I don’t think others’ thoughts hold any real bearing on my thoughts and emotions when the prospect of a relationship presents itself. For the last eight years, I’ve had a major red flag hanging over my head: the diagnosis of a major mental illness.
When exactly do you tell someone that you have schizophrenia?
That’s a pretty hefty chunk of the dating pool, not to mention the unreported cases and the probable addition of cases since that report was published.
Mental health conditions come in far too many forms—depression, suicidal tendencies, anxiety, bipolar disorder, OCD, substance abuse, addiction, eating disorders, schizophrenia, personality disorders, autism and Asperger’s, those that don’t immediately come to mind and so many layers within each of those conditions—to try to come up with a one-size fits all approach for how to deal with dating someone who is mentally ill.
You spend the earlier parts of your relationship trying to “read” the other person; trying to make sure you’re both on the same page.
I’ll be the first to admit that at times my impulse control has been a little out of whack, but never to that degree.Still, here are a few suggestions for how to try to make it work with a significant other who is struggling, or how to let them go. Some days will be effortless, and others may be draining.The first thing that may come to mind when you first learn of your partner’s condition is to opt out. The answer is, you’ve gotten yourself into a relationship that you now realize may have a few additional obstacles, but what relationship doesn’t experience its hurdles anyway? That really depends on the nature of the condition as well as its severity. I’ve been on dates, sure, but none of the potential relationships lasted past the second date.I’ve heard that I’m picky, that I’m not vulnerable enough or that I’m just plain afraid of being in a relationship. Either because of a poor fit or because I’ve been too nervous, pushy or paranoid, it’s never clicked.You know you’re superficially compatible, but what about the important things—values, life goals, political beliefs?