Dating a bi polar woman

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“One-night stands on a low mood can be awful and lead to incredible self-loathing.

I self-harmed after one, head-butted a wall,” Tom tells me.

Hours lost to masturbating; the impromptu orgies; the damage caused to marriages by extra-marital affairs or the risk of seeking out more and more extreme sexual activities in order to try and “scratch an itch which can never be scratched”, as one web user puts it. Those with a more liberal approach to sexuality in general seem to cope better, probably because they don’t worry so much about being considered promiscuous.

But the notion of feeling out of control is what really seems to gnaw at sufferers’ self-esteem, as well as affecting their relationships.

In both cases, ‘up states’ are usually followed by down or depressive periods, although the balance of up to down varies from each individual.

Most can manage their disorder through medication and therapy.

Like anyone with clinical depression, libido often evaporates as the mood plummets.

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Some 2.4 million people are thought to be affected in the UK, with most diagnosed with either bipolar 1 -characterised by the most severe ‘up’ states, known as mania (which can also lead to hallucinations), or bipolar 2: the less severe form - defined by hypomania, a milder elevated state.

On the other hand: “If you have bipolar and are trying to manage an elevated mode,” says Suzanne Hudson, “a highly sexed relationship might not help.” Looking back, it’s easy to see now why my undiagnosed ex might have thought hooking up with a sex columnist would be a good foil for his hypomanic libido.

Now I know I was pretty much the worst choice he could have made.

But as Dr Nick Craddock points out, dealing with a mismatch in sex drives is a problem for many couples, irrespective of bipolar.

One in four people claimed it affected their relationship in the recent Natsal 3 survey.

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