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Having bipolar disorder adds layers of complication: Should I trust this new love interest with my diagnosis? If we do move forward, how will the new relationship weather my mood shifts?

“It brings up a lot of fears and those fears ignite the temptation not to talk about it,” acknowledges Lisa Little, MSc, a chartered psychologist in Calgary, Alberta.

Hope dated several men after she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder II in 2004, but none of the relationships lasted long enough to make her mental health an issue.

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It’s important to recognize that your date probably will have concerns—some legitimate, some stigma-induced—about getting involved with someone who has a chronic mental illness.

At the end of my first date with Sara, she moved in with me. Until that night, we'd only spoken on the phone a few times. By the time the ice in my soda had melted, I'd fallen in love.

We'd gone to a Hollywood hamburger stand and gabbed about bands and writers for four hours.

1) Don't try to argue a depressed person into cheerfulness.

Depression is a powerful beast that demands its rightful due.

I was 18 years old, pregnant, scared and lonely when I met my now-husband.

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