Dating for bipolar

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This probably isn't how most people picture bipolar disorder.Yet despite this, more people than ever think they know what bipolar is -- a mixed blessing for those who suffer from it.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.Without ever having met her, Fox News contributor Dr.Keith Ablow all but diagnosed Britney Spears on air this month."An illness that is unique in conferring advantage and pleasure," writes Dr.Kay Jamison in one of the most famous memoirs of bipolar illness, An Unquiet Mind. The popular caricature of the disease -- people swinging rapidly between happiness and sadness -- isn't the whole story.

And if they don't trumpet it as the explanation for their misdeeds, media experts are happy to do so on their behalf.

"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.

You could compile an entire book of quotes comparing love to madness.

But of all the psychological issues in the DSM-IV, only one really resembles the experience of love.

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