7) Dating while having BP ~So you're dating a great person? Not sure if you want them involved? Unfortunately, neither am I. This is a very big load to put into a relationship. And is a deeply personal choice. Some general tips are: ~Avoid telling them early in a relationship. Unfortunately, this can be too much on an early phase. ~Know the other person very well. If it's been a while, 6+ months is a good estimate, and you know them very well, and have a lot of trust. You can choose to inform them at this point. ~Everyone is different, make sure you know them well enough to see if they will be supportive, and willing to handle this information. This is entirely your choice. ~Do not rush this. Should you decide to tell them, make sure your relationship can take potentially more pressure. ~Tell them only when things are going well. Avoid telling them after a fight, as this can sound like you are victimizing your self. ~Choose a good time. Tell them, when both of you are in point in life, with minimal stress/other things to worry about. ~Read through "THEY ARE NOT" section above, to make sure they understand you are telling them out of trust, not expectation for help. ~I would highly advise against having someone you date, be part of your support team. Dating is about getting to know each other, and have fun, and see if you are compatible. Not asking for support. ~I would recommend before marriage, that you inform them. Preferably before proposing. This can wait until the a fore mentioned are looking like strong possibilities. 8) This pretty well sums up the aspects, of the one with Bi Polar, bellow i will put in information for loved ones. I recommend, reading through it, and sharing. ~ Bi Polar, is not a "death sentence" ~Many people suffer this disorder, you are not alone! In fact, the writer of this guide suffers from Bi Polar. ~You can lead a rich fulfilling life! You have a lot to offer! Many famous people in history suffered Bi Polar, so go out and be part of history! 9) For those living with/ that know a Bi Polar individual. So your loved one has been diagnosed with Bi Polar Disorder? ~You may feel over whelmed at first, or unsure how to help. This is perfectly natural, Bi Polar is something that requires effort to maintain, through out life. Here are some helpful tips: ~It is still the same loved one! They have a medical condition, but they are no different with this diagnosis. ~Be active in treatment: ~ Help remind them to take their medication consistently. ~Watch for any side effects: Weigh gain, changes in behavior (irritation/ect.) Be especially mindful of any suicidal gestures, including: Increase in depression/finding suicide notes/finding razors/finding scars/burns/marks on the individual/ or certain terms such as "I'm tired/I want to die/I don't care anymore/It will be over soon" Get the individual to see their doctor right away. ~Spend time with them, not out of obligation, but go for walks, watch a movie, or go for cheap dinner. ~Learn about the disorder, there are plenty of resources available: books/doctors/the internet/ect. ~DO NOT treat them different. Be mindful of the symptoms, but keep in mind, they have had these symptoms their whole life. They are still the same person! ~Be encouraging for the individual, to seek/continue treatment. But avoid be judgmental, or demanding of it. They must help them selves. ~Be an active listener. Just hear them out, if they want advice, they will ask you. ~Never blame your self for their mood swings. Just as much, do not let them blame you! ~Just be supportive, and act the same way you always have. With therapy/support/and medication, your loved one can experience a very good quality of life, and a very good prognosis. ~Final tip: If you know of a CLOSE friend, or family member, who is also with a Bi Polar individual, have them give you more tips on how to help. Never share this diagnosis with anyone, unless you check with the one suffering from BP first! This will help maintain trust, as well as avoid unnecessary irritation, or embarrassment for them ~Best of luck to you, and the one dealing with BP! Sincerely, "Lorax"