Dating someone new can make even the most confident of us nervous — who didn’t show up Correct wording from plain text? If you were recently diagnosed with bipolar I disorder, you might also do research on how — and at what point — you should tell the person you’re seeing about it.
First things first: A medical diagnosis is very personal. Your decision to share your diagnosis is simply: for you option. “Some people say, ‘Bipolar disorder is part of me, and I’m going to let anyone who knows me know this about me,’” David G. Human Behavior tells SELF. You feel ready to share it with someone you are not seriously dating yet.
this completely fine. As with any other detail of your life, it may not be right to talk about a bipolar disorder diagnosis if you’re in the early stages of connecting with someone. That said, you may want to be upfront about your condition if you think there is a possibility that you would like to build a long-term relationship with them – or if you would simply like to share this information about your life! There is no need to feel like you have to “hide” this.
Do some self-reflection about why you want to be involved, and what you hope will come of it, to inform your approach. “You want to have an end point in mind,” says Dr. Miklowitz. “Do you want to have it [your bipolar I diagnosis] from your chest? Do you want them to know you on all levels? That should help guide you.”
If you’re considering sharing your bipolar diagnosis with someone you’ve recently dated — for whatever reason you feel is right for you — try these tips from mental health experts on how to do so with an open eye for connection and trust.
Remember that you are not determined by your diagnosis.
As your doctor has likely shared with you, bipolar disorder is a condition that can cause extreme mood swings with highs and lows. Bipolar I disorder, in particular, can cause manic episodes that last at least a week or longer, along with depression that can last for at least two weeks.
As you consider sharing your experience with the condition, keep in mind that a diagnosis of bipolar disorder isn’t the only thing in your life. “Having bipolar disorder does not define who you are as a person,” Summer McCutcheon, MD, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, tells SELF. “When you share this information with others, you are sharing your experience of the mental health condition you’ve been diagnosed with, which is no different from a physical health condition, such as asthma or diabetes.”
Think of it this way: A person who has recently been diagnosed with asthma or diabetes takes steps to take care of their health with the right treatment plan. And while your symptoms may differ from those of those conditions, you’re likely taking similar steps to treat bipolar I disorder — so just like people with those conditions, you handle your health responsibly.