No one wants to date people who are mentally ill other than, perhaps others who are mentally ill and don’t know better. Actually they, too, don’t want to go through that hell.
The sad thing about the world today is that there are a whole lot of mentally ill people out there and it doesn’t often show on their faces. It doesn’t even initially show in their behavior in many instances. However, over time, the mental illnesses will begin to surface. Whether it is as simple as a nervous tick or as severe as hostile abuse, over time you will see mental illness manifest itself as the relationship moves forward.
Warning signs abound when it comes to detecting mental illness. It is, however, difficult to distinguish bad behaviors from mental illness and we all have a tendency to discount bad behaviors regarding them as just a “bad hair day.” In reality, most people who have had to live with mentally ill people admit that there were many signs that they too frequently ignored.
Some of the things to look for include moodiness, intolerance to stressful situations, anger, withdrawn behaviors, sleeping too much and argumentative natures. The problem is that all of these warning signs can be seen in most all of us at some time or another and that is why they are so often not recognized as mental illness or just plain ignored.
Unless the person is really demented, you will not see the bad behaviors early on in a relationship. There are a few more common mental conditions that warrant discussion in order for you to identify and then avoid them.
A person with a personality disorder is usually very aware that poor behavior will keep anyone from bonding with them, but once bonded they are able to do “their thing.” Those afflicted by any of the personality disorders will try to take control of your life. If successful, that is if you let them, they will pull you away from the sanity in your life to keep you under their control. While looking at this kind of scenario from the outside, one may think that could never happen to them, but once under their spell via the bond of love, people do many stupid things.
If you find that the person you date tries to control you, stay away. It is not often easy since they are clever and know they need to charm you in order for you to relinquish control. Certainly if there is any physical abuse you should head for the hills. It is sad at how many people, mostly women, will tolerate any kind of physical abuse. They often rationalize that their mate has anger issues and that makes it acceptable. It is never acceptable! Very needy and lonely people are more likely to put up with such behavior. Hopefully that is not you.
People who are depressed may exhibit many types of behaviors that should give you a clue that you may be entering into a bad relationship. Depressed people will more often have low tolerance to stresses, be moody, sleep a lot and be inclined to avoid social discourse.
The good thing about dating is that you will not likely meet severely depressed people since they usually are not looking for relationships. More likely they are curled up in a fetal position at home. There are, however, many mildly depressed people who eagerly seek out relationships and then let their negative behaviors take over. If you are dating someone who seems relatively normal who over time exhibits moodiness, appears easily frustrated or seems inclined to be withdrawn, you may be in a relationship with a depressed person.
Bipolar individuals exhibit a range of behaviors from completely normal, to incredibly exciting, to dangerously adventurous to severely depressed. Depending upon the stage you meet this person you could easily fall in love only to be thrown for a loop by their aberrant behavior. Once again, you have to be able to discern the mental illness and escape from the bonds of the relationship before you get too deeply attached. Be aware that bipolar individuals can be in a good phase for months. If your “perfect lover” becomes a person you don’t recognize many months into the relationship, you may be dating a bipolar individual.
Discussing mental illness is never easy. No one likes to think that they have this type of affliction. The number of mentally ill people is astounding if you include all of the people on antidepressants. While most of them like to think that their affliction is not really mental illness, just ask their partners what it is like living with them and you may get the point.
To help you figure out if a perspective partner has mental problems without going through the time required to make such judgments and risk falling in love, you can be proactive. When the opportunity arises, look in the medicine cabinet of your new date. If you see prescription pill bottles, jot down the names of the drugs and then look them up to see what possible problems are lurking in the minds of your perspective lovers.
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