"I would put on the list of possibilities a mood disorder like bipolar," he said, further cementing it as the official catch-all for crazy people."There is never a story or scene with healthy, happy bipolars because even though that type comprises the bulk of the population, it doesn't sell and isn't exciting," says a bipolar woman who maintains a blog about bipolar disorder called Weird Cake."Top this off with sensational misinformation from people like Oprah, and you build a population that fears us and looks for us in dark corners."As a result, half of all American adults say they wouldn't date a bipolar person. I'd read in Psychology Today that ninety percent of marriages involving a bipolar person end in divorce, but I figured that statistic applied to couples who were ill-informed about the illness, people who weren't prepared to meet it head-on.This is partially thanks to the ubiquity of advertisements for medications like Abilify and Zyprexa, and partially due to diagnoses, which have doubled over the last decade.A 1997 National Mental Health Association survey found that more than two-thirds of Americans had limited or no knowledge of the disease; almost a decade later, eight out of ten Americans think they know what bipolar disorder is.I, who have never liked TV, started watching hours of it with her every night.Infatuated with cleaning products, Sara taught me the joys of repetitive household maintenance.
We'd gone to a Hollywood hamburger stand and gabbed about bands and writers for four hours."I hope it doesn't scare you off."Panicked thoughts raced through my mind. This was the odd humor Sara and I had already established, but I wasn't entirely joking.I'd had several close bipolar friends, and had once been in a long-term relationship with a bipolar woman, Nyla, whom I still consider the smartest person I'd ever met.The most obvious problem is the wild swings in libido: one week your partner wants sex all the time -- maybe too often -- and the next they've got the sexual impulses of a Buddhist monk.With both Nyla and Sara, I never knew what sort of response my advances would receive.