuana, responsibly where it does not affect their life in a negative way. But others get addicted and have all kinds of poor outcomes. The reason that I encourage others not to use any drugs is that it is currently impossible to know which people can use responsibly and be fine and which people can't. Yes, some folks have family histories full of addiction and that is definitely a clear warning not to use alcohol or drugs. But for most of us, we don't know.

Last edited by opalescent; 02-06-2013 at 05:21 PM. Reason: grammar fix
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:24 PM
soleilselene's Avatar
soleilselene soleilselene is offline
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 24
Default It depends

I myself have issues and have always been attracted to those with issues. I just get tired of all the drama it sometimes bring. I have had my share of interesting I just want something more calm now.

I know I cannot handle stress. I used to be in an extremely abusive relationship, in which I was almost killed 2x. I went back like a dummy. I totally understand people that do. I just don't want to fall into something like that again.

My husband has anger problems. He has never taken it out on me (physically) and that is where I draw the line. I am not going back down that road, ever. He knows he has to deal with it and when he seems to be getting out of control we know to just keep a distance. I don't deal with it, he does.

My ex was narcissist and psychopathic. He was an extreme drug user and would only see people for what he could get out of them.

Then I have my issues with PTSD, and that just makes it too heavy to be adding more to my situation.
At this time: open sexless marriage.

"It's one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it's another to think that yours is the only path."
Paulo Coelho
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:59 PM
Josie Josie is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 71

It's quite an interesting question.

I myself, have some mental health issues. I've been suffering from depression and anxiety since I was 12. I've always been terrified of this being a deal breaker for someone I love. I used to be so certain that if they saw how I was, then they'd break up with me on the spot. So I used to hide it from anyone I was with, I never mentioned it, never saw them when I was down and had a habit of suffering alone. It wasn't a good habit.

I agree with what people have said about there being a difference between people who accept their issues and deal with them and people who deny them or refuse help.
I know for a fact that my relationship with H would not have worked out if I had kept up my past behaviour and just tried to hide it. We had some hiccups at first, when I was still struggling with letting myself be dependent on him but then we came up with specific responses for it and it was fine.

We came up with code words for how I was feeling and what sort of help I needed. Did I need to leave? Could I go home by myself? Did I need him with me?
We both described our different perceptions of what it's like when I'm down and figured out the best way to for each of us to deal with it.
Luckily, I'm on some really good meds at the moment, so most of my issues have dissolved, but I have to come off them eventually and it's nice to know that we already have plans in place.

As people have said, being in a relationship with someone with mental health issues is less about the fact that they have them and more about how they cope with them and whether they make efforts to change (and how successful their efforts are).

And I guess, like anything else in a relationship, a large amount of communication and trust is needed.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:17 AM
tree166 tree166 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 31

I'm going to say... maybe.

Would I get into a relationship with someone who clearly had a mental illness that was left unchecked? No way in hell. Would I get into a relationship with someone who was managing their issues? Possibly, depending on other factors.

I definitely wouldn't leave my partner if he suddenly developed a mental disorder. I also wouldn't stay with him if he let it control his life.

I guess I can echo what others here have said - it all depends on how the illness is managed. I suspect that I might have BPD, but I'm able to contain the crazy for the most part. I definitely have depression and I'm working to find the right drugs for it. I take the necessary steps, so I would expect the same of anyone I wanted to start a relationship with.
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:45 AM
FatMouse FatMouse is offline
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: That's a big secret.
Posts: 25

Depends on the illness, if they're getting treatment, if they can control themselves... a number of things. As long as they aren't unbearable, mental illness is not a red flag for me. I am troubled myself, I understand what others go through.
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:55 PM
persephone persephone is offline
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 68

I have been on the receiving end of a lot of verbal and emotional abuse and dishonesty from two people who were not mentally healthy, a partner who struggled with depression and anxiety, and a metamour who struggled with anxiety. (The two relationships were not connected in any way.) The partner was receiving help and was medicated, although our troubles started around when he tapered off his meds quite a bit. The metamour had a few therapy sessions late in the game, after her behavior turned abusive, but was not getting any effective help that I knew of.

I would not knowingly enter into a relationship with either a partner who had issues like these, or a partner who had a primary partner who did. I know firsthand the havoc and pain that can be caused by people who are not emotionally healthy. I want only happy, emotionally healthy people in my life if possible. If I was better at walking away from relationships once they turned toxic, then I might feel differently, but that is a particular problem of mine, I feel committed to people I care about and I tend to hang in there and try to work on and heal the relationship. And sometimes, it can't be healed because one of the people involved is just too damaged.

No offense is intended here to people who struggle with psychological issues of their own or have loved ones who do. This is just a personal choice I've made for myself.
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:59 PM
futilethewinds futilethewinds is offline
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Birmingham, AL
Posts: 8

It depends on the mental illness. Depression and anxiety are manageable. I would be cautious about someone with bipolar disorder, though, because part of the disorder is a propensity towards drama, something I try to avoid. It does matter if someone is medicated and has their condition under control.
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