Bipolar: Do We Really Want to Talk About This?

Hi,

There are many subjects that we talk about when it comes to your loved one’s bipolar disorder:

• Medications

• Support System

• Treatment

• Stability

• Recovery

• Helping Self

• Relationships

• Communication

• Mood Swings

• Irrational Behavior

• Bipolar Episodes

• Triggers

• Symptoms

• Etc.

But there is one subject that everyone seems to avoid…That no one seems to want to talk about.

That subject is: SEX. Do we really want to talk about this? Yes, I think we need to. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. And it is a VERY common problem area when it comes to bipolar disorder. One that you are probably struggling with right now. But you may not have talked to your doctor or therapist about it for one or another reason. Most people are embarrassed by it, for one thing. Others blame the problem on themselves. Some just ignore it, thinking it will solve itself given enough time. Unfortunately…These are not good solutions to a very real problem.

Like I said…A very common problem. So the first thing you need to know is: You are not alone.

Other supporters have dealt with this problem before you.

So if you are particularly close with another person in your support group, you might want to broach the subject with them, as they have probably dealt with it. Ask them what they did about it. You can always bring the subject up with your loved one’s doctor or psychiatrist. You will find out that the biggest cause of problems in the sexual area with people who have bipolar

disorder is due to medication. If the doctor/psychiatrist is aware of the problem, he can then work with your loved one’s medication. Or he may be able to prescribe another medication to help with the problem.

Sometimes the problem with sex is due to poor self-esteem. This could be due to the weight gain from the bipolar medications. That can also cause a disinterest in sex for your loved one. They may feel bad about themselves or their body because they feel fat. This is also something that the doctor may be able to help with. He may be able to switch your loved one to one of the bipolar medications that do not make them gain weight. Seeing a therapist can also help your loved one here. They can help your loved one with issues of self-esteem and accepting that the weight gain is just a side effect that they have to accept. As they learn to accept it, their interest in sex may be

restored.

The main thing to know is that your loved one’s lack of sex drive or other problem with sex is not necessarily related to you. It is not your fault, but most likely due to their bipolar medication.

Have them talk to their doctor/psychiatrist about the problem, as they may be able to help.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,

Dave

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